By Natasha Mudhar
2017 is an exciting period to live in. We have had a phenomenal run over the past few years, bringing in leaps and bounds of innovation, entrepreneurship, and socio-cultural development that have culminated in the awakening of the society. Every single individual is being encouraged to pursue his or her passion; and there has been a paradigm shift in the perception and priorities of life. While I usher in this notion of positivity, there is equally a measure of warning that there are acts which threaten to reverse the years of work in cultivating a society of free and liberal thinkers propagating for gender equality.
Year on year, International Women’s Day has been set aside as a clarion call to recognise the work we have ahead for building a world where men and women are defined not by their gender but recognised as binaries – two uniquely distinct but equal entities roaming the face of this earth, and in some cases shooting for the stars. The focus of International Women’s Day 2017 cannot be more relevant – the theme of this year being ‘Be Bold for Change’. Through purposeful collaboration, we can help women advance and unleash the limitless potential offered to economies the world over.
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Here are 10 tips for making it to the top, and breaking boundaries on your way to achieve your goals!
#1 Be Bold: This is probably easier said than done. In most cases it is not the axiomatic act of bravery but the unapologetic confidence to take a firm stance for what you believe in, be it good or bad. Give back to that misogyny!
#2 Be Persistent: Never stop when you know what you have is right. This is one of the key differentials that not only shows that you are a fighter, but also enables you to be noticed as someone who will give everything you have. This is the quality of a true leader.
#3 Be Experimental: Innovation is one of the USPs which defines the best from the rest. Take time from your monotonous routine to experiment – be it a better way to do things, or craft a new system. Organisations highly regard initiative, and appreciate a worthy contribution.
#4 Respect your opinion: This is the secret to your confidence. Forget what others have to say, it is okay to respectfully disagree or decline, and put your opinion forward. Sometimes your intuition and opinion are strong for a reason.
#5 Ideate, innovate!: All ideas are great ideas. There is something you can connect from one that will lead you to another. Organisations seek innovation to perform better, and your valuable ideas and innovation can be the game changer.
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#7 Be a challenger: The best yardstick you can have is yourself. However, that does not mean you don’t put up your best against the rest. Amicable competition not enables you to showcase your best skills, but also drives the organisation forward with it.
#8 Don’t be afraid to start over: Sometimes you might have worked hard on a project, and it may be demoralising when you hit a dead-end. But when you know there is no point going forward, it is completely okay to not waste your time on something which does not have substance, and instead channel your energy towards something different. You would need that once in a while.
#9 Break that glass ceiling: The glass probably now sounds bullet proof as we have been saying this for many years now. However, that being said, the whole concept of a glass ceiling is that women can only see prestigious career positions, but can never access it. To shatter this proverbial ceiling, be vocal and make a noise. Get yourself heard, and let your aspiration known. That’s the only way you can reach where you want to.
#10 Be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons: This has always been an inspirational reference point for me personally. The world needs some colour and contrast than the current school of thought that is being administered across. A spark of change and a hint of fizz would be the pink in a sea of grey. Leaders are different, and that’s what makes it interesting.
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Finally, the most import thing is to embrace your personality. As Judy Garland once said, ‘Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else’. You being yourself is what will take you where you want to go, and as always be bold for the change.
(The author is CEO & MD, Sterling Media, a globally-renowned business and communications consultancy)