woman asks what is your leadership model

Do Women Need a New Leadership Model?

In an article recently written by Beate Chelette on the Glass Hammer, Beate believes that we need a new leadership model.

She believes that although women have successfully worked to create a place in the corporate world, they still take on male traits to be accepted. While that may not be the case across all industries, Beate says: “We need an updated leadership model that’s better than the century-old code that men created for themselves. We need our own Women’s Code.”

Beate defines the male leadership model as three basic principles: Power – Persuasion – Strategy.

Women lead differently. Power – force – aggression from a woman would not be successful tactics in the boardroom.

Here is the female leadership model that Beate envisions:

The female leadership principlesCompassion – Uniqueness – Empowerment.

Women should lead on C.U.E. We like community and inclusion, we have compassion for others, and we appreciate the unique qualities that each individual brings and expect the same in return. When we draw on the skills of each team member, we empower one another and strengthen the overall outcome. Success, as the result of our decisions and combined abilities, gains us all more power and higher status.

The Women’s Code allows us to be successful while still being true to ourselves. We need to embrace the ways women innately lead, work, and communicate. The key is to learn how to collaborate with each other, how to support each other, and how to use our individual strengths to build each other up instead of targeting the weaknesses we find.


Does this resonate with you? Perhaps there is more to the female leadership model.

The ATHENA Leadership Model®, developed through a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, identifies eight distinct attributes that are reflective of women’s contributions to leadership: 

  • Authentic Self,
  • Relationships,
  • Giving Back,
  • Collaboration,
  • Courageous Acts,
  • Learning,
  • Fierce Advocacy,
  • Celebration
  • Joy

ATHENA International identifies that these “personal traits that are more intuitive to women, and combined with the strongest aspects of traditional leadership—taking risks, assertiveness, hard work—prepare women to be successful leaders in the 21st century.”

Women are complex. There is more to us that just power, persuasion and strategy and therefore our leadership model also needs to reflect the depth and breath of who we are in the business world.

Image from MyLinkage.com

My Linkage takes the discussion a step further in their definition of a woman leadership model. The above image breaks the leadership roles into three sections:

1)      Lead Authentically

Leaders know themselves, what they have to offer, and what they want. They lead authentically by understanding self, engaging fully, and building their brand and presence.

2)      Lead the Future

Leaders understand how to make good decisions for themselves and their organization. They lead the future by understanding the business, thinking strategically, and leading change.

3)      Lead Others

Leaders are able to work with and through others to drive superior results. They lead others by communicating and influencing with impact, negotiating conflict, and coaching for development.

 Think of the leaders, men and women, you have experienced in your life. What were the differences between them? What were the traits that proved most successful in the overall success of the company, task or function?

I agree with Beate Chelette. Women do need to develop their own leadership model to follow in order to be successful.  It isn’t the “good ol’ boy’s club” anymore. Women are taking on more leadership roles in companies, communities and countries. 

As Beate says in the conclusion of her article:

There are enough of us in the corporate world right now to start the chain reaction that will ultimately lead to true workplace equality. Let’s do this together.