After 30 years of working with women leaders, I have come to believe that the most successful operate in the world knowing that there is no one stopping them from developing a vision of who they want to be, how they want to be perceived, how they want to feel, and how they want to perform their role.
While this is not an exhaustive list, I can say with confidence that women leaders that have mastered these 5 characteristics are head-and-shoulders above their peers – women and men. Take a moment or two to think about how you stack-up and what your next steps might be in your own leadership journey.
Successful women leaders…
1. Lead themselves to successful leadership. They are on a boundless mission of self-discovery and learning; they celebrate, embrace and leverage their natural strengths, style, and uniqueness; and have a (written) plan that gives them the space to intentionally focus on one challenge at a time. They understand that tiny tweaks can lead to big changes. What are your natural leadership strengths? How are you leveraging them for success?
2. Are three-dimensional and choose to lead with their head, hands and heart. These leaders are smart, connected and compassionate and are comfortable and confident calling upon any version of themselves in any situation. Another way to say this is these are leaders who strive for Agency: they are authentic; they know what they want out of work and life; and they take the initiative to excel in their chosen endeavor.
3. Recognize that all the great ones (leaders, athletes, politicians, parents) had significant help getting across the finish line. They have chosen to methodically build cohesive and high-performing teams, and are devoted (yes, devoted) to the team’s development, growth and wild success. Are you intentionally and methodically building and developing a wildly successful team?
4. “Collaborate to succeed” rather than “compete to win”. How open are you to exchanging perspectives with your team and other stakeholders? When listening, do you strive to get ‘below the tip of the iceberg’?
5. Have a compelling vision for the future and a rock-solid plan to attain that vision. They are able to envision what could be; they vividly paint that picture for others and inspire blind loyalty to that vision. They masterfully “zoom-in” and “zoom-out” (RM Kanter, HBR, 2011) in order to – gradually, gradually, gradually – bring that vision to life. What is your vision for the future…for you, your team, your organization? Do you have a rock-solid plan in place to bring it to life?
There’s no one stopping you from developing a vision of who you want to be, how you want to be perceived, how you want to feel, and how you perform your leadership role.
The world needs you now more than ever!
We work with organizations eager to intentionally develop
successful women leaders and high-performing teams.
If you would like assistance (a lot or a little) mapping your leadership journey, building a cohesive, high-performing team, or crafting a successful strategy, we can help. We have worked with women leaders for 30 years and know what they need to succeed. As an authorized partner for Everything DiSC™, we have access to a suite of outstanding leadership and team-building assessments.