What does it mean to lead like a woman?” Sumi Krishnan addressed this question in a recent blog published in Forbes magazine entitled “What It Really Means To “Lead Like A Woman’ “:
There’s no room for wallflowers in the business ballroom. He who leads will win. But what about she who leads? When it comes to the leadership dance, are we destined to follow while men dictate the pace? Until recently, women pursuing leadership positions often had to emulate men to fit the existing power paradigm. However, that leadership dynamic is steadily shifting.
In 2013, women made up 23% of all entrepreneurs seeking angel capital, and our goal is to drastically increase that number. According to John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio’s book “The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future,” business is quickly becoming a woman’s world. In fact, of the 64,000 people surveyed across 13 different nations, two-thirds told the authors that they believed the world would be a better place if men thought more like women.
The best way for you to lead as a woman in this changing world is to resist the urge to “fit in.” Instead, create new systems, new ways of thinking and new innovations that break the mold. Be bold. Be you.
I wonder if Krishnan realizes that her article prescribes biblical principles. The Bible teaches the wisdom of women leading from the strengths, qualities, and characteristics that God has lovingly designed into the female gender. The pages of the Holy Scriptures sound forth with women who excel in leadership, women who were business owners, military leaders, governors, laborers, marketers, beauty queens, negotiators, and who had other skills. Women like Deborah, Ruth, The Proverbs 31 Woman, Esther, and Lydia. These women led from their unique womanly strengths allowing themselves freedom to focus on the opportunities, challenges, and successes of business leadership rather than the struggle, turmoil, and anxiety of attempting to discern, “what would a man do?”
Krishnan’s article provides women in the workplace with sound guidance reflecting truth revealed within the pages of the Word of God. Every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17), and there is no gift more perfect than filtering life with a biblical worldview:
“What Does It Mean to “Lead Like a Woman? (from blog post by Sumi Krishnan)”
Leading like a woman means being yourself. By doing this, you’ll be a more inspiring leader, you’ll be more focused and present in your everyday life, and you’ll build a stronger, more powerful and more sustainable organization. Here are five steps to help you get started:
Embrace your “feminine” qualities. Qualities commonly associated with women — such as kindness, compassion and empathy — haven’t traditionally been considered leadership traits. However, in our increasingly connected world where the lines between work and life are blurring, good leaders need these qualities. As more women enter the C-suite and start their own companies, you should focus on tuning into the feelings and struggles of those around you, showing compassion and patience, and leading a more holistic and communicative business.
Be true to yourself. Women have traditionally been encouraged to emulate masculine leadership qualities in order to climb the corporate ladder. As a result, they try too hard to be taken seriously and end up concealing their true identities. But thanks to Millennials and their love of authenticity, the personality paradigm is shifting. Being open and honest about your emotions, values and fears is the best way to engage modern audiences. So don’t be afraid to show your true colors — most people will like you for it.
Align your business values with your personal values. Working … for a purpose or cause that is not aligned with who you are or the change you want to see in the world will ultimately leave you drained and incomplete. Building a business that’s fully aligned with your values allows you to be a force for positivity, and you’ll have more energy every day. And as an added bonus: When you start using your time to achieve your real goals, you’ll start loving your work.
Share your story. Leaders inevitably have stories about how they achieved success. Your story might not seem special to you, but it is. Sharing that story to connect authentically with your staff, clients and investors is a critical part of a leading like a woman.
Paint your own vision. Focusing on the big picture and painting your future goals can stop you from feeling pressure to conform. Your goals are completely unique, and they demand unique strategies. If you’re an entrepreneur, you have the freedom to think through your own brand of innovation — and how you want to shape your impact. Entrepreneurship allows us to make many of our own rules. So let’s take advantage of that freedom.
The point is that sustainable success will not come from fitting into anybody else’s mold. It’s imperative that you live your own life and lead like the woman you are.
I would add that it is imperative to… lead like the godly woman that you are:
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come…Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” Proverbs 31: 25, 31