Seven Reasons Women Make Better Leaders
What are the main reasons women make better leaders than their men counterparts? How do women become great leaders in their organization? Are there any secrets I might share with you about the way women lead that make them more efficient and more proficient?
Women aren’t encouraged to take on leadership roles as often as their male counterparts, contributing to an imbalance of who’s in power.
WarningAnyway, gender shouldn’t be a factor in whether or not a person can be a great leader — a person’s leadership abilities should depend on their individual strengths and personality traits.
Leadership is not gender-specific. Leaders can be either men or women.
It is a set of leadership qualities inherent or cultivated in person or persons who develop themselves into great leaders with mass following. Women are constantly evolving and reaching new milestones across a wide spectrum of human activities in modern times.
Women’s inclination toward a holistic, self-reflective approach could explain why female employees define leadership differently than some men do.
When women bring this attitude into managerial roles, it may actually make them stronger, more-effective leaders. Women may not always realize how poised for success they are in leadership roles, but their potential and abilities are undeniable.
While women leaders have their productivity secrets, it’s not secret where they come from: the leadership traits that women leaders naturally possess and are the most undervalued.
WarningAccording to a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, women outscored men on 17 of 19 capabilities that differentiate excellent leaders from average or poor ones.
Does the hero model even work in today’s organization? Here is some ways on how women tend to lead and why they are very effective.
It remains clear that women executives often face more difficult hurdles than men on the way to becoming CEOs and business leaders. Here’s a look at seven traits and qualities that successful women leaders typically possess and which help them realize their leadership potential.
Women Fight Against The Odds
Decisiveness — it’s a leadership quality that’s especially hard to embody in times of stress and uncertainty and in the face of an unfolding threat like COVID-19. But some women leaders still managed to act.
Women make great leaders, if nothing else, precisely because of what it has required of them to become leaders in the first place.
When the odds are against them to lead, and when so many obstacles stand in their way, a woman who has acquired a position of leadership will inevitably emerge stronger and more capable than they would otherwise. Such an accomplished and self-willed individual perfectly encapsulates what makes for a good leader.
Women, in general, tend to bounce back slightly quicker than men in the face of adversity.
WarningA study from Paymentsense shows that women, in general, handle (and bounce back) from stress more effectively than men. That means when the chips are down, women tend to move past the initial stress more quickly and effectively than men.
Many women, especially moms, are trained caretakers and know how to deal with crisis situations at home with compassion and patience. These attributes become very relevant when a woman leader is dealing with crisis situations whether this is related to clients.
When confronted with a challenge, women look for the opportunity within. They see the glass as half-full rather than half-empty.
They push the boundaries and, when faced with adverse circumstances, they learn all they can from it. Optimism is their mindset because they see opportunity in everything.
Women can start to combat stereotypes by owning their successes and not internalizing failures.
Stop waiting until you satisfy every requirement to apply for a leadership role. Talk positively about your achievements, if only to yourself, and take credit for your successes.
Women Kill Their Ego
Ego so often gets in the way of good decision-making in the C-suite. Women exhibit ego differently and they are good at decision-making with the ego held in check. This is a key advantage in working with boards of directors, partners and customers.
The ability of the world’s female leaders to govern with humility rather than by ego has helped them to successfully weather the Covid-19 pandemic.
When the Covid-19 pandemic first began to make itself felt outside China back in March 2020, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made a now-famous appearance on Facebook to talk about the need for a strict national lockdown. She was warm, comforting and very clear: stay at home, break the chain and save lives.
Leadership is the ability to build and maintain high-performing teams and inspire followers to abandon their selfish goals in favor of those of the team. Arrogance and overconfidence are antithetical to that goal.
WarningLeaning in can help women climb the corporate ladder. But the real question is, does adopting the dysfunctional behaviors of their male counterparts help women, and the companies they work for, in the long run? The short answer is no.
The “know-it-all” response from a leader, when it is alarmingly clear that they don’t (and can’t) know it all, only serves to raise levels of anxiety, reduce trust and nurture anger, in those who are looking to them for comfort.
Companies with humble leaders consistently outperform their competitors, and women have higher emotional intelligence and are naturally more humble, sensitive and considerate leaders than men.
