Women and Leadership: A Natural RelationshipMarch 23, 2012
In honor of Women’s History Month, I believe it’s important to recognize women’s natural affinity for leadership.
The formal definition of a leader is a person who directs, commands, or serves as a guiding head of a group or activity. I take it a step further — to me, a leader is someone who motivates and inspires others.
In my own leadership roles — as a high school drum major, a research and academic mentor, and president of numerous clubs and organizations — I have been responsible for providing instructions, making decisions for my team, and most importantly, guiding others. Of those tasks, the one that represents true leadership is guidance. A good leader teaches, inspires, and guides others in the right direction.
Women are strong, nurturing, caring, and compassionate. We are brilliant, we are the backbones of households, and we provide guidance as mothers, sisters, aunts, and friends. We are confidants and good listeners, and we go above and beyond to seek solutions to problems. We are charming and witty, and we have the ability to effortlessly convince others to see our point of view! Many of these elements are also used to describe leaders. The experiences of being a woman and a leader are inextricably linked. Leadership is an innate quality for women, and it comes as no surprise that we can be found leading in various capacities.
Former first lady Rosalynn Smith Carter once said, “A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go but ought to be.”
Ladies, continue to use your natural talents to guide and inspire other women to be leaders. Students, you can grow as leaders this summer at the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders near Washington, D.C. Early-bird registration runs through April 13.