The Battle Against Complacency
As a young professional woman, I try to expose myself to women leaders as often as possible. I find listening to smart, successful women is the perfect motivation for my own career and gives me plenty of role models to look up to. Last week, I was lucky to attend the Washington Area Women’s Foundation Annual Leadership Luncheon. After listening to the Foundation’s President Nicky Goren speak on the importance of women to communities and women leadership in the workplace, I left the lunch feeling re-invigorated, with a renewed desire to excel in my own career.
But, it’s easy to feel inspired when you’re surrounded by other like-minded, go-getting women. I always leave these types of events vowing to keep the momentum going. However, when I’m back to the daily grind, I have found myself becoming complacent and losing sight of the great wisdom passed on by these women.
As a result, I’ve become more aware of the energy I feel when I listen to women leaders, and I’ve begun to implement a list of things I can do on a weekly basis to stay driven between events. Everyone has different motivating activities, but here are a few that I have found keep me particularly ambitious:
- Seeing my mentor often: I’m lucky because my mentor is a woman I genuinely enjoy hanging out with, beyond just checking in for professional advice. While we don’t work together anymore, I try to see her every couple of weeks; it keeps me focused and reminds me of the characteristics that I try to bring to my professional and personal life.
- The New York Time’s Corner Office Feature: I’ll admit, the first thing I do Sunday mornings is read the NYT wedding section. But the second section I read is Corner Office, a weekly interview with top executives about the challenges of leading and managing. I often force myself to think about how I would answer the questions (which range from “What kind of behaviors do you have zero tolerance for” to “Tell me about your approach to leadership.”) if I am ever so lucky to have as successful of a career. For me, thinking about these answers provides a good check-in for where I am in my own career and where I want to go.
- Surrounding myself with highly motivated friends: This is an easy task in DC where everyone is smart and driven. The professional successes of my friends aren’t only reasons to go out for a celebratory happy hour but also serve as a motivating factor for me to continue to excel in my field.
- A non-work routine: I find the best way to kick-start my energy at work is to have a non-work routine. For me, this is running alone several times a week; it allows me to clear my head and take stock of my goals and progress.
These may seem obvious, but I found that by taking the time to make a list of the things that keep me ambitious, I’ve made them weekly priorities. As a result, I’m able to maintain the energy inspired by the women leaders I most look up to. What are the things you do to keep the momentum going?
Image from http://www.bpw-nc.org/Resources/Pictures/index_7.jpg