This is Leadership : Shatter the glass ceiling


…standup and standout, own your words and be ready for self-change

Like the concept of the mirage, there is nothing ahead to warrant any fears. Women must journey on confidently to the top. I am not asking women not to anticipate hurdles within the leadership interactional framework on their leadership paths. The glass ceiling brings back discussions around capacity-building, tenacity and resilience. Being firm is to be assertive, and assertiveness is a skill – same as building blocks of toughness.

As Robert Schuller rightly puts it: “tough times never last, but tough people do”. Women must build positive, yet tough self-image so to develop positive self-talks. Learning to turn negative blocks into positive ones requires a winning mindset. To shatter the glass ceiling, women preparing for higher leadership assignments must be tough like the secretary bird.

Ahenkorah (2018) summarises the unique leadership attitudes of the secretary bird. Building character at the workplace is about developing the moral and mental fortitude to progress. It is also about the principles around honesty, loyalty, courage, good behaviours, character and vision.

Women must constantly calibrate the necessary tools, attitudes and aptitudes that stimulate their progress to leadership development. My candid observation is that women mentoring women in workplaces could elevate and strategically position many more women to be inclined toward leadership.

Some institutions, and now societies, have consciously created room for women in leadership from boardrooms to national platforms so to augment gender facilitation and social progression. Albeit many women still struggle on their way to emerge at the top. Some societies, cultures and institutions often times fuelled by religion will not allow women to lead.

As a matter of fact, the glass ceiling should be treated as only imaginary. For clarity, I am not also saying that it is a myth.

Anne Mulcahy was once CEO and Chairperson of Xerox. Her story is so inspiring. Growing up among boys as the only girl of her parents, she balanced her traits to shape her personality type. Her experience and career journey equipped her exceptionally to be flexible as well as prepared for greater assignments. To become the Head of Human Resources and at some point, the Head of Sales on her career journey confirms her unique experience, skills, flexibility and her matchless personality type.

Assertiveness is one great skill for women progression. Learning to say no and building the three key moral potencies are crucial for self-development. Moral courage, moral ownership and moral efficacy are simple useful tools on the journey. To standup and standout, to own your words and be ready for self-change and personal effectiveness should be basic for women preparing themselves for the long haul to the top.

To this end, you can obviously tell that smashing the ceiling is a personal responsibility. It is a choice. The big question is why is it that women do not find it easy climbing the echelons of corporate ladder? Many women are not ready to shoulder workplace responsibilities. Many women also do not focus on the main things that will aid their progression at the workplace.

Other women also believe that Leadership is a ‘Men’ thing. Sometimes it is cultural if not religious to say that men should lead for women to follow. I will not preach defiance, and this is also not about pelting stones. Women themselves have changed and it is believed as expected that societies, institutions and cultures must also do same.

This is Leadership!

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