Uncovering Leadership Skill Sets & Mindsets

When asked about the characteristics and capabilities that paved the way for their success, women leaders spoke both of the skill sets that have contributed to their rise and of the mindsets that have shaped their overall outlook and approach to building meaningful careers and lives.

When it comes to skill sets, these women display deep technical expertise. Their day-to-day activities and responsibilities showcase their mastery of their fields, whether it be human resources, legal affairs, risk management, operations, or other areas. They also possess a high level of industry knowledge coupled with an understanding of their organizational contexts and cultures. They have a breadth of functional business knowledge and display broad-based business acumen. They understand the core business functions that drive bottom line impact. In addition, they are highly skilled communicators, strategic thinkers, problem solvers, and people motivators.

While each leader has demonstrated and celebrated skillsets, each individual's success was largely a result of their mindsets and perspectives. Their technical skill sets were table stakes. Mindsets were their critical differentiators and career catalyzers to unleash their strengths.

Six mindsets stood out as key themes among the executives we interviewed.

These women leaders are individualistic with a strong sense of personal responsibility for their career growth and progression. They are collective, having a strong appreciation for the contributions others have made to their careers. They have an appetite for adventure and an ability to embrace uncertainty and take on risks. They believe that those who 'fail to plan, plan to fail' and purposefully chart out their own goals and activities. They focus inward to build self-knowledge and improve their capabilities. They look outward and are knowledge seekers, curious about the world and those around them.


What Mindsets Do Women Leaders Display?

The Individualistic Mindset

"I am in charge of my own career and life. I am responsible for my growth and progression. It is up to me! I assume personal responsibility for where I am now and where I want to go."

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The Collective Mindset

"I recognize the important role others play in my career (and the influence I have on the careers of others). No woman is an island. Our connectivity and relationships are critical to our successes."

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The Adventurer Mindset

"I take on risks and embrace uncertainty, having faith in my ability to overcome the challenges that come with unpredictability. I am adaptable, opportunistic, and resilient."

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The Planner Mindset

"I proactively identify and prioritize my goals and objectives. I allocate time and energy to align with these priorities. I am purposeful and conscious in my choices, focus areas, and allocation of time."

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The Inward Mindset

"I dedicate time to personal reflection and self-development. I know a deep understanding of self is the key cornerstone of all other aspects of my career and life."

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The Outward Mindset

"I seek to understand the world and those around me. I am hungry for knowledge and new insights. I am committed to learning from new inputs, interactions, and influencers. I am curious, an inquisitive listener, and question-asker."

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