Fun game: Answer these two questions in your head. One immediately after the other.
- What are leadership characteristics?
- Who are famous females leaders that have these characteristics?
Did it take you a little bit longer to think of names, then if we had asked who are famous male leaders who have these characteristics?
It did for us. Here are our individual answers:
Sam: Tsunade from Naruto, a manga I started reading in the 6th grade after the Pokemon phase. Tsunade came to my mind as a leader because she was responsible for all the people in her country. She was a really skilled and strong warrior, and had a great amount of compassion. I think what is unique about her is that characters went to her for advice.
Amy: Oprah Winfrey,
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A STRONG FEMALE LEADER AND MALE LEADER?
Sam: I think about my two taekwondo coaches, and can’t find significant differences between the genders. They both have visions, compassion, good communication, and humor. I’m sure there are differences, I just can’t think of any personal ones for the last week.
WHAT DOES A CHARISMATIC FEMALE LEADER LOOK LIKE?
Sam: They utilize the fact that females are viewed as care-takers. They are funny, likeable, and speak with purpose and wisdom.
Amy: They speak from the heart, they are vulnerable, caring and compassionate.
WHAT BARRIERS DO FEMALE LEADERS RUN INTO?
Amy: The traditional thinking that females are “too emotional”. The barrier of “emotion” actually allows us to develop strong relationships that are needed in the ever changing health professional world. I also think that our multiple responsibilities as care givers also serves as a barrier. Taking time off work to have a child (whether male or female) is not respected in this country. Families overall are not respected. I also think that sometimes, we as females, are our biggest barriers. We can be judgmental, judging others for leaving work early to take care of a sick child. If we can come from a place to support each other, all females, whether mothers or not, I believe we would be better off.
Sam: I really like that Amy has a lot of work experience. For me, with just entering the workforce my guess would be not looking like a b*tch. Since “success” and being liked are inversely related. I imagine trying to balance accomplishing goals and having friends to be tricky at times.
HOW IS LEADERSHIP TAUGHT?
Sam: As a student, I think it’s taught through modeling, and not a textbook. As a “captain” of a team, I think having the kids on the team lead in a safe environment. I think establishing an open communication with the other leaders on the team for advice and feedback facilitates growth.
Amy: I also think that it is something that needs to be experienced. People need to be given the opportunity to lead and to be lead.
Amy: It looks like a person who is moving toward meeting the vision of their profession. Our current vision statement talks about transforming society. As a physical therapist, what behavior or virtues do I exhibit that promote the current vision, that is where we want to be.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
What leadership characteristics do you have? How do you define leadership? Who did you think of right away for famous female leaders?