As business coaches, we are privileged to work with powerful leaders that are men and women.
In honour of Women’s Day, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on two powerful women who have coached with RainTree, and the feminine leadership characteristics that have made them so successful.
(Individual names have been changed to protect the privacy of our clients)
Bongiwe – our corporate strategic powerhouse
We have been privileged to work with a young executive in one of the South African banks. Let’s call her Bongiwe. Bongiwe defied all odds and rose to a senior executive role, despite facing racism, leadership insecurity from her superiors and political manoeuvring within the organisation. What is it about her that has driven her to succeed, despite all her challenges?
Bongiwe is committed and dedicated to her work and its quality. She will not compromise on the outputs that are delivered.
She has recognised that a leader without a strong team is just a person, standing alone. So, she works tirelessly to select, grow, and empower her staff.
A great personal challenge she faced was releasing the reigns and trusting others to deliver. Once she built her ability to trust herself, however, she learnt how to delegate in the same way she delivers her own work – in a structured, thorough, and clear manner.
Her greatest asset, and challenge, is her humility.
Throughout her journey, she has had to embrace and accept that she is capable and enough for the role. She comes from humble beginnings and has defied the odds. She has had to learn that she deserves what she has earned and, in fact, is an asset, as she brings a unique perspective into the work, conversations, and strategy she is now responsible for. She is an inspiration.
Samantha – our inspiring woman leader making a difference in a man’s world
Recently, Leoni and I started working with the Managing Director of a medium sized business in a traditionally masculine industry. We will call this client Samantha. Samantha is leading a team of men in a man’s world, and she is doing it powerfully and confidently.
What are the qualities that have allowed Samantha to succeed where most women would not?
Samantha has an unending hunger for learning and self-growth. I have never met anyone who has read about and explored her own strengths and weaknesses as much as Samantha. This exploration has formed a foundation that has allowed her to be confident with who she is and how she is in a world that is not always accepting or forgiving. Samantha possesses an ability to remain calm in a storm and focus on the solution – a critical trait in an industry that is undergoing significant change.
Her innate talent for pinpointing the core problem and crafting a strategic solution is founded in her wealth of knowledge and serves both herself and the business.
She has at times succumbed to second guessing her authority. Each time this happened, she observed how those around her feel unsafe – and how this leads to reduced productivity and profitability. Only because of her willingness to acknowledge that she hasn’t stood strong has she been able to put structures in place that inspire confidence and return the team to their best.
Through our coaching journey, we’ve recognised a number of strong leadership characteristics that both women share, which allow them to step into their personal power and lead their teams to success.
These include commitment and dedication to: