If you were like most people yesterday, you spent your Sunday huddled around a TV eating and drinking while cheering on the world’s best battle it out for the FIFA World Cup.
In between the fast footwork, the head knocking jumps, and the oh-so-close shots on goal, the camera panned to the Executive Box with all the senior dignitaries.
I saw Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, cheering on her team. (Congrats to Germany on their win!) Sitting next to her was Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil (who country hosted the World Cup and placed 4th), and then I thought, isn’t the President of Argentina a woman too?
I needed to google it.
And yes, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is the President of Argentina.
So, although women hold only 20% of the world’s political power, 75% of the top #WorldCup team countries are led by women.
It got me thinking. There must be some correlation between women and leadership on teams.
Here are some qualities of women leaders that make strong teams…(in sports and in corporations).
A 2011 study by Leadership Consultants Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman of nearly 7300 leaders identified the biggest drivers of positive executive leadership.
Although women comprised only 36% of leaders in the study and even less at the top levels (22%), women scored higher in 12 of the 16 competencies of outstanding leadership.
Women have historically been associated with more of the nurturing characteristics, but there are clear management competencies in which women also excel:
1) Drive for Results – By establishing clear stretch goals, inspiring and motivating their teams to champion change and work together, women leaders aim and drive their teams towards results.
2) Take Initiative – The same study showed that women don’t believe they can rest on their laurels and so they don’t. “We need to work harder than men to prove ourselves.” (as quoted in the Harvard Business Review – http://blogs.hbr.org/2012/03/a-study-in-leadership-women-do/ ).
I call it the “Hustle Advantage.” We look up and don’t see many women, so we know we need to excel to make it to the next level and continually look to take the initiative to stand out.
3) Listen to Feedback – As Brene Brown mentioned in her viral TEDx talk, woman will get 39 positive pieces of feedback, but will labor over that 1 area of improvement. Although we need to balance our focus to also recognize the positive actions we take, identifying where we need to improve and then taking corrective measures is a strong leadership quality women embody.
Women who continually look to improve themselves through self development and develop their teams are the leaders that rise up the ranks and lead stronger teams.
If you are a leader who is looking to identify where you can improve before your next promotion, join me for a FREE webinar on Tuesday, July 29th at 7:30 pm EST where we will discuss the “5 Obstacles Between You and Your Next Promotion…and How to Navigate Around Them.”