By Samantha McKenzie
Being a leader doesn’t mean you manage a large group of people at work or are responsible for performance evaluations. Today’s leadership simply means you have the opportunity to grow an idea, implement a plan and be the driving force in orchestrating change. Whether you manage a group of 2 or 2,000, in your home, at the office or virtually, there are certain traits we all should have.
All women in leadership should have:
- A VOICE. It’s extremely important that women make their voices heard. This doesn’t mean we are required to be loud, overbearing or chatty Cathies either. And it doesn’t mean we should use males as our measuring stick. This means we should always participate in the decision-making conversations. A wise person once told me, “either you appear, or you disappear.” It’s just that simple. Find your confidence. Share your ideas. Speak up. Let yourself be heard. Your ideas may just be the solution we’ve been waiting for.
2. A VISION. It’s time we get into the big leagues and stop downplaying our abilities. What do you want for the future? Which direction do you see us heading? You have a vision for success, too. Don’t sit off to the side stifling your ideas, thinking nobody is going to listen or that what you have to offer isn’t good enough. Share your vision with confidence. Challenge yourself to take the lead and see your vision through. Now it’s time to invest in your innovative side. Do your research. Pitch your ideas and show off your out of the box way of doing things.
3. INFLUENCE. Influence is the new power. What money can’t buy, influence sure can. Turn your ability to make new friends into a leadership trait. Influence is the ability to build relationships with people who can help you attain your goals. Nobody does this better than you. Influencers pay attention. They listen well. And they master the art of conversation. They’re the people who move the needle. They make things happen. They are the people you remember for being genuine. Real influencers keep their commitments and are the types of leaders who you can count on.
4. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE. Today’s style of leadership calls for something new. Great managers know how to manage their emotions and the emotions of the people who work alongside of them. They tap into their ability to be emotionally aware of the people in their surroundings. Can you read the room? Can you identify who’s with you? Leaders who utilize emotional intelligence to manage can detect problems early on and address them. They know who needs motivation and who needs a few days off. They support their people and understand that healthy employees are more productive. They learn to invest in people.
5. AN INDOMITABLE SPIRIT. A leader with an indomitable spirit always makes it to the goal. Her team needs to know she’s in it for the long haul. This takes a good dose of mental strength and keen determination. Growing a company or moving a personal plan forward takes perseverance. This leader is persistent. She doesn’t take no for an answer. When she meets an obstacle, she adjusts her rudders and sails confidently ahead. This type of leader believes in the plan and her spirit is contagious. She won’t quit. And her people believe in her vision. This inspires the team to win.