Suyin Aerts
December 2, 2022

Female & Male Leadership

The question I continue asking myself is whether female leadership differs from male leadership? Again I was thinking about this today. I was the moderator of 2 panels in one day with leaders in finance this week. Completely different setting and different panels. I must say that I continue believing that leadership is not about gender. But about authenticity and about how you step into your role as a leader, because I do not believe that we are born as a leader but I believe one day in our lives, independently of our age we decide to become a leader.

One of the skills I believe a real leader needs to have is to accept that you will have to continue working on your leadership skills, emotional intelligence, relational intelligence and communication skills for the rest of your life.

I think leaders help themselves and others to do the right things. They set direction, build an inspiring vision, and create something new, they design visions for the future. Leadership is about mapping out where you need to go to "win" as a team or an organization; and it is something dynamic, very exciting, and inspiring.

For me there is a difference between managers and leaders. Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right. But we need both in an organization. I have the feeling that sometimes I need to act as a leader and sometimes as a manager depending on the situation. 

The skill of daring to ask the right questions is the biggest skill I use in either of the roles.

Maybe it is naive to believe that we can save humanity and lead our world to peace, but it is what drives me to do the things I do.

We will need strong leaders, in cultural, economic, political and all other worlds we can imagine.

All these leaders should be willing to understand the helicopter view of our world, and that to move forward all these leaders are linked together. They need to learn the way other leaders, coming from a different background, communicate and they need to find common ground to act for the best in their world..

Therefore we do not only need to figure out what the differences are between male and female leaders, but already accept we can all learn from each other as long as we are in front of an inspiring leader.

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