Where are the Women? - Leadership SHIFT Tip

If you were asked to name a great leader, who would you name?

It’s a question I’ve been asking lately during corporate workshops, on LinkedIn, and even during my talk last week at James Madison University’s College of Business.

People rattled off iconic leaders like Mandela, Musk, Jordan, MLK, Gandhi, Roosevelt, Obama, Jobs, Bezos, Branson, Pope Francis, and Lincoln.

I would then ask, “What is common about your list?”

The answer, they were all men. Where are the women?

I received close to 150 responses and only three women, just two percent, were mentioned. They were Brene Brown, Mother Teresa, and Queen Elizabeth.

Through #metoo, thousands broke their silence and provided needed awareness on the ubiquitous harassment across entertainment, business, and politics. With their vulnerability, these courageous women made the invisible visible. They are leaders.

Building a culture of dignity, respect, and equality takes empathic listening and acknowledging to help everyone see a fresh perspective and find the courage to speak truth to power.

It’s the right thing to do for your business and peloton.

It’s the right thing to do as a human being.

And it requires that everyone is engaged.

Have fun storming the castle!

p.s., This week ask your team to name a great leader. If they are having trouble, you can help them by sharing Princess Diana, Sara Blakely, Serena, Rosa, Barbara Corcoran, Angela Ahrendts, Oprah, Ursula Burns, Anna Wintour, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor, and Malala to name just a few.

We Go Where Our Eyes Go

“Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.”
- Amelia Earhart