5 Essential Skills Every Woman Should Develop for Leadership Success

5 essential leadership skills every woman should develop for success

5 Leadership Skills Women Leaders Should Develop

There are many different models and theories of leadership out there, all of which suggest different skills and attributes that are required for somebody to be a successful leader. Some suggest that certain people are born to be leaders – for example, the Great Man theory (which suggests that leaders are born, not made) and trait theory (which suggests that some people are born with certain characteristics that make them better suited to be leaders). Others suggest that leadership can be developed through the acquisition of certain skills – for example, skills theory, which suggests that effective leaders require a mix of human skills, technical skills, and conceptual skills in order to succeed. 

Although these models and theories can be helpful in a general sense when it comes to helping us understand what skills it takes for someone to become a successful leader, what about some of the skills that apply more specifically to women in leadership? 

According to a recent Forbes study into the most important leadership skills for current and emerging leaders, here are the top five skills that women leaders need to possess in order to succeed in today’s corporate world: 

  1. Emotional intelligence: Emotional intelligence refers to a leader’s ability to recognise, understand, manage, and regulate their own emotions. This also relates to their ability to understand and perceive the emotions of others. Together, these two skillsets enable leaders to resolve conflicts and navigate other complex emotional or interpersonal dynamics effectively.
  2. Adaptability: The corporate world is highly dynamic and ever-changing. As a result, effective leaders need to be flexible and prepared to continue to change and adapt, in order to meet the shifting demands and rapid transformations that are constantly taking place within the corporate world.
  3. Strategic thinking: Any effective leader needs to be able to clearly define and recognise the future goals and objectives of their organisation, and develop a clear strategy that will take them there. To do this, it is essential that leaders possess strategic thinking capabilities, which enable them to see these goals and objectives, as well as any opportunities and challenges, clearly when plotting this strategic course of action.
  4. Collaboration: Historically, leadership within a large organisation has often been seen as being more hierarchical (where directions come from the top down) or dictatorial (where staff report to a few leaders at the top, who effectively “tell them what to do”). Now though, the majority of organisations take a more collaborative approach to leadership, in which staff at various levels of the organisation are involved in the decision-making process and their diverse perspectives taken into account. As a result, the current and emerging leaders of today need to recognise the power of collaboration and be able to collaborate effectively with their people and teams to drive a culture of accountability and ownership in achieving business goals.
  5. Resilience: Challenges and obstacles are a normal part of any company or organisation’s journey, and all leaders will experience some kind of setback at some point in their leadership career. For this reason, it is important that effective women leaders are resilient and equipped with the resources they need to be able to “bounce back” from any challenges they may face along the way. 

In addition to these five, there are a number of other skills that women leaders require in order to be effective as a leader – from problem solving, decision making, and influence to confidence, communication, and interpersonal skills. All these skills and qualities can be fostered through a women’s leadership program, which is why it is so important that companies and organisations consider investing in these kinds of initiatives to prepare their women for success as future leaders. 


Caroline Kennedy is an award-winning CEO with a track record of leading multinational companies with up to $250 million in revenue. She is also the founder of Empowering Women Leaders: Awaken the Powerful Leader Within – a transformative eight-week program designed to help women master the art of leadership. If you’re ready to unleash your hidden potential and become the leader that you were always meant to be, find out more at https://www.carolinekennedy.com.au/women-leadership-program/.

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