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'Woman up' and win: How female strengths give you an edge

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Barry Libert, author of “Social Nation,” says women’s leadership styles will become incredibly valuable as businesses become more socially aware.

This doesn’t mean men aren’t great leaders in socially driven businesses, Libert says, “Leading socially is challenging for both genders. But companies that level the playing field for the women under their roofs and men who are willing to espouse the more typically feminine characteristics will be more likely to grow and prosper in today’s business world.”

Here are a few ways to help you start embracing your feminine side:

1. Get to know the people around you. Women tend to be “people persons” and so are great leaders. Libert says, “ To focus on others also means listening to the desires and complaints of the people in your network. Women are naturally good at this because they tend to be the heads of the social dynamics in their families, but men can learn to do it, too. Find out what matters to the individuals and communities around you to engage with them and provide for them, on their terms.”

2. Know what you are not–and ask for help when you need it. You know the scene: A man driving who is lost refuses to stop and ask for directions while his wife or girlfriend in the passenger seat urges him to just pull over somewhere, so she can ask. This principle applies in the business world, too: Women are far more likely to do what they do best and rely on others to complete the rest of the puzzle.

3. Commit to developing and improving your social and emotional skill sets. Libert says to honestly assess who you are, what kind of leader you are, which skills you possess and which ones you lack. Also, learn to collaborate while you lead. “It’s especially important in today’s social world to recognize your weaknesses and surround yourself and your business with professionals who complement you,” Libert says.

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Barry Libert is an author, keynote speaker, and chairman and CEO of Mzinga, a provider of social software, services and analytics that improve business performance. For more information, go to


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