As the saying goes: in like a lion, out like Beyoncé.
Whether you like her or not, you most definitely are on a first name basis with Beyoncé. There’s no denying her icon status. So, no “Women Who #Werk” March series would be complete without drawing inspiration from a woman whose hard work has captivated the top of the charts for two decades. You read that right – Beyoncé has been commanding the airwaves for twenty years.
In my Beyoncé-obsessed daydreams, I often muse on what it is she excites and evokes in her many passionate fans. For me personally, she’s more than just a shiny pop performer; she’s my spirit guide of sorts. Many find this to be a reach, but I like to see what can be extrapolated from the teachings of Beyoncé and applied to how I conduct myself in the business world. After all, some of the biggest and best boss ladies in the game are members of the Beyhive.
Don’t believe me?
Check out what Sheryl Sandberg had to say on Beyoncé = Boss
See Oprah advise Harvard grads with a Beyoncé reference in her commencement speech
Listen to Michelle Obama belt out “Single Ladies”
Here, we pay homage to the Queen Bey and adopt five Beyoncé lyrics worthy of becoming your new workplace mantra. See which resonates with you and try one on for size!
Ready? Okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation…
TO THE LEFT TO THE LEFT / “Irreplaceable”
To quote another anthem, “let it go, let it go!” That which does not serve you needs to be cut loose. Is there a person, place or thing that is holding you back from achieving greatness?
Beyoncé is a very private person, but we do know her to be extremely disciplined and focused. You have just as many hours in the day as Beyoncé. So, how are you using them? Are you wasting them away worrying? Comparing yourself to others? Feeling jealousy or spewing gossip?
Applied: Put that shit to the left and get back on track!
I SEE IT. I WORK HARD. I GRIND TIL I OWN IT / “Formation”
You never hear Beyoncé say “I’m gonna do this…” or “just you wait and see…” Come to think of it, you never hear Beyoncé say much of anything. This carefully calculating luminary quietly toils until – voila! – the show-stopping release of her latest secret project.
Applied: Show, don’t tell. Slay. Repeat.
WE’RE SMART ENOUGH TO MAKE THESE MILLIONS. STRONG ENOUGH TO BEAR THE CHILDREN. THEN GET BACK TO BUSINESS / “Run the World”
Just last month, a very pregnant Beyoncé took our breath away at the Grammys, dazzling us in all of her maternal glow. Following the performance, my sister said, “I wanna look like Beyoncé when I’m pregnant.”
You can and you will if you think like Mrs. Knowles-it-All. Being Beyoncé is a mentality. It’s not luck and it doesn’t rest on its laurels. We can’t modify our genetic make-up. We can’t adhere to her meticulous beauty regimen or miraculously gain access to her glute-demanding choreographer. But we can train our brain and get our mind right.
Applied: Embrace your power and acknowledge it in your daily thoughts.
I WALK LIKE THIS CAUSE I CAN BACK IT UP / “Ego”
Beyoncé said, “The most alluring thing a woman can have is confidence.” Search “Beyoncé quotes” on Pinterest and one thing becomes quite clear: the girl’s got unshakable aplomb. She exudes confidence.
And rightfully so. When a woman has sacrificed and put in the hard work to get where she is, she ought to be able to enjoy it. To be proud of it. I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely guilty of being a shrinking violet when it comes to celebrating my accomplishments. However, I find that I am received with more respect when I show up genuinely confident. I feel more capable when I own my achievements, accelerating future success.
Applied: If you got it, flaunt it.
I SNEEZED ON THE BEAT AND THE BEAT GOT SICKER/ “Partition”
The Beyoncé that stands before us today is not the Destiny’s Child of yore. Beyoncé commits to evolution, refusing complacency and stagnation. She looks for ways she can take “it” to the next level. She dives into her work and diligently betters, refines, and elevates with each new album.
“I will leave my mark so everyone will know I was here.” This is a reoccurring theme in her music and it’s one we can apply to our work projects. What can you touch and how can you improve upon it? How can you elevate the caliber of your output? In what ways can you surpass mediocrity and expectation?
Applied: Infuse a piece of you in all that you do, making it better than it was when you started.
Each new day is an opportunity to be your own Beyoncé. To work hard, to embody confidence, and to pursue the next great height. Don’t let anyone dull your shine, don’t let anyone stand in your way. Not the haters. Not your own self-doubt or ugly thoughts. And certainly not Becky with the good hair.
Remember: you’re a grown woman. You can do whatever you want!
Illustration: Kimothy Joy
BY Ashley Paguyo El Shourbagy - March 31, 2017
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.