The idea that there is something special about women that makes them more successful than men is often perpetuated. There are many discussions on this topic, both formal and informal, but I want to approach it from a different angle – by talking about what sets these successful women apart from the rest.
Before we start with the list, here are some books I would strongly recommend you read:
This list includes many of the most common traits of these women: strong leadership, confidence, intelligence, ambition, interpersonal skills, and emotional intelligence. That last one – emotional intelligence – may be surprising because it’s not typically associated with success in the business environment. At the same time, the other qualities are more likely to be discussed in office settings. However, in my experience, these women have these qualities and the ability to articulate the importance of emotional intelligence in their professional success.
Here are 30 traits that I commonly observe in successful women – do you think any are missing? For example, do you agree that emotional intelligence is critical to professional success? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
1. They Are Confident.
Confidence comes across most often when they speak; they say what’s on their minds without hesitating or self-censoring; they don’t talk down to others or apologize for being strong-willed or opinionated. We can tell when they speak because people tend to listen and be influenced by them.
2. They Are Clear Communicators.
They express themselves well; whether written or spoken, they effectively navigate the “soft speak” speak commonly found in offices where indirect communication is the norm. Instead, they are direct with their thoughts and opinions, using examples to explain their points of view to others to be understood clearly.
3. They Are Empathetic Listeners.
They listen to others and what they have to say, even when it’s obvious they will not agree with the person. They don’t lecture or criticize those they are listening to. Instead, they encourage others, show interest in their opinions and valid concerns.
4. They Are Visionary Leaders.
Leaders inspire their people by setting a vision for what needs to be done with a clear goal everyone can work towards. They provide a vision for the future that everyone understands and is excited about because it’s different from anything offered before – a new future, a dream come true. That is how leaders create positive change in a business environment where change is often viewed as “a bad thing.”
5. They Are Positive Thinkers.
Negative thinkers have a habit of imagining the worst outcome from every situation – they’re good at finding what’s wrong with a plan or proposal instead of what’s right with it; that negativity seeps into the overall environment and infects everyone around them. On the other hand, positive thinkers focus their energy on how to make things better; they put all their energy towards finding what’s right with a proposal and not what’s wrong with it. Their positive attitude positively impacts everyone around them by raising morale and inspiring others to do the same thing – look for solutions instead of problems.
6. They Are Strong-Willed With Conviction.
They don’t let others push them around quickly; they are unyielding when accomplishing what they feel is suitable for everyone involved. Strong-willed leaders don’t readily conform to the expected standard – the ones that don’t encourage people to set their standards, instead ask them just to do what’s right for themselves.
7. They Are Confident Influencers.
Confident influential people are seen as leaders by others because they know how to influence those around them with conviction and enthusiasm – persuading those they work with that will benefit them will also benefit those around them.
8. They Are Self-Assured.
Self-assured people can trust their own judge; they know the direction they want to go and don’t rely on others to tell them what’s best for them. They believe in their knowledge and abilities, even when it doesn’t agree with what others think – they can change their mind if new information comes along but not simply because someone else has expressed an opinion that might be different than theirs. Self-assured leaders do not hesitate to take risks because they will believe in themselves regardless of how things turn out; that self-confidence is crucial in accepting responsibility for failure – but also success if things turn out well.
9. They Are Confident In Their Abilities.
Confident people don’t require constant validation from others to know that they are doing a good job, whether it’s work or play – they feel secure in their abilities and don’t require approval from others. They do not seek to make a name for themselves by taking credit for what someone else has done, instead of feeling secure in what they have accomplished because it was their own efforts that brought them success. They demonstrate the true value of the skill set they have by using those skills as a way to help those around them as well as honor those who taught them how to use those skills – not as a way to honor themselves.
10. They Are Open-Minded To Change.
They embrace change as a way to grow and expand their potential rather than resisting it due to fear of the unknown, they know that staying the same will leave them stagnant and trapped in a situation where they will be unable to make any meaningful progress. The ability to be open-minded is especially important in today’s global business environment where making changes across borders often requires opening yourself up to new ways of doing things or adopting other cultures – people who refuse to do this are not likely to succeed.
