I Am a Woman and I Am in Leadership!

One of the topics we are studying this semester is biasness. Our debate is on whether we make decisions based on what we know or what we don’t know; our biasness. As a leader, is being biased good or bad? There are three reasons why someone would be biased towards me. I’m black, I’m a woman, and I’m young. Some would say thirty isn’t young, but in the corporate world, a thirty-year-old lacks experience, toughness, and direction.

In my past careers, I was in the Marine Corps. At a time in my career, I was a platoon leader of forty-seven Marines. Three females and forty-two males. After the military, I was CEO of a business consulting firm with six locations in four cities. Now, I am the Assistant General Manager of a fitness franchise and will soon move into the Operations Manager position. The toughest challenge in all positions is being considered “emotional” when I express how I feel. I’m often asked, “Is this an emotional decision,” when I give feedback or pitch an idea. I’m looked at as the “black woman” if I show any form of aggression. When I mention anything lifestyle related to my older superiors, it’s considered “a young thing.”

Here are four keys to overcoming biasness in the workplace.

  1. Know your talents and skills. Find your niche.

My niche is business. Many of us discover our talents at a young age. I’ve always known I would be a successful businesswoman. I studied successful entrepreneurs like Oprah and Bill Gates. I read Forbes magazine religiously. I discovered I was good at business when I created Bird’s Basketball Tournament. It was the beginning of MJ’s Be YOU LLC. I hosted my first event on April 7th, 2007 while I was a senior in high school. It was a 5 on 5 basketball tournament. The winning team received a trophy and a cash prize. The event was open to the community. Friends, family, and classmates participated. My principle, a few of my teachers, basketball coaches, and teammates also participated. I did the marketing, fundraising, advertising, and organization for the event. It was a successful event. That was the day I discovered my talent and learned of my many skills. I was a businesswoman.

2. Know who and what you want to be in the future.

Believe it or not, I didn’t get anything I wanted in my twenties. I created an entire life plan for my twenties. The things that actually happened to me in my twenties were the total opposite of what I had planned. However, I did accomplish my career goals. I made decisions based on what I needed to do to accomplish the goals I had set for my life. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. There are so many lessons I learned from it all, but most importantly, I discovered who I am as a person and who I wanted to be in my thirties.

3. Understand that where you are right now doesn’t determine who you’ll become.

Social media will have you feeling like you are behind. It’ll also make you feel like you are a failure. You should never compete with others. Basing your timeline on someone else’s will only distract you. There are many success stories that started with no money, in poverty, and lack of support. Moral of the story; they made it.

4. Some things are inevitable, but that’s life.

Guess what? Things happen and there is nothing you can do about it. It’s called life. You lose money, fail at something, go through a breakup, or get fired. It happens. Yes, it sucks and you wonder “why me.”Earlier, I mentioned I didn’t get anything I wanted in my twenties, but I reached my goals. Just because it happened to you, doesn’t mean you can’t become who or what you want to be.

Here are 10 ways to limit your distractions

  • Have a positive circle of friends, family, and supporters.
  • Reflect and meditate.
  • Stick to your routine.
  • Pray
  • Celebrate and reward the small things.
  • Forgive and move on.
  • Be humble and patient.
  • Don’t try to control everything BECAUSE you can’t.
  • Don’t judge, be nice.
  • Focus on one thing at a time.

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