The Daunting Truth About Women’s Empowerment

Lao Tzu QuoteTrue empowerment comes from within each of us as individuals. It comes from giving power to ourselves by awakening what already lies within us.

I believe one of the most unsupportive beliefs about empowerment is that empowerment is given to us by other people; it implies we must wait for it to be given to us, or search for the right person to bestow it upon us. This mindset is actually disempowering as it places us at the mercy of others.

This has a very negative spiral effect. Most women don’t consciously see this happening, but when we wait for someone else to give us power, we then unwittingly find ourselves waiting for validation and acceptance and a sense of worthiness as well; because if we had all of this to begin with, we wouldn’t be waiting for anything.

The daunting truth is that I cannot give you power. No one can. I can give you a title or a position with implied authority, and I can give you permission to make certain decisions on my behalf. But if I give these to you then I am able to take them back, so it’s not actually power that I am giving. The power is mine all along.

To be powerful you have to choose to BE the power that already lies within you. This starts with seeing it within you, even if all you see is a tiny essence of it, and then allowing your power to awaken within you.

From there, you have to KNOW your power. This means not just seeing and acknowledging the power within you, but feeling it in every cell of your body. It shows itself in how you feel and know you are worthy of creating the life your soul desires for you, in how you are meant to make a difference in the world, in knowing that you matter just by being you – your truest self.

Because it is only through the BEing and the KNOWing that you can then ACT with power. This is when you choose to take action. This is when you choose to decide what you really want for you, and what is in the higher good of your Higher Self – the part of you that is loving, good, and kind, not angry or resentful or jealous or insecure or negative, and then you take action and go for it. This is when you choose to speak up and let your voice be heard, which is when you begin to influence and lead others.

What is it about this truth that is genuinely daunting? That it means ultimately each of us must take responsibility for our own empowerment, and this is not easy. It is so much easier to just tell ourselves we have to wait for someone else to give it to us. To take responsibility for our own empowerment means we have to go to work on what blocks us from BEing our power and KNOWing our power and ACTing our power: and that is fear.

Sometimes it’s fear of failure and sometimes it’s actually fear of success. Sometimes it’s fear about what others will say about us or do to us. Sometimes it’s just not seeing how we can possibly overcome the societal, cultural, economic and political roadblocks that are in our way globally as women.

And all of this fear is understandable. The fear within us builds up silently during the course of our lives, and the global roadblocks are real and often quite terrifying.

This is why I believe empowerment is a choice. When we choose to release the fear – to acknowledge it and work on moving through it and past it – we are taking the first step. This, alone, awakens the power within us, setting us on the path of BEing and KNOWing and ACTing the power that already lies within each of us, given to us by our Divine source.

Let’s choose to make 2015 the year we learn to empower ourselves. I’m ready. Are you?

~~~

Email me at [email protected] if you’d like to get to work on this vital issue in your organization in 2015, to begin making much-needed, credible inroads.

Photo is Lao Tzu Quote 3 by HartwigHKD.

Lao Tzu QuoteTrue empowerment comes from within each of us as individuals. It comes from giving power to ourselves by awakening what already lies within us.

I believe one of the most unsupportive beliefs about empowerment is that empowerment is given to us by other people; it implies we must wait for it to be given to us, or search for the right person to bestow it upon us. This mindset is actually disempowering as it places us at the mercy of others.

This has a very negative spiral effect. Most women don’t consciously see this happening, but when we wait for someone else to give us power, we then unwittingly find ourselves waiting for validation and acceptance and a sense of worthiness as well; because if we had all of this to begin with, we wouldn’t be waiting for anything.

The daunting truth is that I cannot give you power. No one can. I can give you a title or a position with implied authority, and I can give you permission to make certain decisions on my behalf. But if I give these to you then I am able to take them back, so it’s not actually power that I am giving. The power is mine all along.

To be powerful you have to choose to BE the power that already lies within you. This starts with seeing it within you, even if all you see is a tiny essence of it, and then allowing your power to awaken within you.

From there, you have to KNOW your power. This means not just seeing and acknowledging the power within you, but feeling it in every cell of your body. It shows itself in how you feel and know you are worthy of creating the life your soul desires for you, in how you are meant to make a difference in the world, in knowing that you matter just by being you – your truest self.

Because it is only through the BEing and the KNOWing that you can then ACT with power. This is when you choose to take action. This is when you choose to decide what you really want for you, and what is in the higher good of your Higher Self – the part of you that is loving, good, and kind, not angry or resentful or jealous or insecure or negative, and then you take action and go for it. This is when you choose to speak up and let your voice be heard, which is when you begin to influence and lead others.

What is it about this truth that is genuinely daunting? That it means ultimately each of us must take responsibility for our own empowerment, and this is not easy. It is so much easier to just tell ourselves we have to wait for someone else to give it to us. To take responsibility for our own empowerment means we have to go to work on what blocks us from BEing our power and KNOWing our power and ACTing our power: and that is fear.

Sometimes it’s fear of failure and sometimes it’s actually fear of success. Sometimes it’s fear about what others will say about us or do to us. Sometimes it’s just not seeing how we can possibly overcome the societal, cultural, economic and political roadblocks that are in our way globally as women.

And all of this fear is understandable. The fear within us builds up silently during the course of our lives, and the global roadblocks are real and often quite terrifying.

This is why I believe empowerment is a choice. When we choose to release the fear – to acknowledge it and work on moving through it and past it – we are taking the first step. This, alone, awakens the power within us, setting us on the path of BEing and KNOWing and ACTing the power that already lies within each of us, given to us by our Divine source.

Let’s choose to make 2015 the year we learn to empower ourselves. I’m ready. Are you?

