Leadership Lessons from 15 Women Founders & CEOs

Leadership Lessons from 15 Women Founders & CEOs was originally published on Firsthand.

At the time of writing, women are the CEOs of 41 companies of the Fortune 500; for anyone not looking to do math today, that’s about 8%. And that distressingly low number is actually higher than its ever been. The top tier of leadership is still largely out of the hands of women, but the current crop of women CEOs are some of the best in their respective fields and have excellent advice when it comes to leading teams, learning from mistakes, and time management, among other critical skills required of the C-suite. Below are quotes from some of the most successful women founders and CEOs on their leadership styles, and examples of why these methods are so effective. This infographic was cooked up by our friends at OnDeck to highlight the best in effective leadership, so please read on!

OnDeck’s conclusions are echoed in an analysis of gender differences in leadership effectiveness, written by the Chief Talent Scientist at ManpowerGroup and Cindy Gallop, CEO and self-proclaimed “Michael Bay of business”.

They argue that male domination in leadership roles creates a learning block in business and politics – especially because women are demonstrably more effective as leaders. Indeed, men may rise to leadership roles more often than women because society misreads overconfidence and apparent infallibility as ‘symptoms’ of success. Often, brash confidence is just a symptom of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Women feel they must emulate men to get to the top, when it would be better if the men at the top emulated women. The writers highlight humility, empathy, self-knowledge, and the elevation of others among the leadership lessons (most) men can learn from (most) women.

Of course, we’ve all got a lot to learn from each other. From our successes and our failures. But for an instant business school effect, try starting with these 15 lessons from successful leaders – all of the gender that has been repeatedly proven to be the best bet for business leadership, through the bad times and the good.

Female Founders and CEOs infographic

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