Leadership is changing, and female leaders must keep up with these changes to be successful in their roles. While there are more than seven attributes needed to undertake a leadership position, these attributes, in particular, are important if you wish to aspire to become an effective female leader. Exemplifying any or all of these traits is a great place to start if leadership is on your radar.
It is one thing to aim for something and another thing to achieve it. The difference is usually in the determination factor of the individual. A successful person is rarely created overnight. What you don’t get to see is all the hard work that went into getting there. The late nights. The failures. The rejection. It happens to all good leaders at one time or another. The difference is that they have the strength to bounce back from these setbacks and continue working towards their end goal. If you are determined always to follow through and do the work which needs to be done, then your team will follow suit.
If you listen to an effective leader speak, they all seem to have a specific quality to their voice. This quality that resonates through each and every word is their passion for the work that they do. They believe in themselves and the job they represent wholeheartedly. Similar to determination, it is this passion which allows them to carry on when the going gets tough. It is this passion which enables them to do the hard tasks that others shy away from. Being happy and doing a job you love will ensure that your passion is there at the ready, giving you the confidence to do what you do best.
Leaders seem to have this reputation that they have to be a bit tough on their subordinates to command respect. But the opposite couldn’t be further from the truth. While there is nothing wrong with being direct or sharp when the situation requires, women have the ability to tap into their kindness and motivate their workers through their naturally caring demeanours. Being honest and transparent about your methods will get you further than feeling like you need to lead behind closed doors.
Confidence is not just about being able to stand up in front of others and give a good speech; it is about self-worth and believing that you are the best version of yourself that you can be. This does not mean being the best but trying your best – there is a huge difference between the two. Confidence instills trust and the actions of a confident leader are generally consistent. Confidence can be cultivated by taking on challenges and rising to them when they appear without fear or judgement.
While innovation or creativity may not spring to mind initially as a must-have trait, those who are trying to do more than just get through the day will appreciate this quality. When the going gets tough, the innovative get creative, seek different methods of achieving things and solve problems without complaint. Without innovation, we are not able to progress in any form, big or small; getting out of the rut is imperative.
All good leaders need vision to forge ahead. Like a signpost it keeps them on track when doubt starts to creep in. It enables them to follow a specific path and inspire others to do the same. This vision is not to be confused with the company’s policies or objectives; it goes above and beyond that. If a leader can paint a clear picture of their ideal future and communicate that vision to others, in turn creating change, then so much the better.
Success is keeping the balance between these traits and of course that tricky act of work/life balance besides. If you are the first to leave the office yet expect others to stay and work overtime then you will not gain any respect from your followers. You must be the example for others to follow and balance your kindness, confidence, vision, passion, innovation, and determination with other necessary traits that go with the turf.
These seven attributes while helpful in their own right, when combined, create a strong female leader who can wield great influence over others, even over individuals and groups that do not fall under their direct authority. Being able to master this skill is helpful for women looking to make a real difference in their field of work.
Give yourself the best chance at becoming an inspirational leader by working with Linda from Athena Coaching to develop and nurture the incredible strengths and talents you already possess.