Routledge and LeaderShape Global have embarked on a multi-year study to identify what type of leaders do we need in the 21st Century. Having looked into all different types of leadership, they’ve identified what is now know as the Transpersonal Leader.
What is that? A transpersonal leader is someone can authentically and ethically change the behavioral DNA of an organization. They have the ability to build strong, collaborative teams. They create cultures that equally value performance and ethics. They are radical, ethical, caring, and emotionally intelligent. They are constantly learning and growing, and they operate beyond their own ego.
Now, that is a tall order — quite the job description for leaders.
To make things easier to quantify, Routledge & Co created a matrix of 19 characteristics of transpersonal leadership. They then analyzed 7 years worth of 360 performance reviews to see how our current leaders match up.
And this is the gold! Women, guess what?
Women outperformed men on 15 of the 19 characteristics!
That’s right! As rated by their bosses, peers, and direct reports, women better demonstrate critical leadership qualities than their male counterparts!
So why do we not have more female leaders? Well, there are many articles and studies that go into the various complexities in answering that question. Routledge & Co’s study shows another explanation. One area where men significantly outperformed women is SELF-CONFIDENCE.
It seems women significantly undervalue their accomplishments, and for various reasons, suffer from the impostor syndrome and lack confidence.
How can we fix that? I propose we do so by reminding ourselves of what makes us great leaders.
So here it is. Here are the two areas in which women most significantly exhibit stronger leadership skills. Whenever you want to doubt your ability as a leader, read this and remind yourself of how amazing you truly are.
Area #1: Servant Leadership
Women have a greater tendency towards servant leadership than men do. Traditional leadership structures focus on accumulating power, and then exercising it over others. It’s an authoritarian “Do As I Say” approach. The servant leadership approach focuses on sharing power, empowering their team, and putting the needs of the team first, so that they can perform to their highest level. This kind of leader earns the respect and admiration of their team. This leader leads by example, and encourages collaboration.
An example is Gary Vaynerchuk. He is a strong proponent of leading by example, caring for your team, and serving your team. While he was building up his father’s wine business, he once delivered a case of wine in the dead of winter to ensure a customer got it in time before Christmas. He could have asked one of his employees to do it. He chose to do it so that he could show his employees what it is like to be the servant leader. His employees noticed, and their dedication to him and their performance on the job increased.
Women — you are naturally inclined to be more service oriented. Keep that in mind! You serve your team, they recognize it and you’ll see the results!
Area #2: Personnel Development
Female leaders tend to be better at developing their team. They notice the strengths of their team members, and then identify opportunities for their team to develop their potential. Perhaps it is because women are naturally better inclined at servant leadership? An aspect of being a servant leader is that you look to serve your team in all aspects, and that includes personal development. You keep an eye out for what they are good at. You notice what projects you could place them on. You notice their “needs improvement” areas and gently guide them on the path to improve.
Perhaps that is the key word — gently.
Women tend to have a more gentle approach when it comes to communicating sensitive information or negative feedback. We, as individuals, don’t like to be told that we are wrong or that we need to change. Even if we are eager to improve — part of our ego is bruised and part of us hurts when we get that kind of feedback. Having someone give it to us gently, with grace, and with diplomacy can make all the difference in our eagerness to improve and change.
One hallmark of great leaders is that they plan for the next generation. They know the organization doesn’t end with them. They develop the next generation of leaders.
Women — you are naturally inclined and gifted in exhibiting this characteristic of great leaders!
Our world is going to face (or should I say, is already facing) some big challenges ahead. We need the 21st Century Transpersonal Leaders to step up to the plate!
We need the leader that puts their ego aside, leads by example, encourages their team to collaborate, inspires their team to perform, develops their team into leaders, all while focusing on ethics and performance.
Women, you are ALREADY doing that. So celebrate yourself! Celebrate your natural leadership tendencies.
And then go out and lead — with BOLDNESS and CONFIDENCE!
The world is waiting.
Are you ready to Be Fearless?