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How Women Are Becoming Leaders By Not ‘Fitting In’

Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on

The Leadership Trust® is pleased to introduce our guest author, Gloria Martinez with the organization WomenLed. Her article How Women Are Becoming Leaders By Not ‘Fitting In’ follows the recent crowning of our latest Miss USA whose answer to the final question regarding feminism earned her the 2017 Miss USA title. Although she defined feminism within the context of gender equality rather than necessarily being better than men, I have noticed that leaders who exhibit qualities of compassion and cooperation as opposed to aggression and competition – two distinct gender profiles – tend to inspire greater productivity through heightened morale.  Ms. Martinez’ article is based upon rigorous, comprehensive research, so be sure to click onto her links to appreciate how much we can learn from one another – really the best in both men and women – in order to create a better world through better leadership.

Photo Credit: Unsplash, Pexels

 

Regardless of how someone chooses to lead, Business News Daily says all leaders are people who know how to achieve goals and inspire people. Until recently, the way men led others was deemed ideal, and females assumed they needed to mimic men to fit the existing archetype, notes Forbes. However, that archetype is steadily shifting, and women are finding that they can be the best leaders not by fitting in, but by creating new systems and new ways of thinking.

Feminine Qualities

Although qualities usually associated with women, like compassion and empathy, have not traditionally been listed as leadership traits, that list is changing, says Forbes. To be a good leader in today’s world, you need to show compassion and empathy. Instead of trying too hard to be taken seriously, be open and honest about your ideals, emotions, and fears. Embrace your feminine qualities. Be yourself.

According to The Athena Doctrine by John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio, people around the globe are frustrated in a world that has been dominated by male thinking and behavior that includes control, aggression, and black-and-white thinking. People have attributed that thinking and behavior to many of the problems we face today, such as wars and income inequality. In fact, the authors found that two-thirds of people think the world would be a better place if men thought more like women.

Business Values and Personal Values

Ensure that you love what you do. It is a cliché saying, but it is true. When you work day after day for a purpose or cause that is not in line with your personal values, you feel empty and drained. Engage in a business that is fully in line with your values to allow yourself to be a force for positivity. This positivity will radiate throughout other areas of your life, and when you love your work, it wears off on other people, like the people you are leading.

Make a Connection

Even though you may think your success stories are not special or interesting, chances are other people will find them inspiring and fascinating. Also, sharing your story allows you to connect with others by showing that you are genuine. You might consider sharing it on a website that anyone in the professional world can see. Keep a blog on your site to continuously give people a taste of your personality.  Utilizing networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can also help. Learn how to use hashtags on social media to get in front of people and lend your unique voice to relevant conversations. LinkedIn in particular has some great professional publishing features of its own.

According to The Athena Doctrine, people want a leader who is expressive and who openly shares feelings. The authors state that people want leaders to be more intuitive, having the capacity to relate to other people and their points of view.

Huffington Post author Monique Svazlian Tallon imagined a world where the feminine ruled. Organizations could exist with less hierarchy and more equality, making more room for collaboration and innovation. People might feel more sense of community and embrace the concept of “the village.” Perhaps instead of worrying only about ourselves, we may realize that we are all connected and need to care for each other.

The world is full of examples of women – such as Indira Gandhi, Oprah Winfrey, Angela Merkel, and Sandra Day O’Connor – who lead by being true to themselves and thus broke the mold. By staying true to yourself, you will be more inspiring, and you will build a stronger and more sustainable organization.

Author: Gloria Martinez