The worst thing a woman can do is try to be a masculine leader. There are many natural attributes that enhance female leadership and make women excellent executives in their own right.
For example women are empathetic and flexible which makes them able to understand and negotiate with subordinates.
“A woman leader is naturally more assertive and persuasive, has a stronger need to get things done and is more willing to take risks than a male leader, according to a new study conducted by Caliper, a Princeton-based management consulting firm. Women leaders were also found to be more empathetic and flexible, as well as stronger in interpersonal skills than their male counterparts.”
“These qualities combine to create a leadership style that is inclusive, open, consensus building, collaborative and collegial,” according to Herb Greenberg, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Caliper”
However females should also be aware of potential weaknesses.
According to the MindSpa Institute the nurturing side of a woman can be abused in the workplace. Women are 'often scared to give objective criticism for fear of hurting an employee's feelings.'
There is the constant danger of being seen as too 'nice' which can undermine the role of the leader to promote change and growth.
A woman's desire to be collaborative and take everyone into consideration may impede her ability to take decisive action. Effective leaders will consult and receive input but are not afraid to take a decision and assume responsibility, even if the decision is unpopular or controversial.
The globe has expereienced tremendous gains in three major areas for women namely; education, rights and leadership.
Women are among the most talented and respected leaders in the corporate world. They build better teams; they’re more liked and respected as managers; they tend to be able to combine intuitive and logical thinking more flawlessly; they’re more aware of the implications of the their own and others’ actions; and they think more accurately about the resources needed to accomplish a given outcome.
It is essential that younger girls have strong female role models. When girls see women from their own communities in leadership positions, the possibilities for their own accomplishments become more real.
Empowering women, improving their representation and participation in all walks of life, particularly in the male-dominated world of business, is critical.
Women need to demonstrate that they have the power to choose and define themselves, not only when it comes to keeping a family together and organizing the household, but also in selecting their career path.
When female leaders are globally engaged more jobs are created. When they get involved in literacy, poverty eradication, healthcare, childcare, welfare, legislstion or basically any problem facing the globe, things get better.
The world is a better place when women have the power to lead.
Join the Essential Business Skills for South African Women course hosted by the MindSpa Institute and become more confident in your own ability to lead. This public course will run 20 – 21 August 2015 in Sandton Lodge, Rivonia, Johannesburg. This 2 day course costs R3490 excl. VAT.