Unique Leadership

Diane Brown
WIN Roundtable
October 14, 2013
Advice - What is the best piece of leadership advice you ever
 What is the best piece of leadership advice you ever
Our Agenda
 Leadership and the attributes women bring – what the
experts say
 So what does that mean to us?
 How do we take what we have learned today and
become more effective leaders – in our work, in our
families, in our personal pursuits
What the experts say…Zenger Folkman
 2011 study
 7280 leaders surveyed across the globe and across public
and private and government and commercial
 Majority of leaders are still men – 64%
 78% of executives are men
 67% of senior management are men
 60% at next manager level are men
What the experts say...
What the experts say…
What the experts say…
 Why so high on initiative and self-development?
 “We need to work harder than men to prove ourselves.”
 “We feel the constant pressure to never make a mistake, and
to continually prove our value to the organization.”
 Conclusion – in this study, women that were asked don’t
feel their jobs/roles are safe.
 Why lower on strategic perspective?
 Numbers of women in roles where strategy is considered to
be a requirement is lower
 Comparison of men and women in that small subset found
them to be equally competent
What the experts say…
 Their conclusions/recommendations…
 If an organization is concerned about retaining talent,
customer satisfaction, employee engagement and
profitability, it would benefit from recognizing the
leadership competencies that women excel at are directly
correlated to success in these areas.
 While organizations could benefit from leaders having a
mindset that they cannot afford to make mistakes, the feeling
of paranoia or extreme risk aversion among women in
leadership roles or who could enter leadership roles is
What the experts say…Caliper Corporation
 “The Qualities that Distinguish Women Leaders”
 Study included the Caliper Profile, demographic
analysis and in-depth interviews with women leaders
 Companies included Accenture, Kohler, IBM, Johnson &
Johnson, International Paper, Bank of America
 All ages, marital status and family status were
 Women leaders were matched with a representative
sample of male leaders from the Caliper Profile database
What the experts say…
 Finding 1 – Women leaders are more persuasive than
their male counterparts.
 Scored higher in areas like ego-drive, assertiveness,
empathy, urgency, flexibility, sociability
Allows women to read situations accurately, take information
from all sides which enhances persuasive ability
 Men have a tendency to start from their own point of
view and are not as flexible or willing to interact with
Force their perspectives through strength of positions – rather
than persuading.
What the experts say…
 Finding 2– Feeling the sting of rejection, women
leaders learn from adversity and carry one with an
attitude of “I’ll show you.”
 Scored on par with men in ego-strength, but higher in
assertiveness, empathy, flexibility, sociability
Provides women with a unique approach to dealing with
disappointment, rejection or situations that don’t work out
their way
“They (women) will feel the sting of being set back. They may even dwell on it, and tend to
be a little self-critical. But then they will muster their assertiveness, shake off negative
feelings, learn what they need to carry on and a voice in the back of their heads will say ‘ I’ll
show you.’
Dr. Hank Greenberg – Founder and CEO of Caliper
What the experts say…
 Finding 3– Women leaders have an inclusive, team-
building leadership style of problem-solving and decisionmaking.
 Scored significantly higher in areas like assertiveness, empathy,
urgency, flexibility, sociability
 Women are more interested in hearing all points of view to
make the best decision. The final decision does not need to
be their initial point of view.
 The difference in leadership styles between men and women starts
with listening.
“To learn, you have to keep asking. It’s all about asking questions. The
people I work with sat that the process of my asking them questions helps
them clarify their own thinking and they actually come out a little sharper.”
Susan Rice – CEO – Lloyd’s Bank - Scotland
What the experts say…
 Finding 4– Women leaders are more likely to ignore rules
and take risks.
 Scored significantly higher than men in areas like urgency, risk-
taking. Lower than male counterparts in external structure and
cautiousness and have high abstract reasoning scores.
