Great Leadership Transcends Gender


I recently attended a breakfast event led by female leaders from various industries in the Dallas area. It was a breakfast led by women, for women. And by the way, it was completely sold out with hundreds of attendees. I’ve also read a few articles lately about various topics related to women in leadership – tips on how to be great, what traits the most successful women leaders possess, and the list goes on. Much of it is very helpful and inspiring. And I am always a proponent of sharing ideas and helping others succeed – but I find myself asking the question, “Is there value in separating the successes of women from the successes of men in leadership?” At the end of the day, isn’t the purpose to become a successful leader, regardless of gender? Is it possible that women, in their effort to be supportive of each other, have actually built more of a division between the genders than they sought to tear down? When I think of the attributes of a great leader, a few things come to mind: — Passion for their job and the company they lead — Fairness and consistency — Accountability for themselves and their team — Generously giving credit to others during positive outcomes, and personally owning any failures of the team — Operating with the highest level of integrity — Being a strong communicator — Commitment to developing and investing in their team — Decisiveness and confidence — Awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses — Sense of humor and a propensity to have fun

And there could obviously be many more. The question is - would anyone dispute that these traits are desirable for leaders of both genders? Shouldn’t that be more of the focus than the exclusivity of a specific gender group? The biggest compliment to me wouldn’t be being labeled as a “successful female” leader or executive, it would just be being viewed as a great leader – period. And if we’re only collaborating with one gender of the best leaders, aren’t we missing out on something?

The Culture Counts blog is a discussion of law firm culture and legal innovation, including topics such as effective leadership, employee engagement, workplace culture, ideal work environment, company core values, and workplace productivity.  

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