Victoria Woodhull is a women’s rights champion who argued that self-leadership was the only way to obtain women’s equality. The 2017 International Women’s Day - #IWD - events reminded me of Woodhull’s position that women only needed to take action, not argue to prove something they already possessed.
She said in a letter to the New York Herald, "While others argued the equality of women with men, I proved it by successfully engaging in business; while others sought to show that there was no valid reason why women should be treated, socially and politically, as being inferior to men, I boldly entered the arena…” She concluded the letter by announcing her candidacy for president of the United States.
I want to take exception to the world “boldly” and the hashtag for the International Women’s Day slogan, #BeBoldForChange Victoria Woodhull was referring to her successes as the first female candidate for president of the U.S., the first woman to appear before congress, the first woman to start her own newspaper, and she was the first woman to open a brokerage firm. It’s clear that her accomplishments were the result of two things, an understanding that you will not be successful if you do not have a strategy for self-leadership and you will not be successful if you do not know how to create opportunities and meaningful relationships that validate self leadership. #DIVAmultiplemes
It starts with a single step which is the promise to get out of the bed and boldly face the day armed with self confidence and a tactical list for action.
Woodhull’s daily challenges came from society, prohibitive laws, other women leaders, and the church which seems to have had the biggest hand in her downfall. This leads to another important aspect of self-leadership which is to know well the conditions of your operating environment and when obstacles arise, have creative and innovative strategy in place to overcome them. Even with her “just do it” attitude, Woodhull seems to acknowledge the climate that thrived on talk alone. She is quoted as saying, “All talk of women’s rights is moonshine. Women have every right; they just need to exercise them.” The realities of this “moonshine” are becoming more apparent in recent years. I will be the first to admit that, for years, I had been drinking the “kool aid” and delayed making that conscious effort to make a difference in women’s lives.
Self-leadership starts with acknowledging the present day as a day for opportunity and acting it out, not the way it was designed weeks, days or years ago, but as it most effectively works in the present environment. It is a manifestation of a tactical, operational, and strategic vision for your life. These three are key aspects of leading a company and they also apply to leading your own life.
Here are three tips to boldly activate your vision for self-leadership and move you forward in your individual and collective pursuit for gender equity:
When you approach the day, decide what you will accomplish that will move yourself and women forward. This is your immediate or tactical goal.
Describe how you will include this action in using the tools and mechanisms you have in place to carry out your activities. This is your operational goal.
Recognize how this fits into your overall vision and if the conditions are still the same as when you activated that vision. This is your strategic goal.
The following is my self-leadership action for #IWD: Contact Mrs. Webb (not her real name) and let her know how much she has influenced me in a positive way (tactical). Invite her to lunch and talk about my Can We Talk Facebook community page (operational) and my vision to connect women on a national and global scale (strategic).
Do this every morning according to your vision for self-leadership and see your world and the world for women change for the better.
From Smart to Intelligent
Dr. v. Brooks Dunbar, Author & Coach
DIVA DECISIONS: How to get from smart to intelligent by claiming your power of choice
Author Website: www.DrVBrooksDunbar.com
Company Website: www.TheCenterForConfidence.com
Quotes Sourced from: http://biography.yourdictionary.com/victoria-c-woodhull#wHE69rYPxRPtGL6G.99
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