Women, don’t copy the silverback, discover your own power instead!
To create an authentic strong and powerful appearance, there is no need to act like a silverback gorilla. The key lies in embracing both your masculine and feminine strengths.
For thousands of years, there was no room for women in leadership roles. It hasn’t been that long since the first woman was appointed chief editor or the first female chairperson of a listed company. We are actually just now seeing the first generation of female leaders. The masculine leadership model, however, is still the norm.
Rise above the masculine leadership model
Women have to work within a world and context where masculine characteristics such as ambition, targets, control and competitiveness are hugely appreciated, and even overrated. As a consequence, women feel that they have to adapt. Feminine qualities such as empathy, purpose-driven, trust, emotional intelligence, and the ability to connect people are not recognised and even suppressed.
You can only try to escape this ingrained dynamic when you become aware of this. Not by trying to act like the next silverback gorilla or simply copying male colleagues, but rather by reflecting on who you are, what kind of leader you desire to be and the kind of impact you aspire. It means stepping away from simply copying the masculine leadership model and start developing your own personal leadership signature.
The body language of a leader
The volume at which you speak, the look in your eyes, the posture you assume at the conference table; it all comes from your body. When you don’t feel confident within your own body, you will never be able to reach your inner strength. It’s time to realize that sexism, #metoo and body shaming result in having a difficult relationship with our own body. While a healthy, loving relation with your body is essential for authentic leadership. When you learn to feel grounded within your body, this will impact on how others perceive you. Your voice will be naturally strong, rooted in your primal force. Your eyes will be clear and fiery. Your posture will radiate strength, without having to do the ‘power pose’. Or some other trick others are trying to teach you about ‘the body language of a leader’ and which will only fuel the imposter syndrome and a feeling of inadequacy. While instead you have a natural strength that is huge!
What do you aspire?
You empower yourself when you are convinced of the value of your input. Think about what you want: what type of leader do you want to be, to yourself and to others? What will be your legacy? What matters to you? The answers to those questions shape your aspirations. Aspirations, or even desires, that match the core of who you are. Ambition is an empty shell when it is not fueled with desire. Stop focusing all your efforts on pleasing the boss, and waisting your intelligence and talents solely on other people’s goals. Start focusing on what matters to you. Which targets matter to you? What is it you aspire to achieve?! Answering these questions is how you develop inner authority. And no silverback gorilla tactics will ever be going to beat that
A powerful appearance
A strong appearance is created by this ultimate collaboration of mind, body, and soul. Because you embraced your masculine ánd feminine qualities and developed your own personal leadership style; because you know exactly what you stand for and what it is you aspire to lead; because you are not afraid to use your entire body when you stand up for your vision, for your ideals and for the legacy you want to leave behind.
Do you sometimes feel that you have to act as a silverback gorilla to appear strong? That you have to suppress your feminine energy to radiate power? Where does this feeling come from? What might need to be reframed inside yourself so you can start accessing and radiating your natural strength? Let me know via firstname.lastname@example.org