Even nowadays, it can be difficult for a woman to be an effective leader or in power due to the perceptions of certain small minded individuals, even the woman herself can contribute due to years of systemic misogyny. You’ve heard the things people say: “She’s a bitch”, “she’s up herself”, and other things people say about woman leaders that they never seem to say about men when they’re behaving the same way.
Since obviously some women do make it to leadership, CEO, and potentially even the Presidency of the United States of America, or wherever, what do successful women leaders do that works?
Never Ever Give Up
If you want to be a woman in charge, you’re going to need the inner strength to persevere, even with the sometimes violent dissatisfaction of others. Even women will not always be on your side. Know what’s right, know your vision, and keep on moving toward your goals.
You’ve been told before that you have two ears and one mouth for a reason, but it’s especially true for leaders. As a leader, you need to know how to really listen and hear what people have to say. This is the only way you can truly address someone’s concerns from a place that they will understand.
Nurture Your Relationships
This includes business, friends, and family. If you don’t nurture all your relationships, you’ll be at risk of being seen as cold and uncaring. You’re busy, that’s true, but the smallest things can make a big difference in building relationships that last for the long term.
You are smart, and you have a reason to be confident. But, the honest truth about confidence is you have to experience success in order to actually feel it. If you never step outside of your comfort zone you won’t be able to feel it. Therefore, you may need to practice “faking it until you make it” in order to experience success so you can feel confident. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
In most of your interactions with people you want them to come away feeling less stressed, more ready for the future, and good. The best way you can do that is to be generous with your time and offerings. Add value to everything you do, whether it’s a lunch meeting with a potential client, you’re attending a live event, or you’re at a place of worship.
A good leader never thinks they know everything. They always try to learn more. They do not make assumptions about anything. The more you can learn about your audience and those around you, the better you can serve them. After all, the true nature of a leader is the heart of a servant.
This might sound like contrarian advice, but it’s not. It’s just like the idea of putting on your oxygen mask first in the airplane. In life, you need to learn when it’s important to put yourself first. When it comes to health, for example, obviously you’re first. If you aren’t here, you can’t be a good leader.
The way to recognize a true leader is how they motivate others. They encourage, develop talent, and praise. They don’t put people down, focus only on mistakes, or demand action without being able to fully explain what they need and want from you. A really great leader lets others shine instead of themselves.
In life, it’s important to really show up. Don’t just be a body at an event, taking up space. Find ways to add value to everything you do, whether business or personal in nature. When you are listening, participating, and offering good advice, you’ll naturally be seen as an effective leader – female or not.