The Attributes of Successful Female Leaders


There is an adage that goes, “Successful people do not do different things. They do things differently.” Indeed, what separates successful people from the rest is that they do all the same things that others do but with greater focus, dedication, and passion. They do not take up a challenge and then leave it midway when the going gets tough. They see it through to the end. And when it comes to female leaders – according to the research done by Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL) – there are five key attributes that aid their success, namely: agency, authenticity, connection, self-clarity, and wholeness.

  1. Agency: The CCL study defines agency as, “intentional actions taken towards achieving a desired goal.” Successful female leaders take full control over their personal and professional careers – that is, they live intentionally – and therefore are more effective and efficient. They have clearly defined goals that align with their values and they work diligently towards achieving it. They do not shy away from taking up novel challenges and asking for what they deserve.
  2. Authenticity: Successful female leaders have their own style of leading that is defined by their values, preferences, and skills. They have a clear understanding of who they are and are thus better able to take up roles that are compatible with their personality, while being aware of the compromises that they need to make so as to be able to both fit in and be themselves.
  3. Connection: The CCL study found that for many female leaders a desire for closer friendships and family ties serves as an impetus for their goals, choices, and decisions. They realize the importance of connections, both personal and professional, and in spite of their busy schedules and demanding work, they make sure to invest in building a network of people. By doing so, they stay on top of the latest trends in the industry, keep a pulse on the job market, and meet prospective mentors, partners, and clients; all that is needed to foster their success.
  4. Self-clarity: The female leaders the CCL study surveyed were found to be motivated by the search for self-clarity. An understanding of their strengths and weakness, the impact they had on others, and the evaluation of their changing goals and priorities, aided their professional growth and development. By constantly revaluating themselves, successful female leaders reach newer milestones in the journey of personal excellence.
  5. Wholeness: According to the CCL study, wholeness “represents the desire to seek roles beyond work or to unite different life roles into an integrated whole.” Female leaders find themselves divided between work and other life roles and feel concerned when they are too involved in the former and have to compromise on the latter. They wish to unite their different roles thereby seeking a broader definition of success. The study suggests that by setting right priorities, valuing all commitments, and disregarding all roles or obligations that no longer serve them, female leaders can embrace the life of wholeness.

The study conducted by the Centre of Creative Leadership offers illuminating insights into what makes female leaders successful; insights that every female leader can incorporate into her own professional and personal spheres, so as to not only be the kind of leader who is successful but one who can change the world.

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The Attributes of Successful Female Leaders
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The Attributes of Successful Female Leaders
What separates successful people from the rest is that they do all the same things that others do but with greater focus, and dedication
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The Women Leaders
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