One simply cannot lead if people wont follow. Leadership is about authenticity and trust. Never has it been more crucial to have effective leadership than it is right now. Traditional systems are breaking down. Banks, insurance companies, political parties and nursing home systems are no longer working. We are demanding a better model. It got me to thinking about the great leadership I have had. There have been some great men. I’d like to reflect right now on the women who lead well.
They come in all shapes and sizes. They are in paid employment and they volunteer at home and in their community. Here are some of the women I know who excel in leadership:
Matriarch, mother of 3, grand mother of 4, wife, business owner who mourns the leadership that came from her own mother and grandmother. She passes her history to her family.
Mother of champion olympic athlete who is CEO of one of Melbourne’s big NFP’s.
Part time flight attendant, mother, wife navigating the dynamics of her in laws and ageing mother.
Senior executive, mother of 3, wife, president of the Kinder committee.
Sole parent of 2, now financial planner, previously assisted by the Salvos with food.
Retail business owner, mother, wife, grandmother who leads with her values system and sees the best in everyone she meets.
Mother of 4 young men, volunteer at Vinnies, wife, daughter, sister, cousin leads raising great men.
Young woman in a call centre taking time to hear a young mother’s grief at the passing of her husband. She leads and models empathy.
The sisters in the retail store who paid it forward with a gift of cash to a woman who could not afford the frock. Leading with generosity and kindness.
The business owner who takes the time to really ‘be’ with a woman in her grief. She listens, checks in, stays connected. She serves women in her rural community.
The psychiatric nurse who accepts, validates and celebrates the brilliance of the mental health patient in her care. She leads by example and shows her colleagues how it’s done.
The business owner who shares her knowledge and skills as she sprinkles her little bit of crazy on the planet. She’s a magnet. Everyone wants a piece of her magic.
The naturopath who goes above and beyond for her clients. She leads with love and compassion that has no end. She leads with abundance.
The addict who knows her condition and chooses to share her knowledge and wisdom with those who still suffer. Her pain is great. Her son took his life and she is masterful in her leadership.
The introverted executive scientist who sings and is a brilliant networker.
The designer who leads with unending optimism and a quick wit. Her focus is for the wellbeing of her elderly clients.
What is it that these women have in common? They know themselves, warts and all. They are not pretending to be perfect. They know they are fabulously flawed. They are authentic. What you see is what you get. Some of them I have known for over 50 years, some only a few months. They are all women I trust.
Who do you know to be an authentic leader? I'd love to know!
Let’s celebrate them!