Power is taking action in a moment that could make you feel powerless. Never let anyone define you. Only you define who you are.”

– Ginni Rometty, Chief Operating Officer, IMB

Although there have been many influential women throughout history, from Amelia Earhart to Rosa Parks, the rise of the strong woman leader has become increasingly common in recent times, and for good reason! 

These women disrupt gendered norms and enable equality not only within the workplace but also within the world. In doing so, they pave, the way for future generations of women. 

So, what defines a powerful woman? 

A confident leader tries her best, is good at what she does, and treats others with respect. There are many different traits which define strong leaders, but here are 8 of the most powerful ones.

Charisma

Something about a strong woman leader draws attention from people around her and calls for respect. While most men can dedicate themselves entirely to their career or chosen goal, many women balance their jobs with caring for children and running households. This is a trait often seen in millennial women, who have proven time and time again that its possible for a woman to have a successful career without sacrificing her personal life. She can embrace both parts of her life without putting one before another.

Male-dominated societies often mean that women work harder to prove themselves. But a strong leader will inspire other women to own the challenge of juggling their career while being a mum. She will act as a role model for emerging leaders and show younger generations that women can achieve anything that they set their mind to. Women who earn leadership roles in male-dominated societies are a great inspiration to other women who want to follow the same path, showing that these positions arent out of reach.

Confidence

Self-confidence is vital in reaching the top of any business ladder.  A woman who is confident will have the courage to assert herself in a male-dominated workplace and achieve her goals. While confidence is a trait that doesnt always come naturally to everyone, it can be learnt through coaching and mentorship. Through coaching, women who are less self-confident can learn to recognise their worth, power and purpose, which will help give them the confidence to apply for leadership roles. This is necessary if we want to achieve gender diversity and parity in the workplace.

At the same time, a leader should balance confidence with compassion and fairness to ensure her rise to power is not achieved at the expense of others. Knowing who she is and what she wants gives a leader the confidence to achieve their goals. However, a good leader wont let this turn into overconfidence – she will know when to admit she needs help and will ask for it graciously. Humility and knowing her limits are equally crucial to confidence.

Honesty

Strong leaders are honest and open to scrutiny. They welcome feedback and have a continuous desire to develop. When a leader is transparent, she builds trust with the people who work under her, allowing them to see both her strengths and weaknesses. 

Honest leadership helps contribute to a deserved positive reputation. A leader sets an example for others by letting them know the truth-telling the truth with kindness is not always easy but is a discipline that will serve her well for the rest of her life.

Motivation from Vision

An inspirational leader worth following always has a clear plan of where she is going and how she intends to get there. She will be prepared to stand out on her own and even go against the flow sometimes. Leaders who think outside of the box and look at things differently inspire others to support them. Ambition is a strong motivating trait, but a good leader wont set unrealistic goals to override her natural integrity or sway her from her vision.

Adaptability

While every leader needs a clear plan, she also must be flexible with that plan as necessary. Strong leaders can discern when to let go of mindsets and ideas that dont work. A good leader listens to feedback and closely monitors their environment, adapting her tactics accordingly so she can keep progressing to her leadership goals.

Focus

A good leader is focused on what next steps they should take towards their goals.  Many women are naturally articulate about their feelings and are good at accurately detecting the emotions of other people. A good leader can focus on the reactions of their team as well as the task at hand and can empathize with even the most challenging people, understand their motives, and use this information to convince them to see problems and issues in a new light

Stability

A leader should nurture and strengthen her emotional health so she can focus on your goals with minimal worries. A good leader is not taken aback by mistakes but is inspired to keep her efforts and actions consistent.  

She leader knows how to look after herself and her team, listen carefully to good advice and learn from her mistakes. After looking after herself, a good leader will have the determination and the willpower to keep on striving to her leadership goals.

Passion

Hard work and perseverance are vital to obtaining a leading role and can only be achieved if the leader is genuinely passionate about what she is doing. A great leader’s vision and passion will inspire her team to help achieve their shared goals. 

Women who are filled with enthusiasm and love for their work will inspire both men and women to work harder alongside them.

guest writer:

Maia Fletcher is an aspiring creative writer who enjoys writing articles on all kinds of topics, from travel to home decor and sustainable living. 

Find Maia at maiafletcher.wordpress.com

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