Elana Sztokman's JewFem blog

Elana Maryles Sztokman, PhD, writer, researcher, educator and activist, writing on issues pertaining to gender and Jewish life in Israel and around the world.

Five Women in Leadership Share Their Advice

Leadership is not easy. It takes passion, ambition, persistence, zeal, innovation, and grit. Leaders think differently knowing that doing the same thing every day will not yield great results. They are risk-takers and hardworking people who would never sacrifice their dreams for anything. These traits are what have made them excel in their game.

  • Pay attention to what you are doing wrong

    Rachel Sklar, the founder of Change the Ratio talks about how important it is to pay close attention to what you are doing wrong. Sometimes, leaders have this assumption that they know it all and all their choices are right. However, this is not always the case. Leaders should learn from their past mistakes and learn how to rectify them.Leadership is something that is always a work in progress. Leaders should accept to be corrected, and they should know that in as much as they think they have all the solutions, sometimes if not all the times, listening to others is equally important to have a broader perspective and to learn and grow as well.


  • Be your authentic self

    Danae Ringelmann, the co-founder and CDO of Indiegogo says that leaders should be their authentic self. The world has many people who try to fit in, but a few people stand up to their beliefs, their opinions and their principles. A good leader would never try to tell you something to impress you. A good leader will ensure that he/she wins your heart by the uniqueness inside.A good leader can influence people by his/her unique traits and abilities and can portray his/her scars and joys in a way that is not masking anything. It is only when we are true to ourselves that we can influence others and we can create a more significant impact in what we do.
  • In good times and bad, be humble

    Brooke Moreland, the head of marketing at Gett and co-founder of Fashism says that humility is essential. This life is very unpredictable. One day, you are up there on a pedestal, and the next time, you are down and broken. If you humble yourself, then good things keep happening, and more people become attracted to your leadership skills and abilities.When people that you work with do their duties well, it is good to applaud them for their work. It is good to give credit where credit is deserved and to put away your ego where humanity is concerned. When you humble yourself, you gain more respect and love.
  • Listening is the biggest part of your jobJessanne Collins, the editor-in-chief of mental_floss magazine says that listening is the most significant part of your job. Leadership is about listening. Can people come to you when they need a shoulder to cry on? Do you listen to all your members? When you listen to people with the aim of understanding what they are saying, it is like giving them emotional oxygen.

    Leaders are the vision holders, and because of these, they have to be good communicators. Communication entails listening and sometimes what people want from the leader are just the ears with the hope that whatever they are bringing to the table is significant.


Real leadership is about service

Binta Niambi Brown, a lawyer and Mossavar-Rahmani senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, says that real leadership is about service. Service, unlike help, is divine.  Leadership is not about us but about the people around us, the people that want someone to keep reminding them how good they are and how much potential they have.

It is not about ego or our status. But about fulfillment. About giving the whole of us to add value to both lives. Service makes us compassionate, loving and kind enough to humble ourselves to that level where we know that we are equal to everybody around us. You can read more about topic in importance of leadership essay.

In conclusion, leadership requires us to be ourselves, to be able to give back with no expectations in return, to remain humble whichever the circumstances and to listen to everybody’s opinion no matter how much we disagree.

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