The Center for Creative Leadership’s (CCL) report “Women Give Luck Credit for Their Success-Should They?” is an invitation to all leaders, men and women, to consider how to speak about our successes. The article resonated with me as I remember saying during one chapter of my career…”It was all about good timing, I was in the right place at the right time”. Good luck or was it Good Agency?
In the CCL report, they write, “In our analysis, women reportedly felt “lucky” that they were surrounded by a good team, had attention from their supervisors, and had access to opportunities, for example. In fact, it was almost as likely for a woman to chalk up her success to luck as it was for her to say that she worked hard for it.
Women leaders need to reframe the way they think, vocalize their contributions and work success, and stop subconsciously sabotaging their hard work. Where does this power dynamic come from, and how can women change it?”
What is “gaining agency”? An indicator of agency is a women intentionally claiming her strengths and pointing them towards goals. AND, claiming her success based on that strategy. She feels empowered to set her path. Men and women with agency have the ability to analyze their choices and act on those choices. Agency means activating your strengths and strategically moving towards a goal. Agency is often about good collaboration.
Creating a network and understanding gender dynamics is part of claiming your agency. Women who lift each other up through strong networks are more likely to claim their success came from good agency rather than good luck. Men and women who understand gender dynamics are also better able to navigate through barriers and see opportunities. Is luck involved in being a leader? Perhaps, but studies show that empowerment is linked to agency.
The West Marin Fund in Point Reyes Station, CA launched a Women and Girls Empowerment grant in January 2019. West Marin Senior Services, Papermill Creek Children’s Corner, CLAM (Community Land Trust Association), Point Reyes National Seashore Association(PRNSA) and many others received funds to create agency for women in West Marin.
Today the Point Reyes National Park and PRNSA women leaders will attend their first workshop on leveraging their strengths. I’m honored to facilitate the trainings and coaching sessions for these amazing women over the next four months.
Lucky me, I get to work in a place I love. However, it’s good agency that I networked to connect with a community of women who advocate for public lands, conservation education, and collaboration.
What’s one step you can take this week to create agency?