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  • Writer's pictureJenn Donahue

5 Characteristics of a Warrior in the Workplace

Are you curious what makes a warrior, a warrior?

As I stated in a previous blog, a warrior embodies a certain mindset and specific characteristics that allows them to show up in a way that encourages and inspires others to do more and be more.

If you are new to leadership or just starting to feel that warrior spark within, it’s time to listen to it and cultivate the characteristics of a true warrior.

When you lean into these characteristics and begin using them as part of your strengths, you’ll be able to start fully embracing your badassery, even in the workplace.

A workplace warrior knows what they bring to the fight, uses courage to keep moving forward, stands up for themselves and others, and creates teams that change the world.

Here are five characteristics of a warrior you can begin cultivating right now.

Warriors know how to use their strengths

When it comes to being a warrior, knowing your strengths and how to use them is your superpower.

I know for me, it has been easy to feel like being the only woman in the room means I can’t perform at my best or be seen or heard in my authority.

If you are often the only woman, race, or ethnic background in the room in your career, just remember that you are there because you got yourself there, and you deserve to be exactly where you are.

Sometimes you might just want to blend in or become a wallflower (like I often want to do) because you are feeling insecure about who you are. These are the moments where you have to dig deep inside and pull out that warrior spirit within you.

You have to take on a warrior mentality. A warrior mentality sounds like: “I know I am here for a purpose. I know my strengths, and I deserve to be here.”

That’s when you start to stand out, are heard, and seen for who you really are. This can happen in a boardroom, a team meeting, in your day to day life at work, or even at home. When we feel like we don't belong, we can get over it and know that we do have purpose.

We can remember what we bring to the fight, and then go out and kick some butt!

1. Warriors find the courage to move forward regardless of the circumstances

Being a warrior doesn’t mean you are never afraid. It means that even when you are afraid or are facing a challenge, you summon your courage and continue on anyway.

Many leaders can become cowardly in the face of fear. Warriors do not. Warriors become even stronger when faced with obstacles, upheaval, or uncertainty. It isn’t always easy and sometimes taking the more cowardly path may seem very enticing. It is at this crossroads that you must make a decision: do you want to be a coward or do you want to be a warrior?

This pivotal moment is what separates you from everyone else. It is this one choice, this important decision that makes you different from those around you.

When you choose the path of courage and move forward, even though you may be afraid, that is when you will start to see the full force of your power come through.

That is when you start to become a warrior.

Even if you choose to move forward, you may still mess up. And that is okay. “Failing” or falling down is part of the warrior’s journey and it takes courage to do that too. You can learn from failure. It takes courage to take accountability for your mistakes, stand back up, and keep progressing in your mission.

2. Warriors stand up for themselves and others

So let’s say you’ve got the warrior mentality down and you are embodying the characteristics of a workplace warrior, now it’s time to expand your bravery to protect others.

A large part of being a warrior has to do with not only standing up for yourself, but standing up for others as well.

In the workplace, this looks like standing up for “the little guy.” It may not come naturally to you and you may have some missed opportunities before you really find the courage to speak up. And that’s okay. Warriors are not born overnight. They keep showing up with the intention to make their environment and the world a better place to live.

Workplace bullying, disrespect, or harassment are things warriors will not stand for. If you see these things happening in the workplace, as a warrior, it is within your strengths to say something!

Whether that is saying something directly to the person in that moment, backing up the person being bullied, or taking it to leadership to be dealt with, it is part of your responsibility as a warrior to protect others.

The bottom line: you stand up for others when they can’t stand up for themselves.

3. Warriors challenge the status quo

Warriors can get a reputation for being the “rebels” of the group or organization and while sometimes that can be true, most of the time the warriors are simply challenging ineffective or outdated systems, leadership, or thinking.

When the status quo is challenged, it can rub people the wrong way. However, when a workplace warrior is challenging the system, they are doing it for the betterment of the company or the people.

We are seeing this in the workplace a lot with millennials right now. They seem to resist certain processes or ways of doing things, and this can be really frustrating to older generations. As a warrior, it is important that you stand strong in your willingness to make the company or organization a better place to be, and it is also important to do it with enough self-awareness and empathy so that you aren’t creating enemies in the process.

Challenging the status quo is needed, especially now as we are up against a world that is rapidly changing. Warriors embrace change and are able to quickly find solutions and adapt to them, while also helping others adapt as well.

4.Warriors create armies that change the world

As you start becoming more of a warrior in the workplace, you may start to feel alone or isolated. The truth is, you are not alone. And it is up to you to find other warriors who are willing to stand with you.

I promise they are there. They may just want to be a warrior, but don't know how. It is part of your job as a warrior to help them come out and let them know you are right there with them.

Warriors are actually more effective when working together and the more warriors you can find in your workplace, the stronger you will become.

I am used to feeling like “the only one in the room” in many boardrooms, offices, and even battlefields (during my time in the Navy). Maybe you feel like the only courageous one, the only one who understands what it’s like to be from a different country, or the only one that looks different from your team or organization. It’s up to you to find the other people who feel like “the only one” and join together.

When you create your army of “only-ies” you can do great things and change not only your workplace, but the world.

Maybe your army consists of other co-workers, allies, or even mentors. Once you have your team, you have people to talk about ideas with and get feedback from.

This creates such a powerful group because you have diversity of thought, diversity of backgrounds, and you can all use your individual uniqueness to find different ways to overcome obstacles and challenges. Eventually, you can expand your ideas, approaches, and solutions outside of your inner circle and teach them to others.

So, realize that you’re not alone, find the other warriors, and grow your army!

Bring a warrior mentality to the workplace

Whether in an actual army or in an office, you can be a warrior.

And we need more warriors in this world, especially right now. We need people who are willing to speak up, stand up, and fight for what is right and bring others up with them along the way.

If you know you are a warrior and just need some encouragement to fully embrace it, follow me on social media! I share all kinds of inspirational tips and tricks to help you bring out your inner badass and become the authentic leader you are meant to be.

If you are part of a large organization and would like me to speak to your team or teams, reach out and let’s talk about how I can motivate your people to achieve great things.


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