Most women are trained from early childhood to nurture, to be kind, and to think of others before themselves. To be perceived as otherwise is to lay ourselves open to the denigrating charges of being bossy, cruel, mean, and b*tchy.
Humble leaders work to support, inspire and develop others. Humble leaders teach others the best of what they know, they help others achieve.
WarningArrogant leaders fear competition. They are bullies, they take credit for the experiences of others and then blame others when their organization is failing.
Women Are Better Communicators
There are many studies that conclude that women are wired to be effective communicators. In fact, it is widely considered their strongest skill.
A combination of emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, and empathy allow women to leverage communication in deeper and more impactful ways.
Female leaders have long used this skill in building relationships with co-workers, employees, partners and clients. Strong communication not only makes women more approachable but helps leaders execute plans and delegate responsibilities with greater clarity.
Women leaders also relate better with employee and customer concerns due to their listening capabilities.
Strong communication skills are very helpful when it comes to delegating responsibilities and executing business plans and women’s interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence and empathy allows them to communicate deeper and have an impact while doing so.
Women usually come up with better ideas to motivate people. Since observation is one of women’s bigger traits, they have the capacity to know what motivates and triggers each one of her employees, deal with their emotions and come up with innovative ideas to fill them up with confidence.
Women leaders tend to be participatory and possess a democratic style of leading people.
WarningThey seem to abhor ‘command and control style’ practiced by male leaders. Women often times indirectly communicate their expectations of a given task and allow more space in accomplishing a goal.
Another female leadership trait is persuasiveness. Part of the skill of persuasion means genuinely believing in the idea you are presenting.
Women tend to be more attuned to situations, which means they are able to accurately take in information on all sides, synthesize it and incorporate it into a larger solution. This skill makes them measurably more persuasive than their male counterparts.
Women Can Wear Many Hats
Women are often balancing several areas of their life on a constant basis, managing their household, children, aging parents, and their careers. This means women have great practice in finding solutions to different types of issues that demand their attention, without getting stuck or isolated with one area of responsibility over another.
This ability to switch gears, adjust, and refocus is a valuable skill for leaders, particularly when overseeing several groups or departments.
Women are less affected by interference when carrying out certain tasks than men, and hormones may play a part in this discrepancy. A recent experiment found that the walking pattern of men — who typically have low levels of oestrogen — changed when they had to perform a difficult verbal task at the same time.
Suffering from busyness, and it is something to suffer from, will reduce your impact as a leader. The key to working smarter and feeling better is understanding what’s driving this busyness and identifying the simple steps and changes that could allow you time to focus on what really matters for you and your business.
Women pivot, adjust and focus on solutions. Resting in the doom and gloom can be time-consuming, so many shift to find positive solutions to life and work problems.
WarningWearing many hats is often a regular occurrence in a women’s life. They often balance careers, households and even aging parents, among other things.
Women make great leaders because they are flexible, and agile.
They can see the direction they thought they should take our company in isn’t working and they regroup and change course for the better without much deliberation. Characteristics typically associated with females are also core to successful Agile leadership: collaboration, communication and nurturing of relationships.
Women Shake The Table
Women make great leaders because they have an innate ability to dream big, challenge assumptions and inspire teams — and they know how to translate big ideas into concrete action and results.
Women leaders are more transformational than men leaders. They function as a role model for their subordinates.
They inspire their team and spend a lot of time coaching their team. They care a lot about their personal development. Women leaders emphasize teamwork and authentic communication as a key to success.
Women leaders demonstrate more willingness to question the status quo. Strong female leaders frequently feel the need to challenge “the way business has always been done.”
WarningThey don’t necessarily accept a traditional approach to strategy and may be more willing than some male leaders in pushing back against convention when they feel strongly about finding a more effective solution.
Feeling the sting of rejection, women leaders learn from adversity and carry on with an “I’ll show you” attitude. They are creative problem solvers motivated by obstacles. The desire to overcome a challenge fuels them to get things accomplished. True leaders don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.
Women are often willing to flex the rules to get things done. Part of this impetus is a result of the willingness to pursue a more fulfilling workplace and life.
That could be because women tend to push creative limits and innovate to get better both personally and professionally. Women are more likely to be transformational leaders and tend to motivate employees to be more dedicated and creative.
Entrepreneurship is just a way of life for many women. They can be extremely resourceful, connect the dots of opportunity and become expert in developing the relationships they need to get the job done.
