A couple of weeks ago, I was interviewed to contribute to an article for CFA Institute Magazine. The article’s subject was around (gender) differences to effective leadership. Wanda Wallace, Suzanne Bates, Katie Christy and other powerful women leaders were interviewed, too. I feel very honored to have been chosen to be part of this terrific expert group.
In essence, the article states that the differences in terms of leadership approaches and styles between men and women are blurring. Men and women have many similar leadership characteristics. Yet, social and emotional qualities that are necessary for a company’s success but not valued highly are more attributed with women leaders. Also, women look more at the long-term and provide more feedback when they are in managerial or leadership roles. Women respond to stress differently than men in that they go into “worry-mode” and tell themselves that they cannot do it for various reasons.
Wanda Wallace says, “what makes a great leader does not have a gender identity”. So it is not a helpful strategy for women to adopt typical male behaviors like strongly asserting his point of view and autonomy. In fact, since the 2008 crash men have started to shift to a more collaborative leadership approach. Differences are narrowing, and stereotypical perceptions are starting to break down. Differences are more to be found in individual personalities and continue to add value to an organization.
Women still tend to be more open to self-development. However, there is no proven path for every woman to succeed. Leadership development needs to aim at helping each woman become the best version of herself based on her very individual development needs.
Reflection and awareness on how we operate as leaders and how our behavior impacts the results of the organization is the key to effective leadership. This way, great individual leaders understand how to embrace a difficult challenge when it occurs. Contact us to find out what would help you become a more effective leader.
For the complete reading of the article, please click here.
Lead fearlessly! Annette.