“If women would realize what an influence they have, they would be filled with pride. If men recognized how influential women are, they would be scared to death.”Katherine J. Kehler
What do successful women business leaders have in common? Do their leadership qualities differ? An understanding of the primary characteristics of women help in defining their character and persona as leaders. The likeness in women such as emotions, intellect and logical thinking, nurturing capability and the idea of shared leadership are among the many qualities that define women in leadership roles today.
According to Laura Henderson and Sharon Hadary, authors of “How Women Lead: 8 Essential Strategies Successful Women Know”, qualities women commonly share can be the pathway to leadership. Every woman should believe in herself and her instincts, dream big dreams, and have the knowledge and tools to make her dreams a reality. In addition, women leaders with multi-million dollar businesses combine their unique feminine leadership with sound business acumen to achieve their highest aspirations.
Successful women business leaders know how to make the puzzle pieces of life fit together. So, what traits are common among them? There are five characteristics for creating lasting success:
Defines Success on Their Own Terms
Women in leadership are not bound by the rules of the game. They are more likely to take risks and break the rules in business and life. They understand that true success begins with knowing who you are; what your strengths are and what you really want out of life!
“Success is not about being impressive; it’s about being inspired. It’s about leading a rich life, no matter how much money you have”. First Lady Michelle Obama
Invest in Their Personal & Professional Growth
Women in leadership are always in an evolving state. They understand that personal and professional growth is a crucial part of life and it’s what lead to improvement, achievement and of course… success! They continuously strive for perfection; balancing their mind, body and spirit; while juggling their household chores and family obligations; and professional commitments. In addition, they seek partnerships and collaboration with like-minded and professionally-viable people.
Recognize Their Strength
The concept of realizing one’s potential is important for any individual to excel in their respective field of interest. A successful woman focuses on this aspect in-and-out. There have been studies that reflect that a female entrepreneur who succeeds in her business ventures is the one who understands her strengths and works on them to create a niche market for her business. The inward journey and self-realization is important to establish and own a business that reaps rich dividends for you.
Face Difficult Challenges Head On
Challenges come in all shapes and sizes. Being faced with challenges in business or life is inevitable! The ability to deal with them is what defines a leader. A leader will react to difficult challenges with focus, resolve, and execution. Women in leadership embrace challenges knowing that greater fulfillment, success and growth is obtained when you can adapt to any situation.
Make a Positive Difference… Pay It Forward!
“If you have much, give of your wealth; if you have little, give of your heart.” Arab Proverb
Paying it Forward Pays Back is based on a single principle, if you do a good deed for someone, do it without personal gain. Women in leadership believe in the concept of ‘Pay it Forward’. They have a tremendous desire to give back to others. It is an essential element of being an outstanding leader.
Natalie MacNeil, Media Producer & Consultant and award winning blogger practices what she preaches. She spends considerable amount of time volunteering with the not-for-profit that she co-founded as well as many other organizations. MacNeil says, “Success is being able to make a living doing what I love and inspiring others to do the same. I measure success in how many people I can reach and inspire”.
In conclusion, with leadership comes responsibility. It is important to find a striking balance as well as continually improve upon your leadership skills. What do you think of these five characteristics? What does it take to be a great leader?