Men and women are different. They do not always have the same leadership qualities and are not always fit for the same positions. Hear me out before you raise your pitchforks.
According to many experts, women are naturally more empathetic and have a higher emotional intelligence than men. A high emotional intelligence is key in leadership positions. Women can read a room in less than a second, sniff out BS faster than most men, and generally have an easier time stepping into others' shoes.
Those are incredibly powerful skills that you should use every day.
As a woman, it's important to remember the key is not to "behave like a man" it's to use your femininity and whatever your own personal superpower is to lead - we all have something different.
Three golden rules powerful leaders follow:
- Never take things personally. While women can be more sensitive to emotions, that sometimes can mean feelings get in the way of logic. It's important to use that emotional understanding, but it's equally necessary to know when to put it aside.
- Do not be anyone but you. You are not Steve Jobs. Only Steve Jobs is Steve Jobs. You will gain more respect and loyalty by being you.
- Do not be afraid to put your foot down. I've seen many leaders worry about they way they are being perceived - and that impacts their companies dramatically. In the works of Kevin O'Leary, "you have to be willing to fire your mother."
If you look at leaders historically, many that are portrayed as tyrannous, shrill or otherwise unpleasant are considered some of the most powerful today. But peer over the other side of the fence. The ones who show the most humanity, respect and empathy are equally as strong and with more loyalty amongst employees.
Think of it this way: when the you-know-what hits the fan, who is going to be in your corner? Will it be the people whose lives you made miserable? I think not.