LEADERSHIP BEYOND GENDER: WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP

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With increased participation of women in work and society, the world is witnessing significant social transitions. However, due to the perceived inability of women to deal with real world problems, we are far from optimizing their contribution to the leadership space. The social contexts world over usually judge, question and mistrust capabilities of women. Their contributions are assessed with bias and with extreme harshness. These in turn lead women to continually strive for approval, falling short or struggling to express their capabilities in optimum ways.

With undue demands on their person, women are often pitched against themselves leaving their potential to thwart and wither.

In this backdrop, women do not have enough opportunity to either experience life or solve problems. Taking for granted that they are better off in the background and women themselves believing this is true, has led to paucity of women leaders. If people dealing and problem solving are THE most sought after leadership capabilities, our women have not been trained to be LEADERS!

Women’s Leadership is a VISION thought to be embraced, claimed and internalized by women. Just like slight seismic shifts can cause massive earthquakes, slight shifts in the thought space can reveal how women are more than capable of leading from the front as well as the back by unhooking from the social version of the perfect fictional woman.

Building their minds from their strengths and testing that learning through every  circumstance will give them true power. As we re-orchestrate their minds to be trained in this new way, each anti-growth thought dissipates and the mental war comes to an end. For the woman begins to grow in her power and strength to lead others in the same way. All potential drain on their growth banishes as they bounce out of mental blocks and dive into a more powerful mental emotional state for the purpose of leading others.

As a lawyer I studied words like life, liberty, freedom, equality, dignity and expression that did not find the true import in many women’s real life experience. Interestingly, these words can only be expressed through experience and mean nothing theoretically unless we understand how to live their most legitimate, meaningful and powerful versions. Guaranteeing the right and freedom to live such words, our founding parents likely imagined optimized growth of human potential. Society was supposed to enlarge the liberality that these words offer through understanding and experience irrespective of gender. Men and women alike were to mean to live high potential lives.

Reading these words in the context of women showed that women’s experience was clouded and shrunk in most social contexts. There exist obsolete definitions of what a woman is supposed to be. Given that women’s responsibilities have changed over the last two decades, we needed to re-define and re-orchestrate women’s strengths, individuality and capabilities to lead themselves and others. That was not done and we lost out on their contributions, as we did not challenge the status quo. We still have not embraced the fact that women will have to cross over from the gender way of living to growth driven high potential living to become Leaders. Trained in the mind to aspire leadership and owning their learning experience is the ultimate leadership methodology and social leverage for women.

There is a need to encourage women and make them aware that they should not become victims of their own thinking. They should be fully aware of the harm that they may be causing to themselves by acquired thinking that has little justification in today’s environment. They have to learn, test and execute new thought to simplify the complexity around their existence and make it a work of value.

BEYOND GENDER: 7 MINDSET LEVERAGES TO BE EMBRACED BY WOMEN-

  • Leadership is about experience and thought. Unless we understand that thought leads to action and the leadership thought is rarely planted in women’s minds, women cannot experience what it means for their well-being. We need to create empowering experiences for women and support endeavors where women can showcase their capabilities, identify existing ones and develop new ones.
  • Women need drastically different mental training to capitalize on their strengths. Due to social expectations women continue to play in that arena without adding much to their own person. It is imperative that they are trained and that they conduct themselves differently from what they already do. They must realize that their innate strengths are often deemed weaknesses in the social context and that they must begin to discern the difference.
  • It is imperative that women’s consciousness is raised enough to raise their standards of thought, action and consequential experience. Women need to tap into their natural potential as it is humanly impossible to live straight jacket social formulas for life;
  • Women’s finer sides are under-utilized and must be fully utilized. Their biology gives them bigger communication centers, nurturing instincts, co-operative behaviors, intuition and emotional intelligence that are essential skills for leadership. Gender is a biological fact, not a competitive ground.
  • Problem solving is a learnable skill that can be mastered through experience and practice. It is directly dependent on how much we have grown individually to understand others and navigate through issues.
  • We must create exclusive spaces for women by having women oriented and women driven businesses to be able to re-define and quantify the VALUE created by women in each environment.
  • The idea of leadership is to be accepted, embraced and internalized by women as their possibility. They need to know that leadership is directly conditional upon their determination to reach their highest potential and fullest expression. The levers for optimizing our person are education, knowledge, mastering environments and utilizing all experience to learn and lead.

Consciously and unconsciously, countless women have chosen to live less or fight with or fit in the existing gender bias. Generations of women have resigned to underplaying their capabilities, talents and gifts. Expressions of women have been restrained, work devalued and freedoms curbed. The woman that has emerged is a person of diluted restricted expressions, making reduced contributions to the world. Asking such a woman to lead without training her to fully accept herself as a power person is unfair. Innumerable women have remained tied into life scripts that do not serve them anymore.

The Leadership Intervention where women are built to lead holds a promise to get them to re-design their lives in an empowering way. Searching solutions is not expected of women and we live in a society which only has one relationship with women, that of expectation. We live in times when the world needs to realize the need for more effective leadership. The basis to personal leadership lies in self-belief and self- awareness. Personal Leadership is like a foundation to build all other leadership ability. We do not need to shatter glass ceilings anymore; we need to build our person to a point where ceilings have no say.


Author Abha Maryada Banerjee is India’s first internationally acclaimed Woman Motivational Speaker, Leadership and Peak Performance Educator, Thought Leadership Advocate, Edu-preneur, and author of the best seller, NUCLEUS: POWER WOMEN LEAD FROM THE CORE/ Holistic Success Mantra for the Woman Leader For more, see www.AbhaMB.com www.BreakOutwithAbha.TV

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