By Angela Hucles
2018 Women’s Leadership Conference Main Stage Keynote Speaker
I recently gave the keynote address at the Nichols College Empowering Women in Business Conference and also spoke to the student-athletes on campus. It was a wonderful experience to be in an environment that focuses on preparing students for the real world by giving them practical opportunities to develop skills for success. It was also a very warm and welcoming tight-knit community that focuses on leadership and empowerment, so I felt right at home and like it was a little slice of heaven.
In the speech, one of the points I spoke about that really ties into leadership, is this concept of “being you.” I believe being who you are, truly, is the pathway to living a mindful and authentic life. It seems like a simple concept, but many of us struggle through life living authentically, being true to who we are, because of fear of what people may think of us, not being comfortable with certain aspects that make up who we are, as well as a variety of other reasons.
One of the reasons “being you” can be a challenge is because we are constantly growing and evolving as people, learning new ideas and concepts. But we all have core foundational elements that make up who we are and that’s what we should always stay true to. When we are able to uniquely express who we are and not stray from that expression, we’re able to feel more confident, live more freely, and be more effective in what we’re trying to accomplish.
An example of this that I like to give is how a core part of who I am is an introvert. My leadership style looks very different than what we typically see in the movies or television when it comes to leaders. The stereotypical leader is more extroverted, more vocal, louder in groups, and has a very commanding presence oftentimes. That’s not me, not who I am or how my leadership is displayed. For a long time I didn’t think that I could be a leader because my style wasn’t what we typically see or talk about. Once I was able to understand and be ok with my introverted style, I could be more comfortable in my leadership roles, realizing that I am just as effective a leader, just go about it in a different way. That it’s still valuable and by expressing my own unique style I could be better for myself, and be better for others.
What are your unique qualities? Have you discovered who you truly are and are you bringing that forth into this world? Who you are is special because you were born and are here, and bringing your skills and talents into your teams, work or social environments creates a better individual and better group of people!