An amazing woman that I managed 11+ years ago recently reached out to me on Facebook. Now a business executive in her own right, she quipped “You were the first person who created an opportunity for me to WIN. You are my GOOD WITCH. I wish I could work for you again”. Another former employee chimed in, and then another. Soon it was a coven of women.
That feedback is radically different from the woman in business that I used to be. I was a total Bitch.
In the beginning of my career in a male-dominated field, I struggled with how to get things done while still being nice. I didn’t understand that I could create power, instead I thought I had to take it from others. I tried so many tactics that were not effective, including: snarky email banter, acting sexy, working against other women, throwing people under the bus, escalating issues, and repressing my anger.
Despite these tactics, my career and ability to navigate business paradigms started to gather momentum. I found myself getting promoted, and eventually the added responsibility of having other people reporting to me. I was rewarded because I was able to create results, but it was at the expense of others.
Even though I was getting external confirmation; I was struggling. I felt out of control. I hated my Bitch.
Are you a Bitch?
Let’s get some definition and context. Here is my definition of a Bitch. Feel free to check all that apply:
– Works against others, hurts people, and feelings intentionally.
– Throws other people under the bus, in thought or in action.
– Holds people down, vs lifting them up.
– Tongue lash, pout, use, manipulate or leverage to get what you want.
That’s my worst self. In contrast, the woman that my employees want to work for again is a different presentation of power.
My best self is when I am being a Good Witch. Defined as:
– Uses power to create opportunity for others.
– Provides cover to those who are not as powerful.
– Creating magic by doing positive things that are unexpected.
– Seeing that others have what it takes and helping them get there.
The Good Witch in the Wizard of Oz is a great archetype for this type of leadership. Dorothy had the power within her all along by clicking her fabulous shoes together, but until someone cared enough to tell her; she was stuck.
Think about it. When was the last time someone did that for you? How excited did you feel when it happened? Almost like something magical. And what about doing it for someone else? How good and powerful would you feel to be that kind of magic for somebody else? Show them the power within and what they are capable of.
This understanding and playing this level of Witch did not come easily for me. I played a mean game of Bitch, and I played it to win at any cost. There are some relationships that won’t ever by whole as a result.
So how does this happen, and how to make that transformation between Bitch to Witch?
As a woman, and with women; power has often felt male to me. While I had successful women in my family to look up to, I didn’t get a manual of how to be successful from an emotional intelligence perspective. Meaning, yes, could I get to the top? Definitely. But at what emotional cost to myself and others?
Here is what I have learned about it. Listen closely, here is the magic. Ready?
It’s a ‘DO’ + ‘BE’.
You can DO all of the right things, take massive action, work your fucking ass off, and yes – you can get to the top. But what was your BE as you got there. How did you show up? Kind, supportive, fun, playful? Or something else? These are all “BE” that paired with the “DO” will create your result.
Not only was this struggle to find my leadership style painful to me, but it was also hard on those around me who were watching the multiple levels of awkward, all-out failure.
It’s not like my girlfriends had the answers. We were all seeking to find the balance within, and this expression of balance in work.
Eventually I did leave the Bitch behind, and slowly learned how to have a BE that could be effective in business and make people feel good and powerful in their own right.
The answer was so simple. I just had to find the bravery to take each successive step away from the Bitch, and towards being a Good Witch.
So now, let me ask you again….with a twist.
Are you ready to trade in being a Bitch for being a Good Witch?
I’m going to give you the option to take that leap, and sign-up for my Good Witches in Business list.
If you want to choose a different BE, you can BE positive in business and create massive results.