5 traits powerful female leaders all have in common

Here's what makes them game-changers.

Earlier this week, the world celebrated the incredible Michelle Obama’s birthday - and with this, I couldn’t help but take a moment to pause and reflect.

What are the makings and traits of a powerful and well-respected, female leader?

The psychology of leadership and specifically, working out what sets successful women apart from others, is an intensely interesting place to learn from. 

So, I made it my business to observe the remarkably successful women leaders in the public eye, as well as those around me personally, to figure out their secret sauce.

After much digging, it turns out there are five important traits successful female leaders have in common. Buckle up... here they are! 

Powerful female leaders are:

1. Quick to empower other women in the workplace

It’s a fact: empowered women, empower women. 

And this is the case especially when it comes to the workplace. We live this motto out everyday in what we do and how we treat each other, our community and our members, at The Remarkable Woman.

Women still only make 17.1% of CEOs in Australia; and 26.8% of Directors* - making support of their ascent to the top more important than ever

Powerful females know this and take action to see it changed.

Women are, in fact, pack leaders - and know that their leadership skills come not only from their ability to manage others, but to inspire them to reach their ever-growing potential.

They are proactive in creating a women-empowered workplace, whether that’s echoing other women’s points in meetings, calling out sexism or mentoring junior female colleagues.

2. Emotionally intelligent 

Powerful female leaders are hugely self-aware; but are also highly tapped into their team’s emotions.

They know their strengths and are able to skillfully use language to emotionally connect with those around them - and specifically do so in the professional sphere. 

We’re all-too aware of the traditional perception about emotions being seen as incongruent with the business world - that feelings and business don’t align. That you need to remove emotion to be ‘strong’ enough to lead and make decisions.

It’s that whole trope of the ‘hysterical female’, whose emotions get in the way of rational thinking, decision-making and her ability to lead with conviction - queue the eye roll.

Of course, not only is that kind of thinking regressive and wrong, but also, those who subscribe to it greatly limit their ability to connect, engage and grow their relationships with others - personally or professionally. 

Someone who has completely taken a sledgehammer to this is a woman we regularly celebrate here at TRW - New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. Oh how we love her.

She proves time and time again that empathy and decisiveness can - and in fact - DO go together to create persuasive and powerful leadership.

The proof is in the pudding, not only in the world’s positive public opinion of her, but also in her extraordinary handle on the current pandemic, which we’ve documented throughout our famous Friday wraps: Founder’s Weekly.

Powerful females such as Jacinda know that their emotional intelligence is one of their greatest skills and powers - and are able to use it to not only their advantage, but their nations’ and to that of the world at large.

3. Fueled by a strong vision and sense of purpose

As Melanie Perkins, Canva’s CEO, says, “you can only grow as big as your dreams**.” 

Powerful female leaders are not afraid to dream big - and always have their eye on the wider vision.

They understand their leadership purpose or their ‘why’ - which is not what they do but how and why they do it.

Being incredibly clear on this will drive you in the direction you want to go and allow you to enjoy a happier life as you push forward each day with intention and purpose.

For our Signature Members, if you haven’t already, make sure you get clear on your own why with our video lesson ‘Find Your Why’ here. 

And if you’re not a member, sign up here to access it! 

It’s deep, powerful and a real game-changer. 

Powerful female leaders communicate their purpose and their vision to their teams regularly and inspire their colleagues to invest themselves, ensuring that the company’s vision trickles down into everyday tasks - creating an overall, united sense of purpose and drive.

In many ways, they are idealists, with a belief in making an impact and changing the world.

Their passion is contagious. People want to be a part of it.

4. Risk-takers

Women with impact know that no risk means no rewards. 

They have the confidence to take calculated risks, even if they sometimes lack confidence, or suffer from the effects of imposter syndrome.

They are able to do this because they know taking risks is the key to innovation and to achieving off-the-scale results. 

And whatever happens, they know that they will always glean valuable lessons from the process.

They’re not scared of failure. They know the insights are often the gold.

In fact, with 48% of female employees from one KPMG study saying risk-taking helped boost their confidence at work***, doing so actually has the power to make them grow their confidence even more in the long run.

5. Extraordinarily resilient 

Let’s face it - the odds are currently against women when it comes to top leadership roles. (But we’re working on it!)

Being an underdog means that they need a lot of fight to get up and to stay up there.

Powerful females are more than used to these challenges - and keep on pushing through, because they inherently believe in the value they bring to the table, and they know a universally true fact: they belong at the table. 

They are strong, capable and focus on their own abilities, without getting distracted by others’ opinions.

They know that if they want to skyrocket their career, it starts with backing themselves.

All in all, powerful female leaders set an incredible example to us all, with the courage and conviction to get behind their own skills - and to inspire others.

They are guided by a bigger purpose. They are emotionally resilient. They empower others. They invest in themselves in order to back themselves.

With this in mind, there is nothing stopping you from becoming the powerful leader you were born to be - and we’d love to support you on your journey.

There’s a powerful female leader inside you just waiting to come out!

I dreamt up the Signature Membership many years ago as I endured the real struggles of being a diverse woman in the men's club that was corporate finance - wanting to reach the top of the corporate ladder, but constantly hitting barriers that the white men around to me didn’t seem to notice.

I saw women earning far less than their male equals in the same role, often even at the same company.

As I grew my career into senior leadership my frustration only skyrocketed, as I saw far less seats for women joining me at the table. 

I wanted to offer women every ounce of support that they needed so that they could pursue their dreams and ambitions - and unlock the confident leader within them, with the support of a brilliant community every step of the way.

I built a team around me with the same vision and the Signature Membership was BORN! So now, you must take advantage of it. You must invest in yourself and the women around you. 

This is the key to your personal, professional and financial success. 

Learn more here.

*Gender workplace statistics at a glance 2020 | WGEA

**Canva's Melanie Perkins has 10 tips for startups with 'crazy-big dreams' - SmartCompany

***https://info.kpmg.us/content/dam/info/en/news-perspectives/pdf/2019/KPMG_Womens_Leadership_Study.pdf  

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