Developing Women Leaders: Five Essentials | Lucy P. Marcus

… Some of the characteristics of successful people, such as motivation, natural curiosity, courage, self-management, enjoying being stretched and rising to a challenge, personal will and fortitude, drive, and flexibility may be innate, but there is no doubt that these characteristics also need to be nurtured and encouraged.

Five factors stand out that help to support developing women leaders. Not particularly costly or demanding, they have proven to be very effective.

1. Basic Skills

… These include public speaking, writing, negotiation, and effective networking. …

2. International Exposure

… International experiences challenge thinking and certainty in a way that can be very healthy. The skills that come from living and working in unfamiliar settings are valuable in themselves, and so are the experiences that can be gleaned from seeing how other cultures deal with issues. It forces people to think outside the box and challenge them to find, and apply, solutions beyond their comfort zones.

3. Mentoring

Mentoring plays a big role in developing any career. … At different points in a person’s career, they need different types of mentoring. …

Mid-Career
It is helpful to have networks as a means of meeting people in their field and getting to know like-minded and like-skilled people. Equally, if not more important for individual development, is having one or two people who know the individual well and can help to council them directly and specifically about options, choices and direction and concrete ways of achieving goals. This can be a vitally effective means of creating clear paths for career development.

Career Success
The years when women are at the top of their careers are a time of consolidation, solidification and fulfilment. It is a time when women can stretch themselves or get greater depth in areas of interest – for example, in business that can be directorships, in politics it can be senior policy making or influencing positions. Mentoring one another via peer relationships and networks can be very effective and satisfying. Having a close group of trusted friends and peers who can be frank, generous, and root for each other’s success can be the thing that helps bring the goals that seem distant even at this point much more achievable.

4. Role Models

Role models are an extraordinarily fruitful way to inspire women to aspire to great things. …

There are two kinds of role models:

First, those who help us to think about the kind of people we want to be through examples of kindness, fortitude, courage, bravery, integrity, and other admirable characteristics, displayed equally by women and men, in their everyday lives and in the way they conduct themselves in the workplace.

Second, there are those who help us to aspire to roles that perhaps we’ve not thought of before or not encountered personally, particularly for young women – heads of state, heads of multinational corporations, leaders in political, cultural, or social movements. Seeing women in particular, anywhere in the world, succeeding in an ever widening array of roles helps inspire young women to broaden their expectation for their own possibilities. …

5. Starting Early

We need to start early to make sure girls know they are capable of reaching great heights. It starts in the youngest years of their schooling with words of encouragement and aspiration. …

Never settling, always being driven, and always seeking new experiences – these are the hallmarks of the most successful senior women, and indeed men, in the world. …

Do you agree with this list? Have these been a factor for you? Is anything missing?

in Women Leaders: Five Essentials | LinkedIn.

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