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Success Advice

4 Reinvention Strategies Leaders Can Learn From Legally Blonde

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Image Credit: Legally Blonde

Legally Blonde recently celebrated a milestone on July 13. The twenty-year-old movie franchise revolves around Elle Woods who wanted nothing more than to be married to Warner Huntington III, but the rejection she faced from him spurred her to reinvent and for us to fall in love with the buoyant blonde.

In many ways, each supporting character showcases reinvention traits in a peculiar way. Loose leadership lessons from reinventing can be found throughout this movie if you know where to find them.

1. Break Up With Negative Labels

Elle took charge of things after she was rejected by Warner whom she was so sure would propose to her. However, due to his political ambitions, Warner was looking to marry a Jackie, not a Marilyn. Hence her determination to disprove the negative label and that she could be a Jackie, triggered her desire to want to get into law school. Her aspirations spurred by a plan to get Warner back proved that if you set your mind on a goal or an activity, you can push past difficulties and accomplish it.

Elle took charge of things and in retrospect had the full potential for what it would take on the inside of her to get into law school but this would have all been lost had she not gone through her breakup. The popular saying, adversity is the mother of reinvention, plays throughout the movie and the steps she took to transform and shed the dumb blonde persona embodies that.

It’s important leaders get rid of any preconceived notions they have about themselves or those they lead as it prevents them from going to the next level opening the door to prejudice and self-sabotage

2. Don’t Quit

In her pursuit of gaining admission to Harvard law school, Elle went through a transformation going from self-doubt to self-confidence. Her confidence only came after going through this journey and gaining clarity on what she really wanted out of life, from others and herself. She discovers that there is more to life than just being pretty possibly a higher purpose. Her encounters with Paulette; fellow sorority sister Brooke Taylor Windham and Professor Stromwell further assured her of the need to carry on and the importance of vindicating herself when Professor Callahan propositions her. 

The confidence shift Elle went through meant she had to face her fears and have candid conversations with herself to keep her going even when it seemed tough and not worth it when quitting would have been the easier option. After all law school wasn’t a career path that she chose. She could have easily fallen back on her rich dad if all else failed. She persevered and taught us to never let anyone tell us, we’re not good enough or stand in our way as Warner tried so many times to tell her.

Quitting in the midst of adversity as a leader is not an option. You are responsible for carrying the team through to the other side in the good and bad times.

“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.” – Vince Lombardi

3. Friendships Matter

Elle’s inner circle made up of Margot, Serena, and Paulette was key to her success. Everyone needs a hype team. A team of people that will bring out the best in you by fueling your confidence especially when you’re at the brink of throwing in the towel. From her prep for the L.S.A.T. to the overwhelming support she got from her sorority sisters and subsequent times when she felt out of place, Elle found support from her inner circle and they made sure she didn’t give up supporting her through her highs and lows.  

Leaders need to have that inner circle that they can trust and who feel empowered to speak up when the leader is going astray. In addition, you need that confidante, that one person you can confide in. Elle ultimately had that in Emmett, she could trust him and he got her attention and further empowered her with his words of encouragement and affirmation.

4. Think Outside the Box

Elle Woods’ newfound confidence gave her the extra boost she needed to submit her law school application and thinking she didn’t have much going for her, knew she had to stand out. Her admissions video essay was a brilliant strategy that worked to her advantage as it made her stand out for the heavily coveted spot of admission to the prestigious Harvard law school.  

She highlighted and gave compelling reasons why she should be considered and it’s the same strategy leaders should follow when leading a team. You don’t always have to lead the same way it’s been done before, sometimes leadership decisions require taking an action that’s unconventional and you have to be comfortable with that and its outcome. 

Elle Woods says it best at her law school graduation when she states “…it is with passion, the courage of conviction and a strong sense of self that we take our next steps into the world remembering those first impressions are not always correct, you must always have faith in people and most importantly you must always have faith in yourself.” 

It takes courage to go through a process of reinvention as Elle did, and life as we know it is about learning and adapting to new situations in both our personal and professional lives and the ability to evolve is a key leadership trait for success.

Lola Salvador Akinwunmi is a writer, global consultant, leadership & reinvention strategist with a passion for helping professional women navigate the ever-changing leadership landscape. She brings more than two decades of corporate experience to her clients on their journey to uncover the next stage in their lives. As the founder of LolaSal, Inc., Lola elevates professional powerhouse women to their next level. Her award-winning clients have gone on to speak on stages; get awards in their careers and media features.

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Success Advice

20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator

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Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.
 

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.

 

2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.

 

3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.

 

4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.

 

5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.

 

6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.

 

7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.

 

8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.

 

9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.

 

10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.

 

11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.

 

12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.

 

13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.

 

14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.

 

15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.

 

16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.

 

17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.

 

18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.

 

19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.

 

20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.

 

By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at AweBliss.com so you can master your life with more success.

 
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Success Advice

Dead Men Tell No Tales: How to Navigate a Mutiny as a Leader in 10 Steps

You’re the manager. You’re the supervisor. You’re the leader. But maybe your people don’t see it that way

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You’re the manager. You’re the supervisor. You’re the leader. But maybe your people don’t see it that way and perhaps that has created a divisive and adversarial working environment that makes it difficult for you to influence and inspire your team in a way that meets your vision. (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Think Like a CEO for Your Future Success

A blueprint for CEOs to draw a disciplined strategy

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Strategic thinking helps CEOs build successful businesses. It helps them establish everlasting enterprises. It is one of the key elements of decision-making. It is different from strategic leadership. It differentiates between leaders from managers.  (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Focus Your Mind on Your Goals in 2023 Constructively

In this world of distractions due to information overload, it has become a big challenge to focus our minds

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In this world of distractions due to information overload, it has become a big challenge to focus our minds on positive aspects and constructive activities. Sometimes we waste our precious time mentally and physically due to distractions arising out of technology. We must understand our priorities and learn how to focus on them religiously. (more…)

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