First, if you buy a copy of Wander Woman on June 15th and forward the receipt to Marcia@WanderWomanBook.com, you’ll receive a free workbook and half of the proceeds will go to the Phoenix Crisis Nursery. If we make #1 on any bestseller list, I will donate all my proceeds for the week.
Now, for the contest (scroll down if you’ve read this already)…
I was describing what I view as the emerging identity of strong, smart high-achieving women when a woman said, “It sounds like you advocate that women should be more like men. I would rather see men honor feminine power.”
I explained to her that I don’t think these women have lost their femininity. As women gain more freedom, education and economic power, they are becoming more confident and assertive. Being self-assured and outspoken does not mean a woman is not feminine. She is just a stronger woman.
Girls now are being brought up to be compassionate and assertive, sociable and analytical, collaborative and self-reliant, and empathetic and directive. Unfortunately, some people see powerful women as acting more like men. This is a short-sighted, unfair and damaging assessment.
That being said, I think the model of leadership for women needs to be redefined. The model must also allow women to be human, to be both aggressive in their pursuit of goals and to show vulnerability when they feel fear or disappointment, like any human would do.
Whether or not all people will accept these women as leaders, if we align around what we believe to be a feminine model of leadership, we can make an impact in the world. When all strong, smart women make their voices heard, we can tip the scales of power forever.
How then will we define our model of female leadership?
I am drawn to women who demonstrate strength and grace instead of trying to bully their way to the top by ridiculing others. Although the “pit bull” approach may get you noticed and you may be able to right some wrongs, “women of strength and grace” accomplish their goals differently. Showing confidence doesn’t have to include displaying your muscle.
Women of strength and grace admit when they are wrong, can change their mind as they learn and share a vision of the future that is so clear and inviting that others are eager to follow. This is a part of the model I’m building. What would you add or change?
Who are your role models of strength and grace? What woman do you know alive today who demonstrates intelligence, courage, compassion, decisiveness, assertiveness and passion? It could be your grandmother, Sandra Bullock, your former boss or even your daughter.
Share your model of strength and grace as a comment on this post. Include the person, if she exists, as well as the qualities.
I will work with a team of colleagues to pick the top three submissions from this blog, from the Burden of Greatness blog, and from Facebook to win a copy of Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction. I will then feature the winning submissions in an upcoming Huffington Post Blog. So even if you have bought the book, I’ll give you the gift of visibility.
If we can get clear on what we call a model of female leadership, we can begin to allow for, even honor, this behavior at work. We can quit defining women as too strong or too weak and never let them be who they are as the strong, smart, and wonderfully imperfect humans that know how to help their children, their companies or their countries succeed.
Contest ends midnight June 18th, pacific daylight time.