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As leaders, the greatest gift women can bring to the table is to support their team, regardless of what’s happening around them. I believe that to do that, one has to have a strong sense of self. There may be a team member or two who might overstep their boundaries and give the leader what’s known as “hell”.  Instead of descending into the pit along with the team member, she must be able to lend her a hand and pull her out of the metaphorical abyss. She must be impartial even if she knows some of the team members better than the others. She must do what’s in the company’s best interests, rather than indulge in petty office politics or one-upmanship. It’s not fair for a leader to completely isolate a member of the team and gang up against her, instead of supporting her. There might be women on her team who look better than her, who are more accomplished than her, who are more popular with the entire team, and so on. She must be able to put all her personal feelings aside and handle the team so that the team members learn something from her. The team members must be able to trust her, believe in her, and believe that she will not turn against them given a chance. That’s quite a tall order for women, but just when are women not carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders? 

I believe that every woman brings certain skills– soft skills or technical- to the table. The leader must be able to respect someone from any kind of background – whether the individual is from a small town, village, big city, or the Big Apple. There is no end to the expectations an organization might have from a leader or potential leader, and sometimes for a pay that may not even seem commensurate to the task. Women in leadership roles in a company have the levers of control in their hands, unlike their counterparts in domestic and societal environments. Men, on the other hand, are used to commanding others and in leadership positions, tend to be tolerant and forgiving of faults. 

A leader must rise above everything and everyone to maintain the balance of the team and keep everyone happy without hurting or insulting someone on the team. A leader must not take advantage of prior knowledge she might possess about the team member and use it against them when it suits her. Is it any wonder then that there are so few women leaders worldwide? Some of them just give up on their leadership journey and decide they don’t want to handle so much pressure or they place matrimony and companionship over their job. It takes a very special woman who will be able to walk that tightrope that leadership makes them walk on. Women must be able to treat men and women fairly and equally. Not that the guy on the team gets preferential treatment over a woman who might seem combative or flustered. Defend the underdog, but remember that the good performers must not be penalized for their performance by shouldering a heavier burden than others on the team.

A competent woman leader must be able to handle conflicts and be able to soothe and comfort people when they may face unforeseen shocks in life. What a good leader can do, other than be perfect, is to show up every day, do the work required, and delegate what can be called a fair amount of work, to ensure that the right person is entrusted with the right responsibility. As Einstein said “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. And that’s the very worst thing you can do to a living creature – Kill it from within. Even if one scolds a plant every day, it will soon die. How much more sensitive is a human being?

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ABOUT AUTHOR
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Aishwariya Laxmi

I’m Aishwariya. I’m passionate about writing, reading, marketing communications, books, blogging, poetry and editing. I’ve donned several hats, such as freelance journalist, copywriter, blogger and editor.

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