I had the honor of being named one of PR News’ Top Women in PR. Today, I am getting ready for an awards luncheon that will bring some of the most talented and generous women in PR together in one room. I have always felt that there is something unique and incredibly valuable about the qualities of female leadership. I have had the pleasure to get to know a few of the women on this list, some of whom, I consider my mentors, others whom I admire from afar and some whom I aspire to be like in the future.
Although it is not just their success and ambition that garners my admiration, it is often more about their character and approach to leadership that makes this group particularly worth of praise. I do believe there was a time when women felt that they needed to ‘act like one of the boys’ to get ahead in PR. Today, more women are embracing the qualities that make them lead #LikeAGirl and helping others along the way. Here are a few of the traits that I admire in this illustrious group of women.
1. Leading by Inspiration & Example. Coming from a military background myself, I know that it can be an easy default to pull rank. Successful women don’t often use their title as the reason to demand great work from employees. Rather than rule with a stick or incite fear, they lead by example and inspire team members to do their best work for themselves and for the company. Female leaders exhibit a passion that is infectious and others want to rise up meet high expectations to prove it to themselves and the leaders they admire.
2. Leading with Compassion. Women can be shrewd in business but they still keep their humanity intact. Leading with your heart and your head means that you make sound business decisions based on the financial and economic outlook but it also means that you don’t forget that businesses, especially in public relations, are about people. People are our primary asset in public relations and if we don’t support, develop and nurture those relationships, the foundation of our business will crumble.
3. Leading by Sharing the Wealth & Knowledge. The female leaders that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing have shown me incredible generosity over the years. They have shared their skills, their business contacts, their experience and their personal struggles with me. These women aren’t afraid to examine their own missteps and to help others avoid them by sharing the knowledge. They also aren’t content to stand on a pedestal alone but are often extending a hand to pull others up with them.
I hope that I can do for others what many of these women have done for me. I’m proud to be counted among them and hope to continue to lead #LikeAGirl.