Many women leaders also see through an entrepreneurial lens to best enable the opportunities before them. They know that to create and sustain momentum requires 100% focus on the objective.
Women Make The Dream Work
Women are much more cooperative and collaborative than men and show more concern for fairness. Therefore, women engage better with employees because of their concern for individual growth.
Women leaders have an inclusive, team-building leadership style of problem solving and decision making.
They take pride in seeing other people succeed and move forward in life. Women leaders are more interested in hearing all points of view, then making the best possible decision.
In addition, the final decision women leaders make do not necessarily have to be their initial point of view.
They are able to read situations accurately and take in information from all sides, then make the most informed decision possible. They are not just listening to form their answer, but really listening, learning, reflecting, then implementing a plan that incorporates the best of everyone’s ideas.
Women leaders generally prefer leading flat organizational structures that enables all to work in a collegial atmosphere interpedently.
WarningFlat organizational structure overlooks the experience and knowledge of seasoned employees and the manager. Women leaders usually are critical of hierarchical structure of organization.
One of the key aspects of leadership is the ability to help your team members develop their own skills and strengths. Women are naturally nurturing, which in the best scenarios can translate to helping those around you succeed.
Women leaders always promote cooperation and collaboration amongst the team members.
WarningThey can make use of their intuitive natures to discern conflict within a team — and then seek to resolve that conflict — as well as follow their instincts to favour a team approach, rather than asking an individual to take on too large a challenge.
Women leaders know what cards to play and keenly calculate the timing of each move they make. They are pure strategists.
At times they “play the part” to test the intentions of others and to assure that they are solidly grounded and reliable. Successful women leaders know how to play the game when they have to — and can anticipate the unexpected.
Women Are Purposeful
Women leaders enjoy inspiring others to achieve. They know what it’s like to be the underdog and work hard not to disappoint themselves and others.
Women leaders often have high standards and their attention to detail makes it difficult for others to cut corners or abuse any special privileges.
Women who have successfully climbed the ladder have also carried with them both a personal and a collective history of overcoming obstacles unique to being a woman. There is a natural desire, then, to be a role model for future generations of women to do the same.
The most effective women maintain a clear vision of what they wish to achieve — both in the short-term and over the long haul. Aspects of this vision may change, but the commitment to reaching one’s objectives remains unwavering.
WarningThis is frequently illustrated by a woman leader’s drive to balance her professional obligations with her life outside of work. Maintaining this precarious balance requires creativity and flexibility, additional traits demonstrated by effective leaders (of either gender).
The most successful women leaders are big believers in team building and the enforcement of mission, goals and values to assure that everyone is on the same page with like intentions. This secures a sense of continuity making it easier for everyone to have each other’s backs. No wonder women are assuming more management and leadership roles in family owned businesses.
Women are pragmatic, resilient and usually able to maneuver tricky situations with grace.
WarningTheir perspectives are born out of a mix of trial by fire and sheer fortitude. They look at the world with bravery and are able to piece together the world around them like a complex puzzle.
Truth is enormously important, because truth builds trust. Great leaders are rational optimists.
In other words, they can help employees manage uncertainty by showing what they know, what they don’t know, and sharing the optimism that you’ll all get through something together.
These personality qualities and traits combine to create a leadership profile that is much more conducive to today’s diverse workplace, where information is shared freely, collaboration is vital and teamwork distinguishes the best companies.
In today’s world, organizations that are led by inclusive leadership teams make effective decisions that deliver better result.
WarningIn the twenty-first century, the essential qualities required to lead include the ability to collaborate, connect, empathize and communicate. All these qualities are feminine in nature and can help build a more sustainable future.
Many statistics show that companies led by women have better financial results.
Leadership by women is vital to increase the pace of societal transformation at home and in the workplace. Women leaders are likely to provide an integrated view of work and family, resulting in an engaged and promising personal and professional future.
Knowing and trusting that the person at the top, whoever they may be, is committed to advancing the interests of the whole can raise spirits and keep everyone looking toward the future.
Gender parity in leadership is important because true progress cannot happen without a diversity of perspective in leadership roles. To the great women in my personal and professional life, thank you for the opportunity to be inspired and mentored by your leadership! Share your thoughts in the comments section below with our community!