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Women Make the Best Leaders

Vision, teamwork, empowerment and effective communicating —“transformational” behaviors the report says were “once considered the domain of women and a hindrance to their effectiveness in the workplace.”

ASPIRE’s report, “Tearing Up the Rule Book: A New Generation of Leaders for 2010” is based on a survey completed by more than 300 global leaders from 30 countries, most of whom—60 percent—work at the Director or CEO level.

Survey participants were asked to identify leaders they admired, and to explain the factors that made these people stand out. Participants cited Barack Obama for his “inspiring vision, courage, intelligence and integrity,” and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her “courage and pragmatic approach.”

The survey also identified a list of “least admired” individuals, who were exclusively white males; either bankers or politicians. According to the researchers, the men who made this list were rejected for “ego, greed or selfishness, and those who aim to divide and conquer.”

“The time for a new rule book is here and women and men who operate with the highest integrity, think beyond short term profit, have a vision for the future and are not afraid to prioritize their family and personal life will not only survive but thrive in a new decade,” said Collins.

Collins says based on the study, 2010 may be the year when executive coaches work with clients on the presumption that women—or at least traits associated with women—make the best leaders.

According to the ASPIRE report, “the best leaders tend to be female and they tend to improve their skills with age and business (or parenting) experience.”

And yet, women remain under-represented at the top levels of major corporations. ““This is not just a female issue, this is a leadership issue that needs to be solved by both men and women,” Collins said. “The time is now. What will you or your company do to develop the new generation of leaders?”

Collins says coaches can use transformational behaviors as tools to build leaders. “Build an inclusive environment where each has a role and responsibilities that contribute to the final outcome.”

“Don’t be afraid to say ‘I won’t subscribe to something’.

The ASPIRE study found the leaders who rated the highest tended to work in the public sector, professional services, or–in coaching. Mark Joyella

Cristina Madeira


Cristina Madeira
Certified Executive and Team Coach by