If you’re a leader, it’s often difficult to not feel like the weight of the entire world is on your shoulders. We spoke with Julie Pierce to learn how we as professional Christian women can shift our reliance from our own strength to one coming from a different Source.
4word: How has your marketing/communications background prepared you for what you do today?
Julie: My professional and educational training has made me extremely sensitive to my audience. Whether I’m coaching a young leader through a career change, speaking to a large group of seasoned leaders, or facilitating a strategy session for executives, I am always thinking about what they need and why, and what’s the best way to connect.
4word: Did you have any mentors or leaders early in life who helped guide you?
Julie: Yes! In high school, my coaches and my English teacher were extremely influential in encouraging me to pursue my potential. They each pushed me to use my gifts of encouragement and leadership to help others win. Early in my professional career, I worked for several leaders who challenged me to experiment and lead new efforts, even if they completely failed. They taught me that failing did not mean I was a failure.
4word: What led you to found your leadership development business?
Julie: My purpose and passion is to empower women leaders to change the world. I get a huge kick out of coming alongside leaders as they discover their unique leadership style and how to apply that to the challenges they face. Creating my business was a way of formalizing what I already loved doing: one-on-one coaching with leaders, consulting with teams, and communicating with groups. I have the best job ever!
4word: What are some ways women can learn to lead/work through the strength of their souls, rather than by their own strength?
Julie: As strong, talented, intelligent women, we can begin to believe our own press: “This company would fall apart without you!” “I can’t trust anyone else with this project.” “You’re the only one our client connects with.” While those are wonderful compliments to our hard work and skills, they can also become heavy burdens.
I remember when I started to believe that the success of everything depended on me, instead of depending on God. When the demands increased, my time and effort increased as I became more determined to “make it happen” myself. When I realized how very limited my own strength and leadership really was and how exhausting it was to carry the world around on my shoulders, I went back to the Source. I asked God what He had in mind for me in the future and in this season. I started regularly asking Him, “What is the work of my hands today?” Now, I impose some pretty hard yet healthy boundaries around my time and talents in light of God’s purpose for my life in the long run and in the day ahead.
4word: How important is it for women to connect or have community with other women, both professionally and in the church?
Julie: Critically important. Living and leading in isolation is not only lonely, but potentially life-threatening. By cultivating small circles of professional peers, coaches, and friends we can call at 3AM, we surround ourselves with life-giving relationships that are mutually beneficial.
Whether you’re an upper-level executive, a church group leader, a parent, or all three, learning to lean on God’s strength to get you through is vital. Almost as vital is connecting with others and cultivating community. If you’re a professional Christian woman looking to establish a connection with other like-minded professional women in your area, find a 4word Local Group in your area to connect with!
How have you made connections with the professional Christian women in your life?
Julie Pierce is a certified leadership coach, consultant, and communicator. With almost 20 years of leadership in non-profit and business sectors, Julie loves combining her experience with a leader’s potential. She has been married for 17 years and has two superheroes who call her mom. You can find her sharing leadership insights on Twitter (@julie_pierce) and on her blog http://empoweredbypierce.com/
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