Leadership tips from proven leaders (all of whom are women)

My work with nonprofit board members, CEOs, and other senior staff makes leadership a top-of-mind topic for me. So when an article titled “10 Women in Leadership Share Their Secrets to Success” popped up in my email, I was all over it – and I’m glad I was.

woman_leader_5401A writer for FastCompany asked successful women leaders what they think most people don’t know about leadership. Although their words are framed within the context of the C-Suite, leaders at any level on the organizational chart can benefit from what they had to say. And as one of the interviewees mentioned, much of the advice works in marriages, too.

I encourage you to read the article for yourself, but if you’re short on time and this is it for you, I’ve pulled the headlines and a bit more for your quick review.


  • Be a deep listener so you can really understand what’s going on.
  • Sometimes you need to just go with your gut. Leadership is about presenting confidence and decisiveness.
  • Pay attention to what you are doing wrong. If you’re not, then you’re not evolving and learning.
  • Be your authentic self.
  • Ask questions. A lot of questions.
  • A lot of leadership is a private journey. Things that take up so much time and energy and emotion . . . are usually private situations.
  • In good times and bad, be humble. It’s hard, but . . . the lack of ego is something that people respect and appreciate.
  • Listening is the biggest part of your job.
  • You don’t have to have all the answers. Most people think leaders are some sort of all-knowing-beings, but in reality [they] often don’t know the answers. The difference is that leaders trust their instincts to lead them to an answers.
  • Real leadership is about service. Leadership is fundamentally about service, about dying to self and loving others into their true potential. . . Leadership is about lowering ourselves such that the people who work with us and our organizations can thrive in ways that create value (economic and social).

You can bet these ten tips will show up in my next presentation on the topic of leadership. How will you use the advice?

For other articles about leadership, see:

Servant leadership and rugged altruism

Taking criticism like a leader

When selecting a leader, be careful for what you wish


  1. Really liked this article. Interesting that listening to others and to one’s intuition were both mentioned twice.

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