What is women’s leadership? As I am honored this week at the 2017 MM&M Awards in the “Women to Watch” category, I reflected on and explored this concept much more deeply. It is a topic that is usually only addressed at specific conferences throughout the year and is typically positioned as an “other” category.
What about the everyday “Wonder Woman” in your office?
Is there a certain career path or personality that enables women to succeed? What helps these women design their own personal narrative of success?
Women leaders are both gatherers and hunters—often they must multitask to ensure they are able to do each exceptionally well. The old cliché of “knowledge is power” rings true within the halls of every company, but knowledge is simply not everything. While there are many competent women, words must turn to action and they must possess both strength in an exceptional mind and selfless traits in their character. They are proactive and continually seek out opportunities or find a novel path to creating them.
How do they acquire the most timely and relevant resources? These are attained through a relentless pursuit of prioritization of people and process. How do they hunt for the next opportunity or anticipate the next unmet client need? They are focused in their listening and ask countless questions to ensure they understand what will be needed to address the near-term and ensure success in taking the opportunity into a new trajectory.
They are a unique group of women that treasure loyalty and have an incredible level of self-awareness that does not require them to be bold—they simply are—and they don’t need to prove it in words as the only expression that truly needs to occur is in their action.
The everyday Wonder Woman creates a path that genuinely embraces others and inspires positive engagement and ingenuity in the very simple to the sublime. They are aware of the parameters of the typical “box” but are keen to establish an entirely new footprint, despite others thinking it is impossible or implausible.
Each female leader commands a room differently, but wields each action with inner strength. She is assertive without a need to be aggressive. She creates her own personal brand while leveraging the strength of others around her, realizing her personal reputation precedes her and follows her. She is living her legacy and is aware of the implications of her presence and performance. The everyday Wonder Woman earns respect by her unwavering work ethic, mutual respect for others, and innate ability to connect with others on an authentic, individual level as she provides immediate and lasting solutions.
We are these Wonder Women of today. We engage and empower. We know we are not silos. We respect talent and skill in our colleagues and we are poised to lead and mentor. To this end, we are generous and offer resources to young talent who have passion for personal and professional growth. We guide the next generation by teaching through example—to move past the limitations expressed in gender inequality and to overcome obstacles in their desired career trajectory. We empower them every day to find their own voice and encourage them to pay it forward and to join me in nurturing the Wonder Women of tomorrow.