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Women Leaders: It’s Time for a “Brand New Leadership”

In the corporate world, most women are still not rising all the way to the very top. According to a recent study by Catalyst, a NY-based non-profit that works to promote opportunities for women in business, only 2.2% of Fortune 500 CEO’s are women; and women make up less than 15% of corporate officers. In short, despite more than a century of speaking out, many women in business today still haven’t learned to speak up.

by Ellen Looyen

Women Possess Many Strengths That Make Them Natural Leaders

In fact, when women rely on their natural feminine strengths, they actually possess a superior power to lead, influence, inspire, and stir up meaningful and positive change.
Feminine Strengths include:

  • Integrity
  • Compassion
  • Emotional Sensitivity
  • Warmth & Empathy
  • Authentic Communication Style
  • Listening & Collaboration Skills
  • Win-Win Negotiation Approach

The Power of Charisma

The “feminine” power of charismatic influence should never be discredited…as it’s one of the most effective leadership tools and it’s so often overlooked. The ability to influence and persuade through one’s energetic presence and charismatic communication style, is a much better leadership tactic than trying to lead by authoritative, forceful and aggressive behaviors.

The German Socialist Max Weber, called “charisma” the third form of authority, after law and tradition; and Webster’s Dictionary states that “charismatic people throughout history have possessed the unique ability to capture the imagination of others and inspire them to be supportive and devoted to a cause.”

The Best Leaders Capture the Imagination of Their Teams, Clients and Colleagues

Feminine Leadership, at its best, inspires authenticity and a more honest and humanistic communication style. The best female Leaders display a high level of interest in others and capture the imagination of their work teams, clients and colleagues. They are very likeable; and they know how to skillfully blend the cognitive, emotional, intuitive, and pragmatic aspects of leadership with self-awareness self-determination and self-mastery.

Nancy Pelosi…Does She Need to Change Her Personal Brand

Great female Leaders are highly sensitive, regarding the impact they have on others; and they can strike that crucial balance between sensitivity and toughness.

I recently did a radio interview (as the Branding Commentator for KGO, San Francisco’s #1 Radio Station), regarding the need for our Former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, to understand the cause of her low favorability ratings and how to better manage her personal brand. And all female Leaders can learn a lot from Speaker Pelosi’s branding mistakes, as they skillfully craft their own personal brand!

Click here Nancy Pelosi-Time to Change Her Brand to listen to the entire interview.

I stated in my radio interview that many powerful women (like Nancy Pelosi) have grown up in a “man’s world”. They think they have to act and lead like men, in order to be taken seriously (and back in my day, as a token female Salesperson at IBM, I found that to be very true). We did try to act (and even dress!) like men. At that time natural feminine traits were trivialized and thought of as weak, ineffective and out of place in the Leadership ranks of Corporate America. But happily, that is all changing and even men are interested in cultivating so-called feminine leadership traits.

Personal Brand Management is Essential for Today’s Leaders

All great Leaders should be acutely aware of their IMPACT on others and use that understanding to skillfully craft their unique brand identity. Personal Branding is an effective way to differentiate yourself as a leader, articulate your individual value and more proactively manage your career.

Your charismatic brand lets people know what you stand for, why they should care about you and what you uniquely have to contribute; and it’s a very effective way to promote yourself as a Leader within your organization!


Ellen Looyen, America’s Leader in Personal Branding since 1988 (title coined by The Conference Board in NYC), knows what it takes to personally brand oneself as a Leader. Always the pioneer, Ellen was one of the first women in Sales at IBM and later at Xerox (where she was a top sales producer and sales trainer). From branding divisions of major corporations (like Chevron and Wells Fargo), to launching countless startups, Ellen loves to inspire women become more influential Leaders.

Ellen is the author of Branding with Charisma (a DIY Branding Kit and Online Home Study program) and is a Brand Commentator on KGO NewsTalk 810 (San Francisco’s #1 Radio station). She is also featured in the best-selling books: Get Clients Now and Guerrilla Marketing. Learn more about “Brand New Leadership” trainings at: