Women currently hold 4.8% of Fortune 500 CEO roles. What a freaky low number considering how dazzling women are in leading others! Isn’t being a CEO about serving others, rather than others serving the CEO? Serving others, at its best, requires empathy, healing, and awareness!
Being a CEO, to me, has never been about a feminist movement or arguing gender inequality. For me, it’s about working with what you’ve got…leveraging your female characteristics versus fighting to compete in a “man’s world.”
So, what are the qualities that give women a competitive edge in leadership today?
- Nurture: In order to survive, a work relationship needs the care and nurturing of two professionals, giving to each other in a way that creates a mutually beneficial connection. This includes the willingness to work through disagreements and kind communication.
- Love: Love is having a strong personal attachment for another human. Need I say more of why this works in the business world as we foster an environment that aligns personal goals with a company’s mission?
- Help: Helping is doing something for someone that they are not capable of doing themselves. CHECK. Enabling is doing for someone things that they could, and should (up for debate) be doing themselves. CHECK. As women, we can’t help ourselves but to do both; help others and enable others. Each can have its place at work and can propel a culture of empathy and high emotional I.Q.
- Nest: The ability of creating an environment of organized esthetics and friendly working conditions so that the time spent at the office is comfortable is an uncontrollable urge of many women. It is a significant variable of productivity that we build a home away from home for our work family.
- Approve: Women, in general, constantly seek approval and validation from others. We are like this because we do not trust ourselves to make our own judgments and need others to corroborate what we believe. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this is a good or even critical trait in a successful life, however, it does lead to being committed to high employee satisfaction…always committed to employee happiness. This ultimately leads to enhanced performance and reduced employee turn-over.
What other qualities do you believe set women apart in the workplace and in leadership today?