 More likely to push back when they are overly bound by regulations
and rules, engage in more risk taking and come up with innovative
 Have a greater need to get things done
“Women leaders are venturesome, less interested in what has been than what can be. They
will run the risk of occasionally being wrong in order to get things done. And with their
abstract reasoning skills, they will learn from any mistakes and carry on.”
Dr. Hank Greenberg – Founder and CEO of Caliper
What the experts say…
 A new leadership paradigm?
 Study provided preliminary evidence that women bring
distinct strengths to leadership
Open, consensus-building, collegial approach
 This leadership profile is much more conducive to
today’s diverse workplace where --
Information is shared more freely
Collaboration is vital
Teamwork distinguishes the best companies
What the experts say … Thomas Malone
 What makes a team smarter?
 Created teams of people aged 18-60
 Had them take IQ tests
 Gave them a series of problems to solve
 Conclusion
 Teams with the highest IQ’s did NOT perform the best
 Teams with the most women did
“the standard argument is that diversity is good and you should have both
men and women in a group…..but so far, the data show --- the more women
the better.”
Thomas Malone – Harvard Business Review
So – women seem to have the right stuff….
 Then why……..
 Are there so few of us in higher positions of leadership across
all industries and segments – public, private, government,
 What can I do to…
Understand more of what I can bring to the party?
Develop a plan to use more of those skills?
We have met the enemy….
….. and she may be us……
Have you ever …..
 Wondered if you were good enough – to even be doing
the job you are doing?
 Doubted yourself and your abilities?
 Not pushed yourself to the next level – taken on
something new – because you felt you were not
“qualified” to take it on and succeed?
I still face situations that I fear are beyond my capabilities. I still have days when I
feel like a fraud. And I still find myself spoken over and discounted whole men
sitting next to me are not. But now I know how to take a deep breath and keep my
hand up. I have learned to sit at the table.
Sheryl Sandberg
Lean In - Sheryl Sandberg
 Excuses and justifications will not get us anywhere.
 What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
 “How can I do better? What am I doing that I don’t
know? What am I not doing that I don’t see?”
 Done is better than perfect.
Lean In
 Be more open to taking career risks
 We typically avoid stretch assignments and new
challenges - worried about having skills
 Shift from “I’m not ready to do that” to “I’ll learn by
doing it.”
 60% rule
 Skip the people pleasing.
 Think of your career as a jungle gym – not a
 Allow yourself to fantasize about your career.
 18 month plan to develop new skills
Understand yourself….
 Disc Profile
 Personality assessment
 Gain an understanding of your natural style of working
and communicating
 Learn how to communicate with others who are not
“your style” to develop better working relationships and
get things done more effectively and efficiently
DiSC – what does it mean?
Discovering Your Strengths…
 Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best
every day?
 Our natural talents go untapped
 We devote more time to our shortcomings than our
 Focusing on strengths leads to roughly 6 times higher
levels of engagement at work and 3 times more likely too
have an excellent quality of life in general
Strengths Finder
Pick up the book – Strengths Finder 2.0. Take the online
survey and receive a full report immediately.
Development guide includes
Your top 5 strength themes
Ten ideas for action for each strengths theme
Thought provoking questions to develop an action plan
Real world cautions….
Weaknesses or areas for improvement do need to be
identified, called out and worked on
A strength can become a weakness
Mentors, sponsors, networks……
 Mentors
 Usually behind the scenes
 More experienced person who brings knowledge of the
 Objective
 Sponsors
 Can be a mentor
 Takes deliberate action to put the person into situations they
may not have had access to before
 Networks
 Groups of similar demographic – may work together or may
 Can talk freely about challenges
In closing…..
 Go back to the leadership advice you have been given and
have given --- are you following it?
Experts tell us that our unique leadership attributes --as
women -- should prepare us for positions of greater
responsibility and lead to greater success for our
organizations and the women who follow behind us.
We can be our own worst enemies when is comes to taking
on greater responsibility.
We need to take the time to understand how we interact in
our circles -- work and personal --so we are ready to take
on more challenges.
Develop relationships that can help move you forward in
your thinking.
In closing….
Learn to Say Yes