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Top 10 Traits For Aspiring Female Leaders


With International Women’s Day upon us once again, it is difficult not to be wowed by the continuing success of Female Leaders. It is inspiring to note this phenomena but what are the common characteristics they tend to exhibit and what can we make of this?

Here are my Top 10 traits for every aspiring Female Leaders to seek to emulate. You will recognise some of these in yourself already as well as others that you will be keen to nurture as you grow:

1. Ambition – Female Leaders cannot afford to look back or have room for doubt when it comes to achieving. Aim high from the outset and display this through your hunger and self-belief. Be confident, persistent and relentless. Have a clear vision, always focusing on the next steps and how to achieve it.

2. Emotional Intelligence – Female Leaders have the propensity to demonstrate this intelligence in droves and can use this for great benefit for themselves and their organisations. Be aware of your emotions and the emotions of others. Gain a good understanding of how you are perceived by others and allow this to influence your decision making.

3. Self-Recognition - It may not be clear to others what sacrifices you have had to make along the way or the challenges you have had to overcome to get there! So celebrate the steps in getting towards your goals. It is not all about shouting from the roof-tops but taking time to acknowledge your success and exercise gratitude to encourage a positive mindset.

4. Resilience – You may encounter many obstacles when aiming high but the true test will be how you recover from setbacks and perceived failures. Knock-backs that don’t kill you, make you stronger. Use them positively as a learning curve and take lessons from things that do not go to plan. Never give up, you cannot afford to. Grit is a powerful advantage to have in any business.

5. Inspiration - Female Leaders are proving to be icons in this space. Take on the responsibility to inspire others. If you take this on as a Female Leader, not only are you fulfilling an admirable duty but you will also motivate others while providing yourself with an even greater sense of purpose.

6. Courage – True leaders are fearless and embrace change. Lack of certainty should not phase you, it should spur you on! Understand that you cannot be comfortable if you want to grow in a meaningful way.

7. Stress Tolerance – Accept that stress is an inevitable bi-product of success (and failure). Female Leaders may be more inclined to feel that they cannot let their guard down in this regard which is why it is even more important to identify early what the triggers are and find solutions to minimise these using methods that work for you.

8. Self-Discipline - Successful Female Leaders have to balance their fair share of mundane tasks together with the more glamorous! Good daily habits are essential in helping to remain organised so that you can feel fulfilled. This may entail sticking to certain routines, diet, exercise, sleep routines and relaxation time. Balance is key.

9. Assertiveness – All leaders require assertiveness but Female Leaders have to turn this into an art to make it work effectively for them. Go about your business in a fair but firm and non-defensive manner. When required, pick your battles wisely and always let the rational override the emotional. It is always endearing if you are prepared to be humbled as a leader.

10. Self-Improvement - Constantly strive to better your present self without being overly self-critical as others will probably do that for you better than you can! Value your personal development and consider being professionally coached but also seek out a mentor that will champion you. To be effective on this, be bold and press on successful colleagues in your organisation to propel yourself. Evaluate yourself, identify your strengths and areas you may need to develop and always better yourself.

As an executive coach I help professional women develop and strengthen these traits to enable them to uncover their full potential.

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