When You Think “Leader” Who Do You See in Your Mind’s Eye?
Don’t Miss the Global Women’s Leadership Summit Just for Professional Women
“I can’t go to another meeting!” Well, you don’t have to. This meeting is going to come to you. And it’s all about leadership in all its many forms.
Women are not naturally seen as leaders because leaders are generally seen as strong, decisive, independent thinkers, movers and shakers. This is a male gender stereotype, and when women take on these characteristics, they are seen as unlikable, difficult, and bossy. But the new leaders have to create consensus, community and communicate differently in order to be highly effective. These characteristics are found more often in women. Unfortunately these words are not the first words that come to mind when describing effective and empowered leadership.
Add to that the unfortunate fact that women internalize expected roles without questioning their validity or usefulness to their career aspirations. In doing so they lower their own expectations of themselves and more importantly of others who play important roles in their lives. These “other” important people–their family, friends and co-workers–need to have their expectations of you, the woman leader, to be aligned with your goals. Without this alignment you deplete your energy. You swim upstream. Without this alignment you challenge your values.
And your power to lead and make a difference is derived from preservation and wise use of your energy. You need strength when challenges inevitably arise. You need strength to face the daily decisions.
Gendered expectations can be overcome and turned to your advantage on the road to leadership. And the more we do this, the more “normal” women’s leadership styles will become.
Redefining your expectations of yourself is not enough to give you the energy (power) you need to fully develop your leadership potential. You must instill value driven expectations of your family, your friends and your colleagues. Once done, the effort will bring you beyond your own leadership aspirations and will enhance your life (and theirs) in many unexpected and valuable ways.
If you want to hear more about this exciting topic register for the free pre-summit that starts September 19, 2013 at any computer near you.