The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Women Leaders

CommPRO Global, Inc.  |

Super-successful women leaders have learned to eliminate the good-girl habits, which rewarded them in their teens but stalled them in their professional lives.

From research, executive coaching and experience I have identified the new habits that propel women forward to achieve their personal visions of success without abandoning their values.

With an acknowledgement to Stephen Covey for his 1989 book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, here’s a brand new version I created for women which compares the antiquated good-girl habits with their transformation into habits that level the playing field for women leaders.

Habit 1: Focus on Your Vision

Good Girl: Be Patient. Take what comes your way. People will recognize your hard work.

Woman Leader: Identify where you want to be in the future; Go after what you want; even if you believe you are not quite ready.

Habit 2: Effective Communication

Good Girl: Be lady-like, quiet and polite; speak when you are spoken to. let people come to you; don’t be assertive or bold

Woman Leader: Speak up and speak out concisely; influence and assert your leadership with a leadership voice

Habit 3: Leadership Presence

Good Girl: Take a back seat at the table; be modest and exclusively a ‘we’ manager

Woman Leader: Look, walk and talk like a leader; take credit with ‘I’ when it is you who achieved it, without forsaking the ‘we’ moments as well; engage and inspire your team to achieve their goals and yours

Habit 4: Forge Trusted Relationships

Good Girl: Stick with your comfortable circle of colleagues

Woman Leader: Consistently develops relationships with influencers and thought-leaders within and outside your organization; sharing, supporting, listening, learning and contributing to as well.

Habit 5: Confidence

Good Girl: Feeling worthy requires being perfect 100% of the time.

Woman Leader: Possess the belief that you will succeed and know that others believe that, too, without the pressure of making everything 100%+ perfect to prove it time and time again.

Habit 6: Emotional Intelligence

Good Girl: Reacts quickly to troubling work challenges and dynamics with hurt feelings, anger or fear; difficulty managing one’s emotions.

Woman Leader: Monitors one’s own and other’s emotions and integrates this with intelligence and empathy to manage, lead and collaborate effectively with one’s team, peers and leaders of the organization

Habit 7: Courage

Good Girl: Operates in one’s comfort zone, participating and contributing only in areas where the results are fairly predictable with a lack of interest in trying anything beyond the routine or appearing risky

Woman Leader: Eagerly welcomes new ideas, new challenges, new learnings, new opportunities and change even when there is a risk of failure

Explore the 7 Habits for Highly Effective Women Leaders at the upcoming 3-day program Women Lead with Powerful Conversations, June 13-15, at The George Washington University for yourself or other high-potential women leaders. For information, visit the program site.

Leslie Grossman, Leadership Consultant, Executive Coach and Facilitator

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to:



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