Leadership Series | Speak Up

Late night, December 2013. I am the only one left in the office, and I am hysterically crying. “That’s it, I quit.” After 13 months of pure hell, I thought the only option I had in order to save my family and save myself was to quit my job. Now if you know my story, you know I did not quit. In fact, I ended up staying on with that corporate career for another four years.

During those 13 months, as I was a new leader in the organization and on this leadership journey, it was like I was blind; I didn’t know what resources were available to me.

So when I recently came across a Forbes article where their counsel shared their top tips for women in leadership, I thought, I’ve got to share this with you! Over the course of this series of videos, I’m going to share one tip on each video and I’m going to give you my personal experience and what my personal take is on it, with the hopes of helping you shorten your leadership learning curve. Today’s tip: speak up, and speak often!

Look, don’t be fooled to think that people around you know what you want – you have to ask for it.

Please, do not go run off to your manager’s office and blurt out what you want. First, be clear. Have a very well thought-out, clear statement on exactly what it is you want. Then, do the research behind it. What is the data that supports why you should have this thing that you want? Once you know what it is you want and you’ve got the data, then you need to rehearse it. And yes, I mean rehearse it!

Grab a trusted colleague, a mentor, somebody that you can role play with, that you can go through these different scenarios, and work through all of the crap that’s going to come out when you’re asking for it. Then finally, once you have all of that, go in and ask with confidence. It’s not about whether or not you deserve this; it’s simply something you want.

If you’re clear on it, you’ve got the data, you’ve rehearsed it, be confident to go in and ask for it. Stay tuned for the tips upcoming on the next week’s video. If you have a tip you would like to share to help shorten someone else’s learning curve as well, post that in the comments below!

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