Last week, I interviewed five time CEO and author Margaret Heffernan on Head over Heels Radio. Our discussion covered many interesting topics relative to women and business, but one that really got my attention was what Margaret refers to as “portable power”.
Portable power according to Heffernan is unique to each person. It is the sum total of your skills and experience, your professional and personal networks, and your financial independence. You own this power and take it with you wherever you go.
I have given this topic more thought and a couple of questions come to mind. How many women are actually aware of their portable power? If they were more connected to their portable power, would they behave differently?
Let’s try to do our own assessment. How would you rate your own portable power as defined by Margaret Heffernan?
1. Skills and Experience
- List all your business and personal skills.
Business: i.e. computer skills, analytical skills, business acumen, selling skills, creativity, problem solving, team player, visionary
Personal: i.e. organized, tenacious, passionate, loving and nurturing, soulful, healthy, focused, outgoing
- List your business and personal experiences
What has your experience in business taught you?
what companies have you worked for?
what different types of positions?
what have you learned about running a department? your own business?
What life lessons have you learned?
living in different parts of the country, the world
2. Rate your personal and professional network strength
Who is in your personal network? Look at your email address book, Facebook and other social media friends, your cell phone contact list.
Estimate the number. I bet it’s a lot, right?
Your professional network consists of business colleagues from past as well as current positions, people you have met through networking events and online.
Count your social media connections as well.
Which is larger, your personal or professional network? Where is your strength?
3. Rate your financial independence
How much money is in your checking account? Your savings account?
What about your 401K? stock portfolio?
Do you own your own home?
Are you worried about paying the rent each month?
How long can you live comfortably without a pay check?
How do you rate your financial independence?
If “portable power” is the sum total of all of this: your skills and experience, professional and personal networks, and financial independence, how powerful are you? Where do you need to devote more time and effort?
AND, will the knowledge of your “portable power” affect your decisions about whether or not to leave your job, start your own business, or leave a bad relationship?
Knowing how much power you have builds the self confidence to choose and make sound decisions. You take this power with you wherever you go. It’s who you are.