Laurie Swanson Blog

Revealed What Women ALREADY Have and What They MUST Have To Be Great Leaders

I am getting ready to do a workshop at a local association about Emotional Intelligence.

(FYI-You can find more information and sign-up here.)

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.

Different than Intelligence Quotient (IQ) which is a number representing a person's reasoning ability (measured using problem-solving tests) as compared to the statistical norm or average for their age, taken as 100.

EQ has four major components: self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness and relationship management.

I feel like I am strong with my self- and social-awareness, decent at self-management (still got that bit of impulsivity in me) and strong with relationship management. I think that women, in general, are good with EQ. 

Which got me thinking about the natural strengths that women bring to the leadership table versus the natural strengths that men bring to the leadership table.

I mentioned this to a woman I know who I consider to be a great leader within a Fortune 500 global organization.

And she said I had to read a book called No Ceiling, No Walls by Susan L. Colantuono.

I have not even read the whole book yet and am blown away by the insights.

Susan talks about how, in the 1970’s it was understood that men really needed soft skills training in order to be great leaders but, because women had soft skills in spades, they did not consider what women might need in order to be great leaders as well.

No surprise.

She has given this phenomenon a name-The Missing 33%.

What Women Must Have

What Susan says is missing for women to be great leaders is that they need further training on business acumen including thinking strategically and being comfortable talking about the financials.

She gives an example of a woman who had to give a project update and made the decision to go against the norm and not just give an update on where the project was at but to also report on the financial impact of her project. She took the time to work with the manager of the finance department to calculate the impact. She then included numbers into her report to great success…and she set herself apart at that meeting. It would not surprise me to find that she is considered first the next time a mission critical project needs a leader.  

Try This

Another suggestion from Susan is to consider how you answer the question: What do you do for the company?  You don’t just want to respond with your title but come up with a one sentence response to what you do for your company.
Fill in these blanks:

I am paid to:

which helps the company succeed by:


I am paid to drive top-line growth which helps the company succeed by creating software that improves efficiencies for those who use it.
Are you ready to let your leadership skills shine?  Lets talk!

Laurie Swanson, Career Strategist

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