If the Shoe Fits, Wear It!
“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that fits all cases.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt is one of my most favorite women leaders. She is well known and well-loved for her remarkable ability to overcome adversity. Eleanor was a strong woman who never allowed her circumstances to hold her back nor did she shrink in fear when facing the challenges of life. She has been described as the First Lady of Courage, and she used this courage and strength to empower women for generations, encouraging women to stand firm in their beliefs and principles.
Do the Right Thing
As with many leaders, Eleanor received her fair share of criticism. Always one to overlook trivial remarks and disapproval, she kept her focus on the mission. If it was not driving the mission forward, she gave no heed to the words. It was noted that Eleanor lived by the words of Theodore Roosevelt’s sister, Anna Roosevelt Cowles, “Do not be bothered by what people say as long as you are sure that you are doing what seems right to you, but be sure that you face yourself honestly.” Sound advice for Eleanor and women leaders today.
A Variety of Shapes and Sizes
Shoes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Leaders come in a variety of shapes and sizes. I do believe there is not one style of leadership or approach to leadership that is the perfect fit. We each have our distinct personalities with varying positions and circumstances, what fits one leader does not necessarily work for another. As with shoes, what works for one occasion may not work for another. Eleanor Roosevelt believed the best leader you can be, is to be yourself.
Leadership Her Way
In the book, Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way, author Robin Gerber shares Eleanor’s leadership traits,
- Be principled, demonstrate trust
- Values are the foundation of great leadership
- Follow your authentic instincts
- Challenge the status quo
- Be innovative and creative
- Cultivate your capacity for resilience
These leadership tips are not new to us. What is new (and unique) are Eleanor’s way of leading. She did not follow trends or fads. Eleanor stayed true to who she was, she was authentic and her ability to be real created trust and commitment among her followers. She was able to use her experiences to strengthen who she was as a leader. She was able to connect with those around her because of her ability to accept and connect with her past and present.
Created to Lead
As we celebrate National Women’s History Month, I hope you are inspired to step into your leadership roles serving intentionally and authentically.There’s no one created to lead as you were created to lead. Click To Tweet
“Somewhere along the line of development we discover what we really are, and then we make our real decision for which we are responsible. Make that decision primarily for yourself because you can never really live anyone else’s life, not even your child’s.” Eleanor Roosevelt, Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way
Eleanor was comfortable with who she was as a wife, mother, daughter, and leader. Her confidence led her to create a legacy for women leaders worldwide. Eleanor Roosevelt redefined leadership for women and for this she is truly worthy of recognition as we celebrate National Women’s History Month!
How’s your leadership? If it is uncomfortable, make a change. If your leadership style fits you well, wear it with courage, strength, and honor. Step out and step up!