Given that Dion talks about what it means to “thrive” in her session, Love Your Difference!, from the Global Women's Leadership Summit, I felt compelled to listen to what she had to say.
Dion, Executive Coach and Founder of Radically Authentic Women, was born with a prominent eye disfigurement and spent most of her life masking her facial flaw with a glass eye and dark glasses. Then at the age of 42, she decided to take off her “mask” and show the world her true and authentic self. Facing the world without covering up and not hiding anymore, was a transformative experience. She is now on a mission to help women lead as their true selves and teach them how to “thrive.”
Thriving has to be intentional
While most women have not had to deal with a facial disfigurement as prominent as Dion’s, most have had to overcome personal and professional obstacles. Yet women, especially those over 40, have so much wisdom to offer, gained through trials, tribulations and the life experiences they’ve gone through. Therefore, many can offer unique and invaluable insights, but first they have to be intentional about thriving. As Dion noted, “When we thrive we increase our impact and we have more influence. This is especially important for female Sr. leaders.”
“Mask to Unmask”
The first thing Dion noticed when she removed her “mask,” is that people responded differently. As she shared her story of “mask to unmask,” she realized that most women tend to cover up what they think are their flaws. She saw that they were hiding and putting on a performance. But there is a detriment to hiding, especially for Sr. leaders. Dion said the key to “unmasking,” is to, “focus on who you really are and how to show up for real.”
“Radical authenticity is the key to unlocking your true potential.”
Radical authenticity is the key to unlocking your true potential. To become radically authentic, you need to be intentional about thriving and commit to these four steps:
1 – Close the authenticity gap – Close the gap between who you are and who you show up as. Examine what you want, what you care about and what really motivates you, versus the reality and then work on closing that gap.
2 – Show Up. Speak Up. Step Up.
Learn to express yourself, what you really need and what’s concerning you.
3 – Meaningful Missions
In order to thrive deal with those missions that grab your heart. Courageously embrace problems to bring about change that will make a real difference
4 – Be Supported and Led
Women are reluctant to get the help they need and feel they have to do it all by themselves, but we’re not designed to lead/be alone, we’re designed for community. Accepting support is a key ingredient to thriving.
To sum it all up, “When we THRIVE, everyone benefits.”