Who ever said leadership is easy? To some, it comes naturally. You’ve heard the term “born leader”, haven’t you? That term can cover the range from someone who might be charismatic with an ability to articulate a vision to someone who can truly inspire others to take courageous, strategic action. I happen to think strong leadership is the latter.
As women, we often subjugate our best feminine powers in the misaligned belief that it will help us get ahead. I know this because I’ve done it. However, what I came to realize was the absolute power I held in my leadership was a function of being a strong woman.
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When I say “feminine power”, I’m not referring to your appearance, sex appeal, or cute and flirty conversation. I’m talking about real inner strength – a strength that calls your natural female talents to the forefront. When these are present, you have all the power that you need at your fingertips. When you deploy these natural female talents in your leadership, you can fulfill my definition of a “born leader”. You will inspire others to take courageous, strategic action and create a feeling of true accomplishment and contribution in them in the process.
What are these “magical” female talents I am referring to? There are many, but I’d like to highlight a few of the most effective ones here.
- Intuition – The power to sense the direction you need to take or insight into the answer you’ve been seeking that happens in your gut. This is a strong sense that pulls you in a certain direction, almost begging you to pay attention to it. Your intuition is strongest when you learn to allow it to surface. It will weaken the more you ignore it and dismiss it as frivolous. Remember, just because intuition is not something that is addressed at the conference or negotiation table, it doesn’t mean it’s not a valuable tool that can give you a real edge in your leadership.
- Empathy – The power to put yourself in someone else’s shoes – to see things from their perspective. This is a strong tool to have in your leadership toolkit. It comes naturally to most women, but can be perilous if used incorrectly. Practicing being empathetic can offer you valuable insight into why something is not going well, or not being carried out as designed. When you can ask yourself, “what do my people need in order to feel invested in this effort?”, you put yourself in a place of questioning. When you assume you don’t have all the answers about how everyone is feeling, you open yourself up to motivate others from an informed position.
- Active Listening – The power to really listen intently while putting your own judgement aside. When we actively listen, whether it be to information on a strategy or whether we are checking in with someone to see how they are doing, we tune into a state in which we put all distractions aside. This allows the person with whom we are engaged to feel heard and understood. This makes for a great interaction and is a significant element of establishing trust and loyalty.
- Collaboration – The power to work along side someone for a common goal without allowing your ego to get in the way. You’ve heard the phrase “no man is an island”, haven’t you? Well the same applies to women, however, you have a natural talent to seek out those with whom you can collaborate. You understand that there is power in the right collaboration and will help you offer a better solution with the buy-in you may need for effective implementation.
- Multi-tasking – The power to focus on more than one important thing at a time. This is a power that receives a lot of bad press, but our female brains are able to multi-task more effectively. Just look at what we get accomplished in our work, home, and social lives! We can keep multiple balls in the air while moving everything forward. The caution here is to understand your limit in multi-tasking – you can reach a point of diminishing returns.
I work with women all the time who have these innate talents, but have learned to suppress them in the spirit of getting ahead. These talents actually put you head and shoulders above others in terms of your ability to continue to enhance your leadership skills. The old male leadership paradigm is slowly breaking open to introduce the need for the skills you bring to the table naturally.
If this topic interests you, please click the button below to download my “Own Your Worth as a Feminine Leader” report. It’s complimentary and will give you some valuable insights into how you can begin to step into your worth.
To your success,
Tina Meilleur is a Leadership and Business Mentor, author and speaker. She is also the founder of Design Your Success and the Academy for Business Success. Her mission is helping high achievers match their desires, skills and experiences with the success they wish to create for themselves. Her “Next Chapter” program and CRAVE™ process are systematic approaches that can be used for making simple “tweaks” or orchestrating a total reinvention. Tina is the author of Your Next Chapter: Five Steps to Creating the Life of Your Dreams. She wrote this book to help others understand how she made the shift from her high-level corporate position to owning and running her own business. Tina has a CPA designation in the State of Louisiana and received her MBA from Tulane University in their Executive MBA program. Tina is a highly sought-after mentor, coach, facilitator, and speaker. She can be reached at Tina@DesignYourSuccess.com.