The commencing of the New Year brings along a heap of traditional New Year resolutions to choose from. There are always the usual self-improvement goals that outrank the rest; from weight loss to financial success to family planning and more. However, this year I’m proposing that we women (and men, too) take a few minutes (at least 30 each week, to be exact) to shift focus away from our own goals. I’m suggesting that we focus instead on supporting the goals of someone else.

I’m talking about being supportive to women in the workplace, a concept that is easy enough to grasp yet doesn’t seem to have been fully realized in 2016. At the end of last year, Pop artist / entertainer Madonna was proclaimed Woman of the Year at the Billboard Women In Music event (view her full speech here). During the award presentation, her talk about gender equality and feminism was, in my opinion, the pinnacle of the evening.

Perhaps most notable was the moment during that speech where Madonna advised women to “seek out strong women to befriend, to align yourself with, to learn from, to collaborate with, to be inspired by, to support, and enlightened by.” 

Hopefully, you’ve allowed yourself to find a mentor, to take support from other women who offer it and to be inspired by the successes of the women around you. These will all benefit you and your future. But, don’t overlook the value in setting aside 30 minutes each week to support another woman. Ask yourself, “What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?” In the end, our own success is only magnified by the success of others.

Here are a few simple actions you can take in 2017 to contribute to the evolution of another woman. These can be extremely transformative and are very easy to execute:

  • Ask other women about their goals and how you can support them.
  • Invite other women to organizations or events that would help them develop.
  • Organize events, lunches or happy hours to share information and ideas.
  • Make critical introductions. Be a resource to those who are in the early stages of their career.
  • Share valuable information. Sometimes the learning curve can be steep. Find teachable moments to help others develop professionally.
  • Acknowledge others. Whether it’s in a meeting, a recommendation on LinkedIn or a simple email to their boss, help others get recognized.
  • Nominate someone for an award. It doesn’t cost you anything other than a bit of time to nominate someone for an award and the recognition can be valuable.
  • Encourage others. Sometimes simply being a sounding board and cheerleader is a valuable role when someone is struggling. Offer your support by simply listening.

Take a moment to reflect on the type of legacy you want to create. Ask yourself these questions as you head into the New Year:

  1. Do you have a clear understanding of the purpose and vision of your career?
  2. How are you going to work better in partnership with men and women in the workplace?
  3. What is the legacy you want to leave behind?

True evolution demands that we impact the world and reach beyond ourselves to shape the future of others. It’s never too soon to start sharing your knowledge, providing support, and leading others towards their own evolution. If you would like to learn more about owning your evolution, join me during one of my upcoming webinars.

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