What is leadership, and why does your leadership matter as a Christian woman?
In this episode, Holly and I dive into defining the topic of leadership. We provide the 14 things we believe leadership is. In addition, we cover a bit about what makes women unique as leaders. Finally, we discuss why your leadership is important and valuable.
What Leadership is NOT:
- A position or title
- Simply being the boss
- Expecting everyone else to do the work
- Being the loudest person in the room
- Being a people person
- Demanding or expecting respect
- Having all the answers
- Being perfect
- Controlling everything that happens
- Knowing everything that is needed for the task or job
What Leadership Is:
The dictionary defines “lead” as: “to go before or with to show the way; conduct or escort; to conduct by holding and guiding; to influence or induce; cause.”
In the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (affiliate link*), John Maxwell defines leadership this way:
True leadership cannot be awarded, appointed, or assigned. It comes only from influence, and that cannot be mandated. It must be earned. The only thing a title can buy is a little time-either to increase your level of influence with others or to undermine it.
Leadership is NOT simply having a title or being placed in a position that carries the responsibility of leading.
Holly and I share examples of people in leadership positions who did not display actual leadership. We point out that when someone is in a leadership position, but they don’t display healthy leadership, this often pushes away or discourages potential leaders in the organization.
We Believe Leadership Is:
- Doing things that other people won’t do and showing up when others don’t.
- Serving those you lead.
- Identifying the needs of those you lead and finding ways to meet them.
- Earning the right to speak into others’ lives.
- Seeing potential in others, even when they don’t see it in themselves.
- Communicating a vision for the future.
- Bringing clarity.
- A commitment to personal growth and a dedication to continually move forward.
- Celebrating wins (speaking positively about the team to others-“bragging up their skills”)
- Responsibility for outcomes.
- Challenging the status quo.
- As Christians, a big part of leadership is being sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
- Following the example of Christ and being led by him as you lead others.
Holly and I discuss some of these points in depth and share some personal experiences with them.Speaking positively about your team creates trust within the team and encourages your team members. Click To Tweet
What About Women Leaders?
The majority of leadership roles in companies as well as in churches are filled by men. As of May 2018, there are 24 female CEOs on the list of Fortune 500 CEOs—or just under 5% of the total list. Most of these women are white–only 2 are women of color.
This lack of female representation among leadership can make it tough for women to feel like there’s potential for them.
But we believe that your leadership matters as a woman, and women have some unique qualities that help us approach leadership differently. Women do not have to lead in the same way as men in order to be effective leaders.Your leadership matters. Click To Tweet
Below you can see a video from the former global CEO of Chanel, Maureen Chiquet, as she discusses women being themselves as leaders, instead of trying to emulate everything that men do. [Unfortunately this video is no longer available].
We discuss some of the unique qualities that women bring to the table as leaders:
- Nurturing/developing of people
- Relational – able to connect
God has wired each person uniquely, and you can use your own approach to leadership based on how God has designed you.
We need women in leadership. Even though our leadership roles might look different than men, that is okay, it doesn’t have to look perfect. We need more women mentoring future leaders as well.
Holly and I wrap up by celebrating our leadership wins for the week. My win is getting the podcast started by taking action even when I didn’t feel ready. Holly’s win is her work transition and how she’s been able to pass on the hard work she’s put in to the team filling her shoes.
We note that, ultimately, leadership is about working yourself out of a job. If you do leadership right, you will end up passing on that role to someone else.Leadership is about working yourself out of a job. Click To Tweet
What are your thoughts about what leadership is or is not, and what is something unique about your leadership? Join us in the Purposeful Leadership Facebook Group to discuss this episode and lots more by clicking here.
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