Are You a Ruler or a Leader?

By Carly Kuntz

Carly Kuntz is the Owner of The Waters – An Urban Spa Retreat. She is a dedicated wife, mother (of 12-year-old twins), philanthropist, volunteer and proud member of the Waterloo region business community.
Carly Kuntz is the Owner of The Waters – An Urban Spa Retreat. She is a dedicated wife, mother (of 12-year-old twins), philanthropist, volunteer and proud member of the Waterloo region business community.

Allowing your heart to find its way into your role as a leader

Many of us in leadership positions have inherited the old-school approach of ruling with an iron fist – never showing our emotions, being firm and impersonal.  For most women, this is contrary to our inner nature and to how we react and behave in our friend and family situations. Why do we have to put on a tough persona to lead at work when we are gentle and caring leaders in our personal lives? Fortunately, there has been a shift in recent decades. The leaders of today see themselves as respectful mentors and facilitators. They are fostering stronger employee relationships by motivating, inspiring and empowering their teams. Even with open door policies across the board, no one falters on the need to be clear, direct, decisive and consistent. Today, people are leading with a combination of their minds and their hearts. Which one are you – a Ruler or a Leader?
Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, states that the Oz model of leadership – all knowing and all powerful – doesn’t work anymore. The commanding autocratic leaders of past decades have given way to the more connection-based and nurturing approach of leadership today. That is not to say that today’s leaders lack decisiveness or authority, but these traits are combined with qualities that are more geared to collaborating with and coaching team members. John Gerzema wrote The Athena Doctrine – a book that argues that today’s effective leaders (men and women) embody characteristics that are traditionally considered feminine – traits like empathy, vulnerability, humility, inclusivism, generosity, balance and patience. This is great news for women in leadership. As more and more business leaders are female, society is embracing our natural characteristics in leadership settings.

Originally posted 2016-03-08 03:28:58.

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