According to the Harvard Business Review article, “What Women Know About Leadership That Men Don’t,” today’s effective leader “requires a blend of intellectual qualities — the ability to think analytically, strategically and creatively — and emotional ones, including self-awareness, empathy and humility. In short, great leadership begins with being a whole human being.”
I have worked for only one female boss for an extensive period of time, and she was by far my favorite, specifically due to her ability to connect with her employees on an empathetic and relatable level. She imparted wisdom and guidance on me, while also offering positive alternative suggestions to handle my workload. She was extremely smart, very likeable and always willing to assist.
I now wonder if her constant availability, personable demeanor and constructive criticism were tools she strategically utilized and made visible in an effort to successfully matriculate through the company. None of my male bosses were as accommodating and she was. Also, none of my male bosses were as nice either.
I don’t find it odd that out of all of the qualities noted in the vast articles about top qualities in corporate leaders, emotional connectivity is a constant on these lists when specifically discussing female leaders.
Tony Schwartz, the author of the “What Women Know…” article also pointed out that he meets far more women with this blend of qualities than he does men, and especially so when it comes to emotional and social intelligence.
He specifically noted, “For the most part, however, women, more than men, bring to leadership a more complete range of the qualities modern leaders need, including self-awareness, emotional attunement, humility and authenticity.” But do these emotional qualities necessarily equate to a more successful career as a leader?
Does utilizing these emotional and authentic qualities equal success both as a leader and as a company, where the bottom line is generally the sole indicator of winning?