I was not born as a radiant leader. Early in my life my grandmother and my mother (my female lineage) recognised the leadership in me: Being the eldest of three kids I was the leader of the tribe – and I needed to become an intelligent leader in my tribe as my two younger silbling are brothers with a strong will, too.
The rest of the world experienced me as a shy girl, an introvert, happy to be alone in the company of a good book. At school I didn’t belong to the “cool clique”, I felt mobbed and frozen out. I learned to be enough with myself. I learned to remain true to myself, not living a lie, just to fit in, but to stay with my truth – although at that time I was not in the position to name it that self-confident way.
During my late teenage years I worked as tutoress. I realized that teaching the content of Latin and maths as well as doing homeworks with the kids was only a minor part of my success. I supported my pupils to build up an inner leadership (concentration, dedication, awareness, organisation, …) which became the foundation for their greater ability to perform at tests.
After difficult teenage years life became easier at university. Only 12 % of the students at Technical Physics were female. So each woman had a tribe of male friends around her. 😉 I realized only later how much I influenced them just by being me in this tribe of mine. I became the trusted member that was chosen to hear life challenges and to be asked for advice.
In my times as a senior student I started to teach tutorials in Mathematical Methods of Theoretical Physics once a week. Standing in front of a huge (mainly male) group of students was – surprisingly – such an easy task for the former shy girl. The main medicine (from my point of view) was the message: “Hey, folks, it’s doable!” I strengthened their confidence by taking away the “heavy sensation” that so often comes with the term alone: Mathematical Methods of Theoretical Physics. 😉
To write my PhD I spend 3 years at CERN and found myself working in the students’ office at Theory Division. I guess you can imagine that most of the time I was the only female student which put me again in a “special” position. Naturally I was in a trusted leadership position – not so much in the field of physics! 😉 – but in all matters of life aside of theoretical physics.
With three other students we founded UNTG club – where UNTG stands for Upstairs Not Too Good! 😉 Our common denominator was that we were able to be happy and smiling despite all worries about PhDs, fellowships, and grades. My dear friend Adrian stated one of the main rules in the club: “Trust Uli!” 😉
Well, my time in science came to an end, I changed into the field of business, banking to be straight. I was assigned with the function of a quant – you know, those nerds behind the computer, doing strange calculations that nobody else understands… But soon I found myself in the de-facto position of a project manager, taking a firm stand to implement the result of my computations into a banking software. I had an integrating function – the trusted person all stakeholders could talk to. I was the hub in the middle, reaffirming everybody that they are understood.
Again I changed my job, this time I entered a business consulting company that was currently establishing a new business branch. I didn’t lead the group, instead I brought in my medicine of being able to talk to (and in front of) board members – and to understand their needs and intentions.
My first child interrupted that career and initiated me into a new form of leadership: conscious evolutionary mothering / parenting. Later in my life two more children would join the tribe challenging me to become clearer and clearer on my values, my vision, my motives, my beliefs, and my boundaries. Taking a strong stand against violence and competition (in games, movies, relationships) and for benevolent cooperation was and is a learning-by-doing bootcamp in inner and outer leadership. Managing the physical, psychological, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of our family is a rewarding, yet challenging experience of leadership! 😉
After the birth of my first son I was initiated into the field of politics. In Austria’s Green party I found a fertile soil for my wish to become part of the solution – and a fertile soil for women to quickly grow into leadership positions. For years I was the chair woman of my party in the local government. What I learned about leadership at that time would fill books! 😉 Let me mention the importance of appropriate communication channels and of mission statements.
After the birth of my second child, my only daughter, I founded my company, weripower. Being self-employed offers me a huge pack of possibilities (freedom, flexibility, following my heart…) as well as a huge pack of responsability (finance, planning, marketing, …). weripower has been an area of growth ever since I founded it! 😉
As a coach I am a compassionate leader through the coaching process, holding a safe space for the coachees to explore their inner realms. As a teacher of workshops and a facilitator of groups I emphasize benevolence and cooperation. The safe space is crucial for group processes – it’s my job to be present with my core values holding the bigger vision for the group.
By a natural process of growth I became the trusted coach and trainer of leaders: entrepreneurs, directors, senior managers. This is the point where I realized how much leadership is in all of us who take a public stand for their core values, who want to be part of the solution, who want to make a difference in the world.
My research in the field of leadership leaves me with the realization that there is a common path to Feminin Evolutionary Leadership:
- initiation – the soul’s wakeup call
- inner leadership – how to manage myself, how to root myself in my inner truth
- purpose – why am I here, dharma, vocation
- outer leadership – how to inspire action, how to hold a safe space for a team
Moreover I found 9 feminine archetypes showing us the way into Feminin Evolutionary Leadership. But this is a different story for a new article! 😉 If you speak / read German, I am happy to introduce you to those qualities in my article and workshop curriculum!