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Leadership is much more an art, a belief, a condition of the heart, than a set of things to do. (Max De Pree)

I was very inspired by the people and presenters at  our recent Empowering Women in Leadership event. We covered and discussed growing into your potential, influence vs. authority, leadership defined through personal, business and family and the future of how women can grow into their leadership.

The data and trends strongly point to women continuing to be a majority and a force. They are  starting businesses 2 to 1 over any other ethnic group, 60% of college students and control 66% of  global consumer spending!

Women are still unfortunately struggling with equity issues, especially in the workplace, so any discussion of leadership must be far more holistic. Leadership is defined in many areas of our lives and in many ways.

Here are 5 ideas that can accelerate your leadership skills, inspire you to grow and continue to self actualize. These are especially indispensable if you are  in career transition or job searching.

1. Always strive for  peak performance

My colleague Andy Robinson, Career Coach and Strategist, talks about the benefits of striving for and developing a mindset for being a peak performer. Peak performers have  job security because they are highly valued, they are a magnet for opportunity, they have much higher income potential and they usually love what they do for a living. He talks about the 3 Keys to Peak Achievers: desire, knowledge and habit. They have a deep desire, know the truths and live the truths!

2. Leading through  influence

Being a power of example and walking the walk is the only way to build a following. Do what you say you are going to do and be what you want others to be and become. This is how you become authentic and people know how serious you are. Qualities like integrity, openness, having and sharing  a vision, and honoring others successes are key.

3. Develop an Entrepreneurial mind

No matter what you do, developing an innovative, creative, visionary mindset is an asset. Assume some calculated risk and take some leaps. Are you a doer? Mover? Shaker? Make it happen kind of person?

4. Tell your story

Sarah Owen is the CEO of the Non Profit,  CCMI, Community Cooperative Ministries Inc, and presented an idea at our Women's Leadership event I think was so powerful. It is based on the following quote:

In the heart of each of us, there is a voice of knowing-a story that can remind us of what we most value and long for, what we have known since we were a child. (Jack Kornfield)

The powerful thing about your story is everyone has a story, with characters, plot, setting and scene and we all are connected by the common things that make up our life story:  the people, the moment, the power of the moment and directing all the characters in the moment! So, telling your story, listening to others story and looking for the commonalities that bond us not separate us are keys to relationships.

5. Be a catalyst

Leadership is more tribal than scientific, more a weaving of relationships than an amassing of information. (Max De Pree, Center for Leadership)

So how do we weave relationships?

By making connections for others,  inspiring others to take actions and get results, and seeking opportunities to collaborate and partner.

If women are going to take advantage of this moment, of being a majority and power demo and really make a difference in the world they live and work in, they need to step up, speak out and step out.

Developing the art of your leadership takes vision and painting that vision on your life canvass everyday, until the picture tells your leadership story!

Get out that canvas, brushes and paints and start your leadership masterpiece today!

About the Author:

CAREEREALISM Expert, Deborah Shane delivers business education and professional skill development specializing in women in business, those in career transition, sales and personal and social brand strategy and integration.