21st Century Women Leaders

The 21st century is indeed the century of women. It is heartening to see an increasing number of women venturing into the business world. From senior boardroom and other executive positions that women have held, we are now seeing them gain positions of prominence in the world of business too, emerging as successful entrepreneurs. The one common feature noticable about women, be it in executive roles or as entrepreneurs, is inspirational leadership qualities – an acknowledged and key ingredient for success.

What makes Women Extraordinary Leaders?

Having worked for over 12 years under wonderful male bosses, I have found working under the leadership of a woman boss an entirely different and highly enriching experience. My work has ceased to be a task that requires to be completed, but has instead assumed a larger purpose as a series of goals to be accomplished. More than ever before, I feel self-motivated to deliver my best.

I often wonder what it is that has brought about this transformation within me and in my attitude towards my work. The answer, in hindsight, is but obvious – the encouragement and inspiration I draw from my (female) boss!

I now realise that women are born with certain attributes – emotional intelligence, vision, judgement, courage, passion, integrity etc. These qualities are highly visible in women leaders and are highly infectious too. Empathy is another very strong attribute that women leaders possess – be it for their employees, colleagues, suppliers, vendors or customers. Women have the ability to put themselves in the other person’s shoes. They are gifted in their abilities to understand and sense if something is amiss with their employees, even if it is harboured and hidden deep within the employee and not visible to most people. Building a circle of trust and deep relationships with their employees, comes naturally to women leaders, making them excellent mentors and counsellors. This ability of developing and maintaining objectively driven and professional relationships, leads to a strong bond between the employee and the organisation, helping maintain high levels of employee morale. People blossom in a working culture that is friendly, supportive, and collaborative, and women leaders as front-line managers are excellent at creating such a work environment. This eventually leads to a positive and committed work force!

Key attributes of inspiring women leaders

I have always admired women in the variety of roles they are required to play – as wives, as mothers, daughters or as entrepreneurs. In my work experience of over a decade, these are some leadership qualities I have come to admire:

Focus

To achieve a stated goal, whether short or long term, focus is vital. Multiple priorities, conflicting tasks and distractions (personal and professional) are to be expected. Overcoming distractions and objectively prioritizing and managing conflict is key to bring about focus for oneself and consequently to a team one leads. Focus is a strong quality that women leaders possess.

Constructive Feedback

People become oblivious to their weaknesses and when these are pointed out by others, especially with some degree of reprimand, they can either switch off or even lose confidence. Women leaders are able to often times, provide feedback constructively, to ensure better performance, helping people address root causes leading to failures or lower than potential results.

Balance

By virtue of having to balance their personal lives and expectations of them, including maternal responsibilities, with their professional responsibilities, women consciously help others better manage a fair ‘work-life’ balance.

In summary

The hallmark of a great leader is leading by example, helping bring out the best in their teams. Women are endowed with the qualities that can form the key ingredients to be successful leaders and entrepreneurs.

We are poised at an interesting juncture and the greater economic challenges and the changing social order provide even more opportunities for women entrepreneurs to succeed and for other women to consider entrepreneurship.

Afterall, it is about focus and balance and you possess that in ample measure. It is time you lent your leadership to the world so others may experience the bliss of discovering oneself as I have, working under the leadership of a competent, able and empathetic yet highly encouraging and driving boss!

Write to us at info@webopower.com and share your views and experiences with us.

Posted By: Achla Bhardwaj, Team WEBO
Illustration By: Shally Tayal, Team WEBO
Posted On: December 26, 2012

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