WOMEN AND THE CHALLENGE OF LEADERSHIP.
At creation, the woman was God’s masterpiece. She was His joker and last card. She was endowed with life giving ability as well as intuition to discern and navigate her environment. This place where the woman finds herself relegated, despised and abused is a far cry from the original intention. Instead her God given abilities were supposed to expose her to endless possibilities for creation and wielding influence. Isn’t that what leadership is about? The major challenge is that a lot of women do not realize that they have been so richly endowed simply by virtue of their womanhood.
In recent times more and more women are becoming leaders in business and politics across the globe. Countless researches have proved over and over again, that given the same leadership opportunity as her male counterpart, the woman will most probably deliver better results. So her ability to deliver is not in doubt. The question is, will you, as a woman, take the bull by the horns and be the best you that you can be? That is what leadership requires.
Will you, as a woman rise above our social norms of relegation, despise and even abuse and permit the leader in you to emerge? Will you be courageous enough to acquire the necessary skills to enable you excel as a leader? Will you embrace technology, get a good education etc. Will you just get up and go despite your emotions, your hormones, the numerous roles you must play and relationships you must manage? Will you embrace your womanhood and allow it to propel you rather than hinder you? Your ability is not in question, so yes you can. More importantly, yes you will.
Why must you take up your leadership mandates? Look around you. Can you see your families, your communities and even the entire nation waiting for you to get them out of the quagmire they are currently in? You cannot afford to fail or disappoint them.
What are the most important traits you must embrace to fulfil your leadership mandates?
- Vision: You must have a vision you are passionate about. The will engender the focus required to lead.
- Understand yourself. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Horn your strengths and manage your weaknesses. By extension trust your instincts. Trust your intuition.
- Build strong and lasting relationships. See the people you work with as people not tools of trade. They help you accomplish your tasks but they are people with personalities, character traits, expectations, strengths and weaknesses. Building strong relationships with them will enable you achieve far more as a leader.
- Emotional Intelligence: the ability to monitor and manage emotions-yours and the people around you, and sift through them correctly , so that you get the desired and appropriate response
- Keep Upgrading: acquire more skills as you grow, read widely, never stop learning, formally and informally.
- Build a strong support system. Family friends, personal staff to help you navigate all the roles and relationships.
- Announce yourself and the things you do. Seek recognition for what you do. It is not humility to be quiet about what you do.
- Recognise there is a Higher Power at work in your life. That is where wisdom, strength, fortitude, perseverance and creativity for leadership come from.