~~~

Email me at [email protected] if you’d like to go to work on this in your organization in 2015.

Photo is Lao Tzu Quote 3 by HartwigHKD.

Thank you, Vanda Teixeira, for sharing your wisdom and knowledge with me, helping me to learn these lessons for myself.

http://www.lisapetrilli.com/2014/12/11/the-daunting-truth-about-womens-empowerment/

The Key to Winning in Global Markets

Winning Global MarketsAs a Kellogg Graduate School of Management alumnus, it was a true honor to receive a copy of the most recent book by Philip Kotler, our prestigious S.C. Johnson and Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing. Co-authored by Milton Kotler, “Winning Global Markets” lays out the case that, “The destiny of the economic world today is in the hands of the interplay between global MNCs (multi-national corporations) and global cities.”

The book does a very effective job at proving this claim.

Replete with global examples, the authors clearly show how “an inversion is taking place between the role of the nation and the role of its cities.” They create a compelling case that it is the multi-national corporation that has the power to create wealth for a city and to drastically change its cultural and civic landscape, and global cities that are more attractive economically than their countries as a whole. “Mid-size and large cities in developing countries generally have a growth rate exceeding that of their host countries,” say the authors, and “top cities have grown faster in GDP than the rate of their country’s GDP growth. Major cities are the source of a nation’s wealth, not the other way around.”

FOR MARKETERS

Thus, for marketers, this book turns on its head the current approach for determining where to expand globally for the greatest gain. Until now, the practice has been to consider which regions in which to expand, and then narrow it down to countries, only to select a city toward the end of the process after much negotiation with national government officials. The authors call this practice ‘out-of-date,’ asserting, “Business and marketing organizations have to overcome decades of thinking that global market expansion has to proceed at a global regional level and a country level…The strategic tendency of company marketers is to investigate opportunities at a national level and do business at a centralized government level. We call this the diplomatic route and it is out of date. Economic growth is not happening at the national level. Company marketers have to shift their focus to global city growth, and they must mine city region-level economic data for company growth opportunities.”

The book presents a clear process for doing this, along with concrete examples of companies that are successfully targeting global cities based on specific industry and supply needs.

FOR CITIES

On the flip-side, the book recognizes the imperative for cities to be exceptional marketers in their own right, attracting the right MNCs to their cities to fuel growth and wealth. “The presence of large global companies and their affiliates determines the wealth of cities and the well-being of their citizens. MNC’s have been the greatest cause of growing the middle classes of global cities.”

Just as marketers need to transform their old belief systems about how to approach the globalization process, so too do cities need to rethink their strategy of economic growth: “Conventional city economic planning emphasizes support for existing local small businesses and generation of new small business start-ups…For city economies to grow to global-city status, they have to attract mid sized and large MNC company headquarters and their business divisions. Support for small business is important, but it will not make a city great.”

The book then goes on to outline exactly how cities should be marketing themselves to compete for MNCs, and how nations can help their city economies.

I highly recommend this book for every marketer tasked with global strategy decisions, at all levels of a corporation, and every government official interested in enabling their city or country to truly thrive in the new global economy. The rules have changed. As Kotler and Kotler deftly show, to win global markets you have to keep up.