Power Tool #3: Use What You’ve Got

In No Excuses, I share a dream I had one night. I was in my out of control speeding car, and I couldn’t stop it. I slowly realized the keys to the car were in my hand, and they had been all along.

You don’t have to sit in the shrink’s office to figure out the metaphor in that dream! Have you ever had a similar experience?

To be able to use power, the first thing you’ve got to do is realize that you have it. I’ve found in personal life and in meeting challenges at work that what you need is usually there if you can only see it and have the courage to use it.

Here are just a few examples women shared with me about how to use what you’ve got:

• Know Your Value. Honestly assess your talents, skills, experiences, and capacities—how can you best demonstrate your special expertise? Women have clout, clout that we haven’t fully leveraged. Who values you, who wants you on their side, who needs your skills and talents?

• Toot Your Own Horn. If you don’t, who will? And instead of getting stuck in the weeds of self-reproach, ask yourself: What did I do right? What experience did I gain that will improve my abilities and chances next time?

• Give Yourself a Whack on the Head. Author Roger von Oech says, “‘Only the most foolish of mice would hide in a cat’s ear,’ says designer Scott Love. ‘But only the wisest of cats would think to look there.’ Don’t miss the obvious. What are you overlooking? What resources and solutions are right in front of you?”

Women collectively need this metaphorical whack to get us out of stale thought patterns and help us realize what incredible power we have at this amazing moment when all signs point to a world that wants the qualities we bring to life and leadership.

What keys do you hold in your hand? And how can you use what you’ve got to get what you want–your goals, aspirations, the power to use your gifts?

Interested in learning more power tips and tools that have worked for other women? Find them here in No Excuses.

Share Your Power Tools Here!

Dear Powered Woman,

I am writing a book entitled No Excuses that explores women’s relationship with power and why this is the moment to use our “power-to” for good in life and leadership.

I have one chapter in that gives nine specific Power Tools women can use to make changes they want in their workplace, in politics or civic life, or in a personal relationship, with concrete examples of what has worked, or what you tried and it didn’t work but you learned from it.

The Power Tools are:

Know Your History (and you can shape your future)
Define the terms—first
Use what you’ve got
Carpe the chaos (chaos is opportunity)
Embrace controversy
Wear the shirt (of your convictions)
Create a movement
Employ every medium
Tell your story

It can be something large or small–they are all valid and important. You can also send photos or video for website use if you wish.

To participate, just answer these questions, initial the release, and e-mail them back to me at gloria@gloriafeldt.com. Or you are welcome to share them now in the comments section below. Brief but specific answers are best:

1. Was there a moment when you knew you had the “power to”? If so, please tell me about when, where, how, and why it happened, and what you did as a result.

2. What action have you taken–workplace, civic life or politics, or personal life–that you would share with other women looking for inspiration and “Power Tools” to live or lead with intention? What motivated you and what was the result?

3. Your name and business or affiliation:

Birthdate (m/d/y)
Phone #:                                          e-mail address:                                  website:                                        
Links, if desired, to any additional information about your story:

4.Thanks so much for your contributions to my upcoming book, No Excuses, to be published by Seal Press, fall 2010. I will treat your words and material carefully and I know they will inspire many women. I can’t promise that all will make it into the book, but I will also have a website where I will make sure to highlight every one of them and link to your site if you have one.

Kindly initial this release here, as required by my publisher, to indicate your permission for me to use them:__________. I hereby give and grant to the author, Gloria Feldt, her agents and representatives, full right and permission to use, publish in such form as they shall deem appropriate, including book form, and to copyright same, all information, interview comments, and original material which I have submitted to her. By this consent and authorization, I release and forever discharge the author, her agents and representatives, from any and all claims arising out of their use of such material.

Warmest Regards and Much Appreciation,
Gloria Feldt