Women in Leadership: Is Being Friendly Fatal?

Women who lead can be very effective, although there may be a number of characteristics as it relates to their personalities and leadership styles that differ from their male counterparts.

Is there an unspoken rule regarding how women leaders should carry themselves?

For most women being friendly, personable and reachable comes naturally. But can women in leadership do this and really be respected?

Dr. Cynthia Hale is one of Gospel Today\’s featured Women at the Forefront Profiles who currently serves as Senior Pastor of the Ray Of Hope Church in Atlanta, GA.

“I came to Atlanta 25 years ago to start this ministry. It\’s been an amazing journey, and the best is still yet to come! I started with 4 people and now we have about 4,000. This is an interesting and wonderful time in my ministry.” – Dr. Cynthia Hale

Hale shares with Gospel Today, “The one thing that\’s been consistent is that I\’m still personal; I still touch people. I\’ve often thought over the years that maybe I shouldn\’t get so close to people (maybe I should have more armor bearers [laughter]), but that\’s not who I am! I\’m still operating the same way and having fun!”

Dr. Hale represents a slowly growing demographic of women leaders in America who have risen to the top without compromising their chore values.

When it comes to leadership, does gender matter? Is there a difference between women leaders and men who lead? If so, what are the unique qualities of female leadership that the most effective women leaders possess, and are they unique to women?

In 2010, a yearlong study conducted by Caliper, a Princeton, New Jersey-based management consulting firm, and Aurora, a London-based organization that advances women, identified a number of characteristics that distinguish women leaders from men when it comes to qualities of leadership:
Women leaders are more assertive and persuasive, have a stronger need to get things done and are more willing to take risks than male leaders…. Women leaders were also found to be more empathetic and flexible, as well as stronger in interpersonal skills than their male counterparts…. enabling them to read situations accurately and take information in from all sides…. These women leaders are able to bring others around to their point of view…. because they genuinely understand and care about where others are coming from…. so that the people they are leading feel more understood, supported and valued.

Dr. Cynthia Hale is very optimistic about her future and she recognizes that God continues to honor her sacrifices. As for her style of leadership, Hales say, “I\’m just who I am!”

Learn more about Dr. Cynthia Hale at www.rayofhope.org.