I’m not saying anything groundbreaking when I say being an authentic leader is something that employees are increasingly demanding in this day-and-age. As a leader today, it’s very important to be more personable, to show more characteristics of yourself and not just to be the face that people can see.
But being an authentic Woman Leader? Now you’ve got my attention and here’s why…
I think it’s a prime time for women to have a candid conversation about influence, power and challenging the status quo. It’s a conversation that will impact both men and women and should certainly include both. According to Alyse Nelson, President & CEO of Vital Voices, “women make up 52 percent of the global population and control $20 trillion in annual consumer spending.” Based on this, it’s fair to say women have a large impact on the world and how we choose to wield our influence as a group has boundless potential to define local communities and the global marketplace.
It’s now universally accepted that women are proven catalysts for economic growth and yet they are also a leadership reserve. Why is that?
Hundreds of publications have been written to answer this with countless opinions, so I will suffice to keeping it somewhat simplified... One thing I hear from women (of all ages) is self-doubt. I share this from my own experiences, but have come to understand the most important driver of shedding self-doubt is exercising a sense of purpose and motivation towards serving others. When you know why you’re doing what you’re doing then perspective reigns with the capability to persevere.
In today’s world, collaboration, conviction, inclusiveness, inspiration and mentorship are key behaviors women possess and these behaviors set them apart to lead us in the coming years.
The women I have known in my life and at work with Blueprint Technologies are pursuing equitable, sustainable leadership and progress. They are realists. They are visionaries. Their vulnerability is sexy. They are also Wives, Mothers, Sisters, Partners and then some. These are attributes of authentic leaders. What they are not, is waiting for someone to shape their world – they are persevering and creating the future for their families and communities.
Today, I am excited to attend Seattle Business magazine’s inaugural “Daring Women” event to talk innovation, growth, inspiration and women leadership. Seattle women from across multiple industries are convening to share stories and attend panel discussions about owning your leadership style, cultivating balanced cultures and challenging the status quo.
Until then, a shout out to everyone!
Be brave, be daring, be committed, be vulnerable, be ___(insert your word here)__, and continue to push the limits in order to be recognized on what you have to offer to the benefit of the greater good. Remember, people are looking for authentic leaders to follow. Don’t be afraid to be one!
About Mary Cronkhite-Johns
Mary is the Senior Solutions Delivery Manager at Blueprint Technologies, a nationwide technology solutions firm that helps companies digitally transform. She’s a versatile business leader with extensive program and project management experience across diverse business organizations. She’s passionate about identifying personal core values and she rides a Harley and an electric skateboard.