As a female leader, how do you stand out and still fit in in the corporate world?
Ugh . . .
Did you hold your breath for a second when you read that question?
Did you think, “Holy crap, I’m not alone! Someone else has dealt with this too?!”
This question, how do I stand out and still fit in, is THE question dominating your life right now isn’t it?
It’s the one question you have been trying to solve for months.
It’s the one problem, the only problem quite frankly, you have faced thus far in your career that you just can’t seem to easily solve.
You have worked tirelessly.
Telling yourself each morning that today is the day you’re solving it!
And you give yourself a pep talk that sounds something like this:
“I am going to get on this call, join this meeting, run this project, handle this fire during dinner, take these calls while I’m on vacation . . . but this is it! It’s going to pay off! This sacrifice is going to help me solve this problem! When I do this, I’m going to have my answer. I got this!”
So you move forward.
But at the end of the day, the answer is still just as elusive as it was when the day started.
So what do you do?
You sacrifice more.
More time, more family events, more sleep . . .
You sacrifice more of you!
All in an effort to solve what we at Legend Leaders call the Female Corporate Paradox.
The Female Corporate Paradox Defined
So what is the paradox exactly?
We as women must find a way to stand out in order to be eligible for a promotion. It’s the “standing out” that causes someone to be seen as more qualified for the role.
But what’s the second part of being promoted?
Being seen as the “best fit.”
To be the best fit, not only must we fit into the corporate culture but we must also be the “best fit” within the rules and frameworks created by senior leaders.
It’s those leaders who define what success looks like, and it’s those leaders who create this paradox for us.
How do you “fit in” when the rules are subjective, vary from leader to leader, and are elusive?
Breaking Free from the Paradox
Now that you know what the paradox is, let yourself sit and breathe for a second.
Let your shoulders relax and go down away from your ears.
Relax your body.
For once, let yourself experience a moment of peace.
Because you aren’t facing an unknown obstacle anymore.
You know what this is: the female corporate paradox.
It’s not something you created, caused, “asked for,” or that is unique to you.
This isn’t your fault.
Beyond that, know this.
There is a solution!
A solution that doesn’t require to you sacrifice any more of yourself.
So give yourself a moment of grace.
You’ve found the solution.