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Centered Leadership – How Talented Women Thrive (McKinsey Quartely)

mckinsey_logo The September 2008 issue of The McKinsey Quarterly, the online business journal global management consultants McKinsey & Company, has an interesting article about women and leadership. Centered leadership: How talented women thrive – A new approach to leadership can help women become more self-confident and effective business leaders was written by Joanna Barsh, Susie Cranston, and Rebecca A. Craske.

The premise:

(T)he McKinsey Leadership Project—an initiative to help professional women at McKinsey and elsewhere—set out four years ago to learn what drives and sustains successful female leaders. We wanted to help younger women navigate the paths to leadership and, at the same time, to learn how organizations could get the best out of this talented group.

For the project, McKinsey has interviewed more than 85 successful women around the globe (“and a few good men”) who lead a wide variety of organizations. Additionally, they tapped into an equally wide range of resources in the field of leadership and within McKinsey “to learn what drives and sustains successful female leaders.”  The project is ongoing, but at this point they have identified five dimensions of leadership and have framed it up in their Centered Leadership model.

Their five dimensions of leadership are:

  • Meaning
  • Managing energy
  • Positive framing
  • Connecting
  • Engaging

The authors use effective storytelling to fill out each of the dimensions of leadership and build their overall case. I won’t rehash it here because I want you to read the entire article which is not very long. (free registration required)

Centered leadership-The McKinsey Quarterly

While targeted primarily at women, this research and the Centered Leadership model would be effective for any leader regardless of gender, race, etc.

The following short video is associated with the article and I encourage you to watch this as well. It’s very well produced and the leaders presented are very impressive.

About the author

Peter A. Mello, Founder/Editor Founder of Weekly Leader and Sea-Fever Consulting, LLC, a leadership development and strategic communications consultancy. Previously, CEO of an international nonprofit organization and COO of a national insurance/risk management services firm. Peter has been leading people and managing organizations for over 30 years, writes a leadership column for MarineNews magazine and blogs about maritime culture at Sea-Fever. Follow him on Twitter.

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Posted in Diversity, Learning, Profiles.

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