This is Leadership with Richard Kwarteng Ahenkorah: The sky is beyond the glass ceiling


… the bar will never be lowered for you to succeed as a leader

When the glass ceiling is shattered, the sky becomes clearer for growth. Minorities at the workplaces, women in particular, must be ready to survive out of their comfort zones and be ready to take on challenging leadership roles than in the past. Of course, there are issues presented as constraints that seek to fight progress of women and minorities in many workplaces across the world.

Culturally, some men find it difficult having women as line managers. Some even fail to credit women who rise to the top on merit. Many believe the average woman does not have the capacity to develop herself to occupy top leadership roles in institutions. Just ignore!

There are several cases and rumours of office romance encounters leading to promotion and elevation of women in many offices. Nonetheless, there are also cases of women who have worked their way to the top through impressive preparation, unbelievable application of competencies, insistent hard work, superior performance and continuous self-development. In a knowledge-sharing session, a female participant said to the class that there are also cases of men who are promoted and elevated in workplaces if they dated female bosses.

Honestly, this was not a debate. Whichever way we look at it, and as I share my Pink Leadership tips, tools and techniques, my argument remains that women must work their way up on merit. It is beautiful to be nice as a woman. In fact, sometimes, what makes one woman beautiful than the other – if not most of the time – is a clean smile. Use your smile and competencies at work.

Hughes et al (2015) did extensive work on women in leadership, and they mentioned that there are no statistically substantial variances between the leadership styles of men and that of women. Nonetheless, the differences found were that women and men do not have the same networking pattern. Women build trust quickly at the office and when the trust is broken, the workplace becomes more professionally risky for them.

This is because women commit more to organisations than men do. Research also suggests that many women are excelling at the workplace because of the natural traits required for effective leadership. Attention to details, calm when stressed, being tactful, listening to the heartbeats of the team, giving feedback, asking the right questions at the right time, showing concern for people and for productivity, and sticking to the knitting are all essential drivers needed to succeed in leadership situations.

Women interact well, and they enhance self-worth of team members because they believe that people perform better when there is job satisfaction and when they feel good about themselves. Among the factors facilitating women progression at the workplace are that psychologically, women themselves are changing aside from the fact that leadership roles and requirements to lead are also changing. Practices and societies are changing although there are cultural connotations that seek to debilitate women progression initiatives.

Women connect better. Women listen better. Women understand emotions and gesticulations better.  These are strengths. A fine balance of emotional management and reasoning, which defines leadership, should guide women toward leadership success. The bar will never be lowered for you to succeed as a leader. Fact! Women would have to jump above their heads and rise above all hurdles to smash the ceiling, so to see the bright beautiful blue skies beyond the ceiling. You cannot be hanging in there, forever.

This is Leadership!

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