Sunday 9 November 2008

Important lessons

What have I learned after attending the symposium? First of all, I found that women leaders are a calm and collected lot. They speak clearly, in a calm and even voice in their confident demeanour. Some are more humourous than others but whatever style they project, they carry themselves well, with the leadership qualities shining through. Most importantly, they are passionate about the things they do.

The word PASSION seemed to resonate in every leader's speech that day.

In a nutshell, here are some of the qualities that make a good leader. But before I go on any further, I would like to add that these are the qualities that apply not just to women leaders, but to every man and woman in general because these make such good commonsense for daily living.

I'm going to list the points I jotted in my notebook in a random manner. If you need more clarification, please feel free to ask and I will elaborate. Heh, am I beginning to sound like a leader already? LOL

1. Don't set artificial barriers for yourself.
2. If you lead, lead from the front and not from the back.
3. Empathise with your people.
4. In times of crisis, remain calm and stand firm.
5. Don't be stereotyped or boxed in.
6. At the end of the day, people can judge you for who you are. Be yourself. Don't be a fake.
7. Provide clear focus and direction, and firmness when you have to take a stand.
8. Enhance your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses.
9. Maintain a positive attitude.
10. Be self-aware and insightful.
11. Hold out a vision, not just for yourself.
12. Make a difference with your ideas.
13. Galvanise your vision.
14. Stand by your men and women.
15. Perservere and be courageous.
16. Take lesson from failure and move on.
17. You must be passionate and enthused.
18. You must be able to communicate your passion across.
19. Be grateful.
20. Learn to overcome adversity and transcend difficulties.
21. Find the passion in yourself.
22. Take time to reflect.
23. Have a group of friends who are true to you to get affirmation from.
24. Get mentors.
25. Be happy and healthy.
26. Add value to other people's life.
27. Learn to network!
28. Look for opportunities.
29. Be passionate.
30. Set goals and visions.
31. Be industrious.
32.Time management is important.
33. Use technology to help you.
34. Be innovative and creative.
35. Be willing to invest in R&D, people, branding etc
36. Be wise, be strong and socially responsible.
37. Take charge.
38. Think outside the box. Follow your own style.
39. Walk the talk.
40. Have a big picture.
41. Teamwork. Take turns to do difficult tasks. Watch out for your team members.
42. Learn to negotiate.
43. Set clear goals.
44. Combine assertiveness with friendliness.
45. Learn to say no. A bad deal is worse than no deal.
46. Women leaders are better able to listen, read faces and emotions.
47. Women leaders are intuitive.
48. Women leaders don't give up easily when faced with difficulties. They adopt a "I'll show you I can do it attitude."
49. Women leaders have team building style and are consensus builders in decision making.
50. Women leaders are likely to ignore rules and take risk because they have less to lose.
51. Women leaders have to work harder to be where they are.
52. Women leaders are more transformational.

During the symposium, many younger ladies posed this question to the speakers, "What challenges do you face as a woman leader?'

The answer I keep hearing does not surprise me at all. Most of the women leaders don't think of themself as a woman leader. Their gender does not even come into the picture at all.

I so agree with the leaders. When you're in that position with tasks to accomplish and people to lead, you just get on with it and get things done. You don't think of yourself as a woman or how you would compare to a man. I know it's hard to explain but many times in my life, people ask me how I can juggle a business, sports, kids and housework all on my own.

To be honest, I just do it. I don't think of myself any differently all because I am a woman. The motivation to succeed is strangely, simply because I have to keep the kids alive. Most women in the same situation would do the same. Once work, tuition, school, housework and exercise fall into a routine, life becomes very normal for me. We don't sit around and compare ourselves with other people who are better off, we simply cope and move on.

Here's another little piece of lesson I learned that day from our Minister of State Mrs Yu-Foo who's a strong advocate for family life. The younger women today keep putting off having kids because they want to do their MBA or excel in their career first. By the time they're ready, their body is not. Why can't they learn to multi-task like us older women? Most of the women leaders at the forum did their MBA when their kids were little. They still managed to succeed in life as a mother, wife and women leader. If they can do it, why can't we?


Anonymous said...

I don't know Blur...don't you already have all those traits????

Blur Ting said...

JY - I think we're all successful in our own ways. There is no way to measure success. As long as we're happy with ourselves, I think that's what we call success.

huier said...

My guess is, the younger married women today who delay child bearing, have yet to reach the stage where they want kids bad enough...for if they hv, it would surely outweigh all pursuits that can wait. Fearing of disability to multi-task is just another lame excuse.

Blur Ting said...

Huier - You have a point. I think people today plan too much. During our time, we just go with the flow. Get married, have kids, raise them and if the desire to pursue MBA is there, we cope. I have learned that when there's a will, there's a way. And time passes by really quickly. Before you know it, you've completed it and look back to find that it wasn't so hard afterall.

WaterLearner said...

Good 52 points for women! I should print them out and put it on the board next to my work desk!

Nick Phillips (15/03/1967 - 04/11/2022) said...

Great points. I think I'm going to list them down on my desk too just like waterlearner :D

Amel said...

WOW!!! GREAT post. THANKS for sharing!!! This is all so much info for overload he he he...but I LOVE best your last two paragraphs. ;-D

The Real Mother Hen said...

Actually, what they don't say is these women have a good support system in the background. They are plenty of women who work equally hard but never made it. Not because they can't, because they don't have the choices, the support system, even the luck!

The World According To Me said...

Interesting post! I like the points. I thought for one moment you were talking about me! Ha, ha. ha.

Blur Ting said...

Water - Good idea. I will too.

Blur Ting said...

Nick - Good! We're improving ourselves.

Blur Ting said...

Amel -The last 2 points are what I've gathered from my own experience. But I have to add to something MH brought up.See next comment.

Blur Ting said...

MH - You've brought up a really good point which I agree completely but failed to mention.

Indeed, the speakers spoke of their own support system. Many of them had family rally around them during difficult times and helped in taking care of their kids while they pursued other things. As you can imagine, the MPs have a really hectic schedule and they could never achieve a balance without help from others.

I am glad that my parents were around to help as well with the kids. Anyhow,sometimes even if we don't have help, we will find a way to manage. The reason why I changed my line of business is so that I could work from home and have flexi hours to take care of the kids. It would not be possible if my job was deskbound.

Blur Ting said...

World - Hey, I was using you as a model!!