While most people, even today, picture a man when they think or talk about a leader, leadership has no gender. It’s true that the percentage of women holding leadership positions in various sectors has been extremely low for the past few decades, but, this conditioning is changing and women are going all out to achieve greater heights. It’s impossible to identify who a great leader is unless you understand the traits that define true leadership. Women possess some unique leadership traits, which, unfortunately, businesses do not tap on.
Let’s take a look at some of the many undervalued leadership traits of women we must acknowledge.
1. Women understand survival, renewal and are opportunity-driven
There is no harm in being opportunity-driven, in fact, it’s only a strong trait that helps a person grow. It’s important to see the value behind the way women perform tasks. However, tough a challenge they may face, women always look for an opportunity that lies within. Opportunity here means the ability to learn from every situation and survive it. It also determines how a person can renew oneself and accommodate change.
Determining underlying opportunity is about seeing the glass as half-full and not half-empty, and women are certainly masters at that.
Women have immense grit and certainly do not fear, fighting for what they believe in. Also they are not only capable of pushing boundaries, but also about accepting failure and learning all they can from it. Opportunity arises from optimism and women certainly have the right frame to capture one.
Historically, women have been perceived and stereotyped to be emotional leaders. But is it a negative trait? Certainly not. Women are passionate about what they do and being emotional is the strongest attribute one can have. It leads to a passionate exploration in pursuit of profound success. Most people also wrongly misjudge women by believing that women are never content with what they have. But, why should they? Isn’t moving forward and striving for excellence a significant factor which makes life meaningful?
Most people are heard saying “women like to control things.” Yes, they do, and here’s why: Women like to control because they do not believe in losing the momentum that is required to accomplish their goals.
Women leaders are not content because they want to enhance situations for the better. Women do not procrastinate, they get things done. This is also a trait that mirrors a woman’s independent streak and helps her create a new path for herself and the workforce she leads. Their passion gives them the opportunity to explore new possibilities. This, by far, is the most significant leadership trait that masters innovation.
3. Ability to take meaningful decisions
Women leaders enjoy inspiring others to achieve. They know what it’s like to be the underdog and work hard not to disappoint themselves and others. Women leaders in particular often have high standards and their attention to detail makes it difficult for others to cut corners or abuse any special privileges.
It certainly can be difficult for men to understand why women think and act the way they do, unless they have been closely influenced by women. But, it’s never too late to acknowledge facts.
Women leaders with a nurturing nature are good listeners and excellent networkers. They enjoy creating ecosystems and support a collaborative leadership style that melds the thinking and ideas of others; this is what multiplies the size of an opportunity and/or its speed in execution in order to create a larger sphere of influence and overall impact. Women who don’t have to be right all the time make good consensus builders and will more likely enjoy participating in a team environment.
It’s true that women find it easier than men to switch attention to other aspects and this is a trait of an efficient leader, who has umpteen things in hands. It is scientifically proven that women are better multitaskers than men. Researchers by HSE Neurolinguistics Laboratory shows that “men need to use more areas of their brain, and expend more energy than women when doing multiple tasks.”
Women have been running the show since forever now, both at home and at work.
It’s not an easy task to build a career, manage the complexities of raising children, and run a household, all at the same time. Women, however, do this all the time. A recent research revealed that on an average day, only 19 per cent of men reported doing housework like laundry, cleaning and other tasks, compared to 49 per cent of women.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that women are masters at multitasking. And, although younger women are working longer hours and earning more than before, they’re still carrying the larger share of responsibility at home. From cooking, cleaning, raising children, travelling, to taking meetings in boardrooms, women are becoming pioneers in multitasking and this is a trait everyone must acknowledge.
5. Ability to tolerate stress
Women in the leadership positions deal with stress that most people can’t even relate to. Whether its irregular hours of work, constant happenings back home, or meetings piled up, women deal with the pressure that only increases with time. But, they tolerate the stress and handle the pressure by working out their daily schedule in a planned and organised manner.
Empathy is a strong weapon, and not many use it. Women have a better ability to cater to people’s feelings and understand them better. It’s natural for employees to have their own share of weaknesses and insecurities, which women leaders have the instinct to sense and recognise. What makes women leaders stand apart is their understanding of fragile situations and their ability to handle them effectively and practically. Women are, therefore, considered more cooperative and understanding bosses as compared to their male counterparts.
7. Collaborative team workers
It’s said that “when women support each other, great things happen.” Whether at home or at work, women are the glue that keeps everyone together. This is what is a mark of a great leader. There’s nothing greater than sisterhood and this year has been a huge example of the same. Women have the ability to sense tensed atmospheres and they understand what it takes to deal with potential problems or inefficiencies. Most successful women leaders believe in taking charge beforehand by helping subordinates deal with situations. This is a sign of involvement, and it only fosters a collaborative environment.
8. Every woman possesses an entrepreneurship trait
Entrepreneurship is just a way of life for most women. Women are known to be huge influencers, whether at work or at homes. They secure the foundational roots of the family and even protect cultural traditions from wavering. They make sure their families and their employees are strengthened with the right values and knowledge. Look around, and you’ll see women surpassing all stereotypes and managing their lives to the best of their abilities. If this isn’t a leadership trait, then what is?