Today I wanted to discuss how leadership is evolving beyond traditional notions of authority and command. As a life coach specializing in supporting leaders, both women and men, in shining and embracing their unique leadership qualities, I find this topic particularly significant.

Recently, I came across the excellent podcast from Kris Plachy “Leadership is Feminine”, in which she explains how society has ingrained in us a specific image of what authority looks and sounds like—very often an educated white male.

This raises the question: What does it truly mean to be a leader? Are those who assert authority actually leaders, or do they simply inspire others to follow them for a sense of security?

If you’re managing a team, or in a position of authority through your professional or personal responsibilities, it’s essential to ask: do you consider YOURSELF a leader? What does leadership mean to YOU? Are you merely an authority figure or someone who truly leads and inspires others?

Often, the term “leadership” is mistakenly associated with telling people what to do, but that’s more aligned with authority and influence.

In business, effective leadership often implies managing a team and guiding their activities to achieve desired outcomes. This is what I refer to as management—the deployment and oversight of policies, practices, and procedures that drive business results.

Yet managing and leading can be seen as distinct and as requiring different skill sets.

As a leader, I would say your role is to show your team the possibilities of a future they can’t see yet, and guide them on the steps to make it happen. It’s about nurturing and developing the potential of others, not just dictating tasks.

Some (even visionary) leaders may not excel at management, and that’s probably okay. They can empower others to manage while they focus on articulating a vision and inviting others to join them in co-creating that future.

Given the current focus on inclusivity and diversity, in the context of gender balance or else, I want to push the reflection further: let’s reimagine the traditional hierarchical model of authority.

As individuals, women or men, each of us can work on accessing the wisdom and skills to create a different approach—one that aligns with WHO WE ARE, our desires, and our ability to elicit success and engagement from others.

You may face resistance and challenges as you step into YOUR OWN leadership role. And the resistance will come, from the system, from your peers or colleagues, perhaps even your friends or family. But it is very likely that resistance will also come from YOU and your beliefs about what leadership and authority look & sound like (and dress like etc.:-).

Just as society has ingrained certain biases and expectations, let us repeat and practice that it’s essential to challenge those norms and carve out a new path. It is crucial to embrace your unique leadership qualities (regardless of gender) and leverage them to create positive change.

Be ready to embrace not just your strengths, but your vulnerabilities, and allow your true self to shine through your leadership style. Authenticity & embracing who you truly are key to leading from a place of integrity.

As you embark on your leadership journey, remember that leadership entails redefining what it means to be a leader everyday in your way, even if the world has been dominated by traditional notions of authority.

Let ‘s get working on your beliefs and your thoughts, my dear leader reader 😊

Contact me if you want to know how I can support you on leadership journey.

Sincerely yours,

Dr Sophie