I’d like you to take a moment and recognize that when new opportunities cross our path, there can be moments when our initial gut instinct is that we CAN’T DO IT. If you took a man and woman and offered them the same opportunity for promotion, where both of them are only 60% ready for the new role, more often than not the man will jump on it, while the woman (yep you guessed it) will second guess herself and opt out, feeling she needs more time to be closer to the 100% perfection mark.
If this scenario sounds familiar or you are considering a move upward, my purpose in life is to remind you that you don’t need to be 100% ready. In fact I’m here to assure you that being 60% ready, is just fine to go ahead and grab that promotion because YOU ARE READY to fill that role.
Fake it, until you make it
simply means that you have gathered enough experience knowing that function you have been in and have a clear picture on how things should be run. This also means that you know how to navigate “the system” inside your company and if you don’t know all the answers, it’s ok! You will find the right people who do, educate yourself or find a mentor quickly to steer you in the right direction. At this stage in your career, you are smart enough to hire people who are expert in the details. You are not actually faking anything or being inauthentic. You have enough wisdom, have failed enough times with enough lessons learned under your belt that you are definitely ready. You have the drive and the ambition and if you know how to do that job, you will (not if) find people who can help you.
Now, let’s talk about what you should never say.
Never say, you are not sure if you are ready to fill a more senior role offered to you.
Instead, say what you CAN DO. Pull out all of your bench strengths from your hip pocket. You are ready to take on the next challenge because that’s exactly what it is. Slipping into new shoes, but guess what? Someone obviously thought you had the gusto to fill that position. I want you to take a step back and list all of the reasons why you are ready to fill that position. You walk in there and remind them of all the reasons why they made the right decision asking you in the first place.
Next, have a leadership plan ready. What things will you fix? How will things be run under your command? What legacy processes should be chucked? What will you put in their place? Recognize that you have been in that function long enough to know what new processes should be put in place. That’s the very reason why you have been given this opportunity in the first place, because
you have already demonstrated leadership qualities.
You have already earned your seat at the table and have one foot in the door and guess what? Behind that door is another door. Beyond that door is another one and another. As women, we often feel like we need to know the whole picture. You don’t need to know the whole journey which will take you there, but you do need to recognize that this is a very real opportunity and you don’t want to fall trap to talking yourself out of it, because you feel you are not ready.
Now repeat after me. YOU ARE READY to slip into a new pair of shoes and even if you’re not, FAKE it until you MAKE it. You have enough wisdom, experience and resourcefulness to run with it and shine.
With love and lots of gutsiness,