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Monday, July 25, 2016

Leadership rules!

Posted Monday, May 12, 2008, at 2:18 PM

In early April, publisher Julie Righter and I both took part in a leadership project in which we were shadowed by young women in Cottey College's leadership program.

I thought it would be fun -- it was. I thought it would be a great opportunity to share with someone from a younger generation some of the concepts of leadership and what I have learned over the years -- it was. We each were shadowed and interviewed, and let me tell you, verbalizing some of the concepts, successes and failures we'd had helped me to reinforce what I am doing right and take a second look at where I could do better.

On May 6, Julie and I attended a reception hosted by the students and teachers of the program, for the female leaders.

During the reception, each student introduced their "woman leader" and cited one or two of the things they'd learned from these mentors. Specific examples were different, but a theme quickly emerged. Students had learned that teamwork, networking, identifying, growing and using the skills of those who work with you are vital to good leadership. So is listening, talking about new ideas and taking action, sometimes quickly, when warranted.

I couldn't help but wonder one thing, though...what can women leaders learn from men? How might that differ from the many examples we heard that day? Would it be different, or essentially the same. I've had bosses who were men and other bosses who were women; and, frankly, most of the differences had more to do with personality than with what made good leaders. The good ones always put the needs of those that they supervised first, generated an atmosphere of communication, set forth clear goals and responsibilities and left no one behind. They gave wings to those who were ready to soar and support to those whose wings were as yet undeveloped. The way they did it differed, but the leadership mantras were the same.

What do you think are the strengths of women as leaders? What about men? I'd like to know.

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I've worked for men and women. Some have been good bosses, a few not so good. Male or female, the good ones have all had the same leadership traits, and have all been well liked and well respected by everyone around them. It seems that gender is only important in bad leaders. Men and women tend to express poor leadership skills in different ways, but a good leader is just a good leader regardless of gender.

Great piece, Sis! :)

-- Posted by srm on Fri, Jun 20, 2008, at 12:05 AM

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Lynn Wade
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