11. They Are Motivated By Change.
Empowered people are naturally driven by change, they feel their own power and then use that power to change the world around them. They see the possibilities of what is possible and how it’s changed in recent years, they know that any number of new technology and processes can provide the tools necessary to help them accomplish what they want to accomplish and if they don’t, someone else will. Empowered people create new innovative ways of doing things, whether it’s a company or a project – new ways of doing things can be applied to many different areas so their influence is felt far beyond their immediate community.
12. They Are In Sync With What Others Need And Want To Do.
They choose to work and live around others who they feel will need and want the same things they do – this takes a special talent, especially when it comes to understanding what drives others so that they can be effective at working together to bring about the results they desire. People who are present in that way are able to build both relationships as well as a strong sense of community that provides them with a sense of belonging as well as purpose.
13. They Are Sensuous Leaders.
People who are sensuous in the way they interact with the world they live in are able to be creative in their response to challenges, they do not allow themselves to feel controlled by their environment no matter how unpleasant. They do not limit themselves or force limits on others in any way – instead, they manage change and adjust when needed, rather than refuse to adjust when confronted with challenges that need adjusting.
14. They Are Ethical Leaders.
Ethical leaders are self-aware in the way they live their lives, they are not afraid to confront their own shortcomings or face the consequences of what they have done in the past. They do what is right – even when they are not being watched by anyone else, they don’t hide their mistakes but instead own up to them and explain what they will do to improve themselves in order to ensure that the same mistakes are not made again.
15. They Are Empathetic Leaders.
Empathetic leaders care about how others feel, for themselves as well as others – which means that empathy is something learned rather than something possessed at birth. They listen and observe how others respond from a variety of situations or their response to a variety of situations, they respond with compassion and understanding because they know that everyone is capable of feeling the same emotions if put in similar situations.
16. They Are Sustainable Leaders.
People who are sustainable turn the resources they have at their disposal into something that can be shared with others – whether it’s an idea, a resource or even time, they find ways to share what they have to offer so that it can benefit not just themselves but those around them as well. Sustainable leaders actively seek out solutions to problems by looking for a way to help those who may be affected by those problems as well as those who are causing the problems.
17. They Are Cooperative Leaders.
Cooperative leaders work together to create a plan or a solution that allows everyone involved to participate in it and participate in the benefit of the solution created. Instead of isolating themselves from the people around them as though their problem is theirs alone, cooperative leaders know that the only way they will be successful is if they work with others – which means that there is some risk involved but cooperative leaders are willing to accept those risks because they know that those who chose not to take those risks will not be successful either.
18. They Are Resourceful Leaders.
Resourceful leaders know that the way to overcome any obstacle they may encounter is to find a solution instead of dwelling on it. They realize that there is no point in getting frustrated with small problems because those small problems will always turn into big problems and they will always be bigger if they are left unresolved. Resourceful leaders show a sense of humor about themselves, a sense of confidence and a strong belief in themselves as well as their skills – this makes them able to deal with any issues that come their way because they don’t let those issues stand in the way of achieving goals.
19. They Are Passionate Leaders.
Passionate leaders have a passion for their goals and goals they have a passion for – they know that there is no point in being driven by their goals if those goals are not going to be achieved, they know that passion is something that must be constantly nourished because without it, they will slowly lose interest in the things that they once cared about. Passionate leaders develop a strong sense of purpose and direction – without them, people will have no idea what it is that their leader wants from them.
20. They Are Sufficient Leaders.
Sufficient leaders know that no matter how much they may be capable of giving people, one person cannot do everything for everyone. If they need help, others will be willing to give them that help – but if they don’t ask, then there is no chance that all the people around them will be willing to help them out. Sufficient leaders know that if they are going to accomplish anything great in their lives, it’s going to take a whole lot more than one person though and this means finding a way to enlist the help of other people in order to accomplish things.
What makes a good leader is something that varies from person to person, there are some people who are born to lead others while others have to learn what it takes in order to be successful – even when they are doing everything in their power. There are many things that make up what it means to be a good leader, whether you agree with them or not, they can serve as an effective point of reference when you need them the most.
Good leaders do not have one defining characteristic but instead display several characteristics that overlap each other – this is why being a good leader is so difficult because it’s impossible for someone to tell you what you should be doing instead of having someone with experience show you what is possible.