Step into your Power Issue No.1 Jan-Mar 2022
The first time I was struck by the thought that women don’t want to be in leadership was when a dear friend said that she just didn’t want to be responsible for other people.
First of all, as she was and still is a fantastic leader, you can imagine how surprised I was to hear her say this. And I thought that this was what she wanted: having influence, being trusted by others, and being able to execute positive power; she was already creating long-lasting change in her community.
Our conversation made it clear that she didn’t want it – at least not in the traditional sense. She wanted to collaborate, build a strong community and just be herself. Being a leader took all the energy she had and didn’t allow her to create the rest of the life she wanted. It was obvious she was constantly being torn between either helping people around her or building her own life.
This stimulates the question: is it actually possible for the modern woman to have it all?
But then we have to imagine a world where we didn’t have any women in leadership… because all of us had just decided that we no longer have the energy to battle for equality in leadership positions? This simply because it is exhausting enough to try to fit into a system that wasn’t created for women in the first place – and that is before even getting on top of the demands of actually being a leader.
So the question remains: can we have it all: the impactful career and a life that allows us to just be who we want to be?
Well, I, for one, firmly do believe that leadership can be the path towards equality and towards having it all. And professionally, I believe that entrepreneurship is the path to creating long-lasting change for women.
This might be confusing at first. How can leadership be the answer if it is so difficult for women to step into it?
Leadership is not autocratic white men sitting behind their big executive chairs (although many of those men would like you to believe it is!). Leadership also doesn’t mean that you need to know it all. On the contrary, leadership is about creating a space in which others can become their best selves. It is about inspiring, creating a bigger vision and understanding that just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to create a leader.
So the answer is simply that it is not just the system that we need to change in order to create better opportunities for women in leadership, but we also have to unite women across the globe to take those opportunities and turn them into something positive. Women have to be encouraged to either step into leadership positions or to create their own businesses – that is the way we will engender positive change.
And that is why this issue of the Ziva Way Bookazine is all about leadership and how it applies to each of us.
I am delighted to present to you some very inspiring leaders from around the world who will share with you their knowledge and insight on how to be a leader yourself. Enjoy!