It’s a man’s world – but women in business are steadily working to change that. Make no mistake that largely influential women exist, and have always existed, but women in a business setting often have to work ten times as hard to receive the same level of respect as their male peers, and female leaders are looked with a magnifying lens. In short, it can be hard to lead a team, a business or a project as a woman – but it’s possible, and you can succeed.
All leaders require key traits, but women need those and then some in order to gain the respect of their peers, employees and others within a business setting. These are the four biggest qualities you need to succeed as a female leader:
Men often see a woman who is emotional as unhinged, while also reacting to cool, calm and collected women with choice expletives. In many situations, you can’t win for losing – but that’s okay, because the task at hand is really what should be king.
A strong female leader is one that is emotionally stable, and this isn’t just to jab back at the peers who attribute weakness to moodiness. Any leader must be calm and collected, but female leaders have something more to prove in how they are even, resourceful and emotionally clear-headed when making decisions.
In short, they don’t crumble in the face of adversity – they overcome it and are better for it.
To be a leader you must be a visionary, and this means creating an innovative plan and executing it with purpose. When a leader makes a purposeful decision, they’re showcasing many other important leadership qualities: intelligence, resourcefulness and power. To be purposeful is also to know how to communicate well – you can execute orders clearly and see your plans come to fruition.
It was Eleanor Roosevelt who said “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Women in business know this idea very well, but female leaders must internalize it. All leaders must be determined, but women should be driven by the determination to prove themselves.
Female leaders don’t have it easy, and in a perfect world they would only have to work as hard as their male counterparts. Instead, determination and the idea that they must use all their skills and resources to make it to the top is why we have the powerful women figures that we have today.
Finally, all female leaders should exude confidence. A confident leader is a leader that people can trust, and they know that everything will go according to plan under a leader who is sure of themselves and their ideas. This is the most critical quality because confidence is what gets people to follow you – no one wants to trust in an unsure leader, male or female.
Also, female leaders will likely be questioned more than their male counterparts. While this isn’t a reality that is agreeable, it’s one that must be faced head on. A good leader takes their confidence and wields it like a shield – that’s how a female leader becomes successful.