6 Qualities that Successful Women Leaders Typically Posses
We cannot determine if leadership traits vary between men and women. No one can say with certainity, but it remains clear that women executives often face more complex hurdles than men on the way to becoming CEOs and business leaders. Here’s a look at some of the qualities that successful women leaders usually possess and help them achieve their leadership potential.
There’s a fine line separating healthy self-confidence and an oversized, “look at me” narcissism for both men and women. Certainly, an unshakeable confidence in oneself is an inherent trait for women leaders—not in the sense that they have to demonstrate they’re better than everyone around them, but rather being able to produce a culture where no one attempts to undermine or demoralize others at their own risk. Women with a profound sense of self-confidence are often more inclined to accept judgments and feedback on their leadership styles.
In the often cutthroat business world, “nurturing” can appear to be a soft or even disposable feature. Not so, says performance coach Dawniel Winningham. She contests that a woman’s “nurturing spirit is often confused with the incapability to hold people responsible which is not the case.” In her judgment, “being a nurturer, having a feeling of being fair and just, and use of our women’s foreknowledge are some of our strongest traits.”
The most striking women in business maintain a clear vision of what they wish to accomplish—both in the short-term and over the long yards. Aspects of this idea may change depending upon conditions, but the commitment to relinquishing one’s objectives remains unwavering. This is frequently represented by a woman leader’s drive to balance her professional responsibilities with her life outside of work. Maintaining this precarious balance requires creativity and versatility, additional traits demonstrated by powerful leaders (of either gender).
Creating and leading teams
It probably can’t be assumed that women are better at developing relations and building teams than their male counterparts. However, they can use their inherent natures to discern conflict within a team—and then seek to resolve that dispute—as well as follow their instincts to favor a team approach, rather than directing an individual to take on too big a challenge.
Questioning the status quo
Strong female leaders usually feel the need to challenge “the way industry has always been done.” They don’t certainly accept a traditional approach to policy and may be more willing than some male leaders to push back against rule when they feel strongly about finding a more effective solution.
Of course, broad generalizations are to be observed skeptically, but women leaders often feel insufficient and frustrated about reaching out for input and guidance when needed. They comprehend the limitations of trying to do everything themselves and see great benefit in empowering others to assume greater efficiencies. They are also unafraid to seek the insights and feedback of other business leaders.
A vintage TAB member Lynne Gastineau, president of Gastineau Log Homes, remembers, “I knew I was going to require help if I wanted to grow the company and meet increasing customer demand. Managing the employees and dealing with growth would want help. I saw TAB as a way to help me through that means.”
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