Combing the internet for voices of and about powerful women, I was surprised at the socially recognized definition of a Powerful Woman. Powerful women appear in list form by their popularly recognized achievement or financial worth. Given that few of us are yet on that list, what does a budding Powerful Woman look like? How do you get there?
To say that an emerging Powerful Woman exhibits a high degree of control is too easy, and frankly, misleading. Controlling what is around us may just as well limit our world as expand it. How often do we recognize women who circle their wagons to protect what is theirs, living guarded in their small controlled worlds? No, control doesn't create a Powerful Woman.
The greatest indicator of latent, budding power is the talented wielding of choice. Choice is a responsible and accountable version of control. It is controlling with intent, direction, focus, and vision. Through choice, we take ownership of the consequences and benefits of our lives to this point, and our direction for tomorrow. Nothing happens to us, or follows, that doesn't provide the option for choice: a choice to grow, rise, or accelerate. While all of us are familiar with choosing, not all recognize how to take advantage of choice.
A startling secret is that a good choice is one that exponentially provides additional opportunities to choose. Powerful Women have caught on to this and are making the most of it.
An example in education occurs when teachers in training recognize that the standard Liberal Arts major will position them as one of thousand similarly situated. Forward-thinking women will add on the bilingual and special education degrees to increase their marketability. In law, graduates with Juris Doctorates that attach to an established resume in another field will find themselves significantly more employable than those whose credentials are limited to the legal profession. The mother raising her children who starts her own organic baby food business or takes online classes that prepare her to reenter the workplace with contemporary skill sets, is demonstrating the savvy of advance thinking. Examples of expansive thinking and opportunities for exponentializing choice exist in every facet of life.
The average woman evaluates only the first impact of choice. What options does this choice present for me today? Powerful Women consider secondary and tertiary impacts on the capacity to continue to choose. What options will this open for me tomorrow?