Leadership: The Female Advantage


Women and Leadership – 9 Important Lessons

It’s no secret that women have certain qualities, which will give them an edge in business. When used strategically, these special qualities can breathe life into their career, helping them break through the proverbial walls and ceilings. Susan L. Colantuono is best known as the CEO & Founder of Leading Women. In this article, she shares fundamentals that can add fuel to your career and launch you into a brand new stratosphere.


If you’re looking for that special insight into leadership that will give your career a boost, you might find it among these nine (often undiscussed!) leadership fundamentals.

1. Know what leadership is: “Leadership is using the greatness in you to achieve and sustain extraordinary outcomes by engaging the greatness in others.” Susan L. Colantuono
2. Don’t be smug about your interpersonal skills. Conventional wisdom about leadership is rooted in a time when there were virtually no women being studied. It overemphasizes one of the three elements of leadership: interpersonal skills. The implicit message is that if you have strong interpersonal skills, which women do, you will get to the top. This is inaccurate. Read on!
3. Business skills are essential to leadership and career success. In order to “achieve and sustain extraordinary outcomes” women need business acumen, strategic acumen and financial acumen.
4. Traditional leadership development programs aren’t equally effective for men and women. That’s because they tend to overemphasize interpersonal skills and underemphasize business skills. Studies have shown that women have command of interpersonal skills, so traditional leadership development programs under-serve women’s needs.
5. Use the word leader wisely. When any random person in a management or executive position is called a leader (even if s/he doesn’t fit the definition), it confounds your understanding of leadership. All companies have executive teams, but not all have leadership teams. “Leader” is not a synonym or replacement for the term manager or executive.
6. Be skeptical of the idea of “leader versus manager.” Great acts of business leadership require that executives and managers both “do the right thing” and “do things right” – engage hearts, minds and efforts! Leadership is required at all levels: individual contributor, supervisor, manager and executive.
7. Wear the mantle of leadership. This means acting like a business owner rather than as an employee. By donning the mantle of leadership at whatever level, from individual contributor to executive, you are looking for what you can do for the business rather than what the business can do for you.
8. To move up you must understand how leadership differs by levels. What you see depends on where you stand. To move to the next level you have to understand how leadership in the job you seek looks to the manager above it!
9. Leadership is a set of learnable skills that can be improved through the hard work of disciplined practice. You need the intention to improve, discipline to seek, receive and analyze feedback on your performance; and the opportunity to repeat activities and gauge improvement.

Armed with these nine fundamental points about leadership, you are better equipped to chart a career with no ceiling and no walls. Though it’s not easy … it is simple!


Susan L. Colantuono is best known as the CEO & Founder of Leading Women. To learn how Leading Women helps companies and individuals overcome the common barriers to women’s advancement, visit: http://www.LeadingWomen.biz or call 401-789-0441. She is also the author of No Ceiling, No Walls: What women haven’t been told about leadership from career-start to the corporate boardroom.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Susan_Colantuono

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