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Gina Lazenby opens: David you work with some very high profile women leaders … tell us something about how they got there. What makes them different to get to where they have got to? We only know them through the filter of the media, we don’t really know what they are like.

Three particular qualities of women’s leadership
Dr David Paul responds: Let’s look at three particular qualities that they have. And I’m not talking about managing, I am talking about leading. Very, very different.

1 Credibility
how credible are you with your message ….. And the message does not change by the way. It’s not a different message every day.  It’s the credibility of the individual …. And as a result of that credibility you have the credibility of the message.

2 Connection  – a bringing together of heart and mind
Connection also means relationship, and collaboration. It has to be what’s called a true connection. Not just: it’s nice to meet you.  Not just having strong networks but having a holistic approach to that connection. So that you are engaging the whole of me not just the mind part of me or not just the heart part of me. It’s a bringing together of the heart and mind in a very different way. If you practice that in 2014 you’ll see the difference that you will make. People will notice, they will say what has she got? I want some of that. You will be emanating the energy of true connection, people will feel this.

3 Being truly authentic
The depth of that should transform every interaction when you are truly authentic. You don’t have to strive to change something, it comes to you because you are being.

GL: Have you noticed that some of the women you have worked with have become more authentic when they have moved into their top high-profile leadership position? Sometimes perhaps women try to be who they think people want them to be because the way to reach people has been through the filter of the media. So we don’t necessarily know who these women really are … it seems to me that when these women get to high places of power they become different when they are there. Are you saying that they are authentic all the way through this journey to the top and it’s maybe the way the media are presenting them?

DP: Those who we truly respect and venerate, not those who we see through the media lens …. For those there is no media lens. It is just who they are. Talking about Gandhi and Mother Theresa, you don’t see them in any different light through the media than who they truly are/were. There is an authentic beingness. It is something that transcends presentation.

GL: The last couple of years the key word has been authenticity. That’s the journey for all of us now, to get into that space, especially with the different way that we communicate now with social media. We are in direct communication with the world instead of having a PR company present our image to the world. There used to be a separation where there was the work me, and the private me. It’s all the same now. It’s not about hiding anything, it’s about who am I and how do I present myself to the world?

Authenticity is the key to a new leadership
DP: When we are authentic there is no need for ego. We say that in a room full of egos, everyone goes out stupid because that is what the ego does. It prevents you from being that. And I think the connection between leadership and the collective is about being truly authentic. There is something that we have forgotten about being authentic in our journey towards profits and achieving something.

GL: It’s not in our culture and it’s not in our business training. We focus more on the image that we present to the world than we do authenticity. There is no honesty there. What I have seen in British politics is that if individuals speak as an authentic voice with messages that they feel they need to express, rather than towing the party line ….. They either have a very short a life in politics or they get towed in. Politics has not so far allowed the people to be authentic voices.

Attention to ‘Being’ is the way to authenticity
DP: I think is not about allowing something it’s about being, because the moment that you allow you have to deal with so many variables … but when you are truly being you there is a level of credibility that nothing can touch. And the power of the collective is power of being authentic.

QUESTION FOR GROUP DISCUSSION …..
What are the leadership qualities of women that will help build robust structures?
What are the qualities that women are bringing to achieve these better results? … see the transcript of the report back from the group.

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