This quote from Leonardo da Vinci got me thinking last week. “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough: we must do.” I work with a range of people from business owners to Senior executive teams and there is definitely a pattern of those who are totally committed to make a difference and are ready to do what it takes to shift their stuff. Then there are those who know the theory, they know exactly how they behave, why and even how it shapes and influences their decisions. However it’s the distinct lack of action in this case that results in little urgency to do much at all. One thing is common though. Everyone is willing to make changes but when it gets tough as all change is, people drop off the wagon. The urgency and passion to complete the work is not there. The last 10% is the difference between success and failure.
Let’s take the women in leadership topic. Everyone knows that there needs to be more women in executive roles, on boards and part of speaking panels. We know we need to attract and retain women in the workplace and promote similar skills on merit and equal pay scales. There has been significant government investment in this very topic for the past 5 years. It’s on every CEO’s mind, it’s in the media. It’s on every social media platform. Unconscious bias is the new black. The question that is asked is ” How do I tackle this problem?” Making the wrong choice or decision can result in bad publicity. Doing nothing sometimes seems to be the easiest option.
Here’s my stance. We know it. We talk around and about the topic frequently but the numbers are not improving. 16 % of women are in senior leadership roles in the corporate sector versus 47% in the public sector. Why are we not seeing more action? It’s a huge topic. A number of my colleagues are in leadership roles. They are all smart women. So why do they stay in these roles and others don’t want to get on the leadership path? I believe individual mindset plays a huge part in this topic. Whatever you think is what you action. It’s that simple. If you believe you can, you will. If you don’t believe you can, it’s likely you won’t achieve unless you adopt some mindset strategies that switch off your default belief setting. It’s not a woman’s problem. I don’t believe in glass ceilings because the very nature of the words place restrictions, limitations and barriers that you can’t push through the glass and you are left with a face up to the glass watching others play nicely on the other side. Men and women process information differently. This can become apparent when senior leadership meetings take place. What needs to be achieved and how the information is filtered discussed and agreed on becomes the focus. I have sat in many meetings where the focus was on individual opinion and ego versus an outcome based conversation and an appreciation of not doing the right thing becomes the norm.
da Vinci is quite right. The urgency of doing is imperative. We know enough. We are willing to make change happen. The gap is in taking action to make the individual and collective changes happen. NOW. I am so passionate about this topic that I am running MORE. more women, more leadership summit on Friday 28th July in Auckland. It is one day all about less angsting and more action. Find out more information here. Surely it now has to all be about action.