When I thought about 2021 and what it would bring, I realized that in many ways that it is I who makes the decisions about how my year will unfold. A new year can be daunting, especially considering the events of last year and even as recently as the last few weeks. But I remembered a book that I’d received and been meaning to read since last November: The Collective Wisdom of High-Performing Women: Leadership Lessons from The Judy Project. It had been sitting on my living room table at home, staring at me while I caught up on Netflix over the holiday break.
After ringing in the new year, I decided to commit to reading one or more chapters every morning before I started my workday. It would be my “inspiration” for a new year and for empowerment as a woman.
I knew that this was going to be an inspiring read, and I was right! The book uses storytelling to present recommendations and “what worked for me”—I am a big fan of this approach. What caught my attention the most were the personality traits listed in the book that make a great leader: authenticity, compassion, energy, and generosity, to name a few.
My favourite chapter so far has been “Compassion”, with stories that explain how compassion developed from a young age has made each woman a great leader. Historically, many of the personality traits discussed in the book have been interpreted as signs of weakness when climbing the corporate ladder. Not anymore: now they are fundamental leadership skills. It makes me feel very motivated; not only for myself, but for young women in the electricity sector and beyond. It’s not just the technical skills and educational that lead to success, but also the characteristics that you bring with you to work every day.
I was fortunate growing up in my household, as a young girl I was told all my life that “I could be whatever I wanted as long as I was happy”. I’ve had a few career changes and am always looking for opportunities to grow my skills and experience. One of my own goals is to join and contribute as a director on a board, and this book has renewed my drive to achieve my goal.
I highly recommend reading The Collective Wisdom of High-Performing Women, not only for inspiration and great stories, but also for the opportunity to understand your own characteristics and how they can strengthen your leadership capacity. We have lots of room for women in leadership roles in our industry, and nothing should stop you from becoming one of these leaders.
By Marie Mould, Manager of Stakeholder Engagement, EHRC