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Embracing Your Inner Warrior: Unleash Your Leadership Potential

Embracing Your Inner Warrior: Unleash Your Leadership Potential

By Jenn Donahue
August 9, 2023

Do you sense a warrior spirit kindling within you? A warrior is not merely a figure from ancient battles; it’s a mindset that champions what’s right and just in the world. Defining a warrior involves specific qualities and a unique outlook.

Within every warrior beats a heart that recognizes its strengths and wields its power. Courage guides them even when fear tugs at their resolve. A warrior stands firm not just for themselves but also for others, advocating for their voices to be heard and their success to flourish. If you sense the warrior within, it’s time to embrace your strength, unlocking your true warrior potential to meet the world’s challenges head-on.

However, starting this transformative journey might be daunting. Here are three actionable paths that can lead you to become a formidable warrior within your workplace.

1) Tackle Triggers: Strategies for Growth

We all have situations and environments where we feel uncomfortable or out of place. The trick is to have strategies and practices in place that help you to overcome these challenges instead of accepting that you just aren’t good enough or really are out of place.

For example, I am shy. Whenever I am in a room with a bunch of people I don’t know, I immediately want to slide up against the wall, sip my drink, and watch everyone else interact with each other.
I used to think there was something wrong with me for wanting to do this. Now I understand it just simply isn’t one of my strengths to be outgoing. I am not an extroverted leader. I am an empathetic, genuine, and authentic leader. And so, I have to figure out how to navigate uncomfortable situations while staying true to who I am.

This is where finding the strategies that work for you are important. I consistently practice and work on strategies that help me get off the wall and connect with people. Having strategies around your triggers helps you to feel confident in any situation and still be that warrior you know you are.

When I know what makes me uncomfortable and I come up with a way to overcome it, that’s when my inner warrior shines. That’s when I inspire others to do the same. That’s when we start changing the world and the workplace little by little.

2) Use courage to take it one step further

Warriors are notorious for going one step further.

I talked about how I’m able to get off the wall. That’s courageous. But how can I take it one step further and do just one more thing?

Maybe as I’m interacting with others, I also see someone being spoken to rudely or being diminished for who they are. And maybe that one next step I can take right then and there is standing up for that person. Maybe I can use my assertive, calm, and authoritative leadership style to let the person know that it is not okay to speak to the other person in that way.

That is being a warrior.

Warriors know that taking one more action is what inspires change, creates positive momentum, and forces others to confront something that likely needs to be looked at. Being afraid to take it one step further is okay. But if you’re a warrior, you’ll do it anyway.

Whether it’s standing up for workplace bullying, speaking up for the little guy, or speaking up for yourself, the warrior always finds the courage to take one more step.

When you can do this, that’s what separates you from everyone else.

3) Don’t Give Up, Don’t Quit, Ever

This is a big one. Similar to taking it one step further, warriors don’t give up… EVER! Warriors know their purpose, are fueled by their passion, and know they have a mission to complete. They won’t stop until the goal has been met, equality has been achieved, or justice has been served.

We all have those days where we think, “I just can’t go on any further. It’s too overwhelming. It’s too hard. Maybe I’ll just go back to bed.”

Even in the face of feeling like you aren’t good enough or can’t continue, warriors know not to give up.

If you don’t love what you do and need to make a change, that’s different. But if you’re thinking about quitting just because you think you aren’t good enough, then you aren’t becoming a warrior.

Warriors don’t give up on what they love! They may need to pivot, backtrack, or reassess.  Warriors do what it takes to push through to the other side and see the mission through.

Whether it’s sticking to your career during the rough seasons, standing up to your boss so that you can create a safer workplace for everyone, or building a world-changing bridge over the Euphrates River (like I did), warriors are there until the end, even if they are the last one standing.

To become a warrior, you must put on your suit of courage each day and go out into the world. Don’t give up, find your inner authentic power, and change the world one step at a time.

Unleash the Warrior Collective

Our world thirsts for more warriors – individuals unafraid to address issues and translate words into action. Warriors are not confined to the battlefield; they are a force in any domain, including the workplace.

Being a workplace warrior entails confidently advocating for your contributions, supporting the marginalized, and leading with authenticity. Some have already honed these qualities, while others are on the path of self-discovery. Together, we cultivate a community of warriors, each nurturing growth and change.

Remember, warriors don’t act alone; they form armies that shape history. Unite with fellow warriors, transcending challenges and crafting a brighter, more empowered future. Through collective effort, these warrior armies can indeed change the world.

Jenn Donahue, PhD is a retired US Navy Captain and former Commodore for an 1,800 personnel Regiment. She is also an engineer who works on large-scale, high-profile projects. Over her 27-year military career, Jenn has built a bridge across the Euphrates River in the midst of the Iraq War, commanded an 800-personnel battalion in Afghanistan, and constructed combat outposts in the middle of deserts filled with insurgents. Along the way, she mentored scores of young leaders. Jenn founded JL Donahue Engineering, Inc. and Dare to Rise. She also lectures at UC Berkeley and UCLA.

Jenn Donahue is a presenter at this year’s IPM Day 2023! Check out her presentation details here.

Disclaimer: The ideas, views, and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of International Institute for Learning or any entities they represent.

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