Follow my lead

Hubby: Hey, I’m getting ready to call my parents
Me:  Everything OK?
Hubby: Yes . . . (pause)
Me: Look of concern
Hubby: Just follow my lead
Me: Immediate side eye

Follow my lead? Not this natural born leader #uhhsure. While the conversation went well with my in-laws (I think; smile mom!) I was a little anxious because who’s interested in being a follower? Squinched face.

If you’re human – then you add husband/wife and mother/father—you’re constantly leading in some shape, form, or fashion. Leading what’s for dinner, leading homework, leading at work to get that promotion, leading your family and friends down a better path, and finally leading yourself up to bed at the end of an exhausting day. Always leading.

When was the last time you actually followed someone? And why did you decide it was OK? You know you’ve been told otherwise.

From the time we enter the world to landing that first job and beyond, we’re supposed to L-E-A-D. “Be a leader”, “make sure you show leadership,” or “lead like a champ” have been ingrained into our hearts and heads forever.

But what if I don’t feel like leading? Can I sit down and follow? Yes, but with good reason and trust.  And it doesn’t mean your leadership card gets snatched away.

When you trust a person enough to follow, you’re setting aside your own beliefs and motives by allowing them to take over as pilot as you co-pilot. It’s perfectly fine in personal relationships, i.e. marriage, and professional relationships.

Yes, I gave side eye when I was told “follow my lead,” but knew my husband wasn’t going to lead me astray. I trust him.

And finally, as my mother-in-law has told me “following based on trust, love, and example is the only way to go.” I’ll leave that right there.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain . . .

Sun Taylor

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Purposeful living…in stilettos

As I get older, there are things I must understand.  Not everyone is going to like me. Nothing is perfect- not a job, not a friendship, not a house, not a spouse.  Nothing lasts forever- not possessions, not happiness, not life, nothing. Live on purpose and be intentional about your purpose in life. Pursue what you’re passionate about.

It was in 2010, while working for the state of Georgia, when I realized my purpose.  I worked in the most unprofessional, unproductive, and unethical environment ever; to say the least.  I almost felt as if I needed to lower my standards and compromise who I am in order to fit in. Learn the latest rap songs, come to work in my weekend attire, wear gym shoes, wait until I get to work to finish my hair, elect not to answer questions until I finish talking on the phone about the club and boyfriend problems, bash other women who looked great and was in leadership roles- you get the picture.

I was mentally and emotionally drained daily trying to figure out how can adult women, in a professional environment, conduct themselves like they are in a work release program. I was miserable, depressed, unproductive, and embarrassed by the place I called work and the people I called coworkers.

During this time, I was working on my PhD in Public Policy and Administration. I had only two classes to finish when God revealed my purpose- Leadership, Organizational and Professional Development. I made the decision to put my PhD on hold and obtain a second masters in Leadership and Organizational Development- crazy right? NO! God will cause discomfort in order for us to pursue his purpose for us.

I knew then that I wanted to start a Leadership and Professional Development Institute. I do believe in the saying, if people knew better, then they would do better. Sometimes we just need a road map and someone to show us the way without tearing us down in the process.

Leading in Stilettos, calls on women to practice purpose in all aspects of their lives and provides tools to show you how to do it with grace and elegance.  Leading in Stilettos also provides guidance on how to present a positive professional image in the workplace. This is my God driven purpose and I had to learn this through an non-conducive environment – and I’m thankful it happened this way.

That experience in 2010 taught me the importance of showing dignity, grace, and elegance no matter the circumstance. It truly defines what I always strive to represent and hope the women of Leading in Stilettos exemplify.  One thin g is certain – you are your brand so represent yourself well!

XOXO,
Natasha
IG @leadinginstilettos