McDreamy, Mark Bouris, Scott Farquhar, David Beckham.... What do they all have in common? Other than being rather easy on the eye, they are all (or play) people who are experts in a particular field.
Ed Sheeran, Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama…I’d argue all of them don’t typically fit a ‘hot, hunky and handsome’ stereotype. But you’ve got to admit, each of them have something that makes you look twice. Whether it’s Ed’s voice, Jeff's ambition or Obama’s passion, there is something magnetic about their persona. And I admit, I have found an accountant here or there that makes the day pass a little easier. In fact, many of my colleagues and clients have even married people they have worked with!
It leads me to draw the following conclusion: being exceptional in a particular field or skill is sexy. Whether it is the humility of the quiet expert, or the blind commitment of the expert unwilling to move on their opinion, there is something charismatic about brains and talent. About capability.
What does this tell us about ourselves?
It tells us that we highly value capability and expertise. Not only in others, but also in ourselves. Given that we’re all high achievers and some of us, perfectionists, you might be nodding at this realisation.
Perhaps it’s the commitment and discipline required to learn a particular skill, or the conviction to have the courage to stand up and speak your mind with the knowledge it will p!ss some people off. It could even be the lightness of being able to try something new and say ‘who cares?’ if it fails.
Whatever it is, we rate it when we see it.
So how do you value your own capability?
My guess is that you haven’t thought about ‘my capability’. You’ve thought, ‘I get good performance reviews, so I must be doing something right.’ But you're not thinking, 'ooh, I'm good at what I do...I exude charisma.' That's probably because on a day to day basis you're stressed about things like, ‘Why can’t my team just talk to each other?’, or ‘Why don’t my peers listen to what I have to say?, or ‘How do I get a seat at the decision making table?’. The pressure caused by these challenges gets in the way of any hope of charisma and in fact, start to erode your confidence like a beach in a storm. These questions also identify a gap. A gap that can be filled with the right capability.
The most common capabilities that I help women in Finance with include:
Communication and presentation skills
Presence and influence
Strategic thinking and mindset
Business relationships (I call it ‘Powerbase’)
High performing team leadership
Leading through change
They do this because they want to progress their careers, perform with purpose and ultimately, deliver results with confidence.
The next step
A lot of the work I do revolves around ’the next step’: identifying the next step, implementing the next step and upgrading the next steps. This is because incremental action is the best way to build capability that lasts. To build capability that becomes a part of your skillset and forms part of your leadership brand. A confident brand.
These are the capabilities I will be covering the above capabilities in my webinar tomorrow, ‘Females, Fill your Toolbox’. There are still a few seats left!
If this sounds like something that could be useful for you, I invite you to take the next step and join us in what will be a productive, action oriented session.
So… while you might still think capability isn’t sexy, consider this: capability builds confidence and confidence is sexy.
Take the next step.
I think it’s worth it.
I think you’re worth it.