This week I had the honor of guest-blogging for author, Daniel Allen, to try to concisely answer the question “How Do We Cheer On Our Women Leaders?”
Be sure to let us know in the comments – how do YOU support your women who are leaders? Or, if you are a woman and a leader, how do your men support you? 🙂
Link to the post CHEERING ON WOMEN LEADERS on Daniel’s page or read the article below
Earlier this year I finished the first draft of a book for young men. A book to help them navigate their first decade out of college and get off to a good start in areas that matter most – life direction, heart life, relationships, and leadership. My agent will soon be shopping the book with publishers.
In one of the chapters I talk about the importance of supporting women leaders, so I thought it would be good to have you hear from some of the women leaders I care about. Sarah Plummer is one of them. I met Sarah when she was a student at UVA (graduated in 2003) and in a mentoring relationship with my wife, Lainie. Sarah was a Captain in the Marine Corps, with tours in Iraq; founded SemperSarah.com, and is a Speaker, Coach, Author, and Advocate. And even though she’s been struck by lightning and broken every bone in her body, she can still kick the butts of most guys I know on the soccer field and in Gaelic football. And mountain biking and yoga. I asked Sarah to tell us what we can do to cheer on the women leaders in our lives.
“She went out on a limb, had it break off behind her, and discovered she could fly” (Kobi Yamada).
Yep, it’s true. There’s enough room in the world for both male and female leaders; in fact, there is a need for both. And a huge need for men to support and encourage women leaders.
Here are three ways that men can support women leaders in their professional and personal lives…
First, trust is core (and so is acceptance). Men, you cannot do it all, all the time. Accept it. Let go and let God. Hasn’t He told us that today’s worry is enough for today and that if He provides for the birds, then certainly He will provide for us, too? When you attempt to strictly govern all aspects of your life, you basically tell God you do not trust Him, that He has not figured it all out and it is up to you to handle things. Is that really how you feel? I doubt it. So, how do you exemplify trust? Practice leading, not from an attitude of control, but from a place of trust in our Lord, trust in yourself, and trust in your women. Just Roll With It ™ every once in a while and see what happens. Believe in your women, support them with trust, and see them soar.
Second, service is key. As you fill your heart with the servant spirit you become a better leader, and in turn allow others to lead more authentically, because you get your mind off yourself and live by example, not lead by coercion. Willingly serve the women in your life. If you are both coming from a spirit of service for your workplace, each other, and God, then no one feels exploited because you are both contributing. You can both lead via your respective strengths and concurrently help the other person in their weak areas.
Third, encouragement is vital. Don’t waste time putting someone down thinking it will elevate you; it will not. Think of Philippians 4:8 and reinforce your co-worker’s or your partner’s successes and “victories.” In the Marines we were taught to reinforce success, not failure. As I see it, this means we should encourage, inspire, and build one another up. Put energy into the positives, not the negatives.
Let’s acknowledge that because men and women are each created in the image of God, each can lead. The diversity in strength, beauty, passion, and power that women display as leaders empower and inspire people in different ways than a man’s influence can. The differences will enhance the workplace and/or home, not detract from it.
Agree? Disagree? What one step could you take this week to cheer on the women leaders in your life and encourage them to fly?
Daniel’s VISION: That men, leaders, and churches will follow Jesus and lead with Jesus – for the life of the world. That fathers and mothers in the faith will do all that we can to inspire and prepare the next generation to meet the challenges of their season.
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