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Building a Leadership Mindset: Tips for Women Transitioning into Management Roles 


Have you discovered your leadership mindset? It took me numerous promotions and new roles to really understand it. What I learned first was my personal “cycle of onboarding”. It went like this: I’d first be elated with my new role and all the possibilities. Then panic set in with a side of imposter syndrome. I would get very quiet and take it all in for a while. Then gradually, I would find my voice, my footing, and begin to lead. Sound familiar?

This cycle was not efficient and caused me internal turmoil that did not serve me. As my coach and I dove into this pattern, I discovered the root causes (“but I’m just a Respiratory Therapist, not a healthcare executive”), ways to shorten the cycle and developed my leadership mindset: the traits I wanted to guide my leadership journeys. This helped me dramatically improve how I assume a new role, the biggest being leaving the corporate world and starting my own business. Here are my leadership mindset ideals:

Be a learner: You’ve arrived at the leadership role you’ve been working towards. Now is not the time sit on your laurels- it’s the time to ramp up learning and become a lifelong learner. Some say, “Leaders are Readers”. That’s true, but leaders can be listeners and watchers too- as in audiobooks, podcasts and instructional videos. Learning helps you grow, and a growth mindset is critical to leading well

Have self-confidence- No imposters here! You were selected for a reason, and you are worthy of this role. How you talk to yourself reflects on the work you do. If you think you can’t do it, you won’t do it. Imposter syndrome is real and can derail your progress. A great coach can help you discover the root cause for any lack of self-confidence and develop better self-talk.

Have humility- You are the servant: A strong leadership mindset is knowing that your role is to support your teams, create successful environments, and grow people. The more you nurture and grow your teams, the more success you will enjoy. Stay humble, and remember that you are their servant, not the other way around.

Be mission minded: Remind yourself daily of the what and why you are here. Keeping the mission front and center of your daily work will drive actions and decisions to realize the mission.

Find your courage: Starting a new leadership role can be daunting and can lead to self-doubt. It can also lead to being quiet, sitting back and not engaging. Speak up, contribute and be an active part of the work. That’s why you are there!

Listen! Don’t forget to really listen. Listen with intent to understand, not to respond. This is a hard skill to harness, but it’s critical to being a great leader. You will learn perspectives, discover separate realities and build diversity of thoughts, which will lead to better decision making. And your teammates will feel heard and valued. It’s a win-win.

Make mistakes, learn, and move on: Making mistakes is inevitable. It’s also how we learn and grow. A good leader takes risks. We learn valuable lessons from those risks, and they shape how we grow. Make sure to “fall forward” with those lessons instead of beating yourself up for not being perfect. Those thoughts do not serve you and will ultimately hold you back.

These continue to be my north star, and a work in progress. How will you develop your leadership mindset? I’m excited to see your journey!

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