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.