With men still dominating the C-suites it’s no surprise that most people think of men as being bolder and the bigger risk-takers at work. Turns out, that might not be the case after all. A new assessment conducted by Zenger Folkman from the Harvard Business Review says otherwise – women leaders tend to be bolder than men, even in typically male-dominated functions such as IT, manufacturing and R&D.The surprising results of the assessment challenge long-held views of women leaders in the workplace.
The group created a “boldness index” based on seven key behaviors used to assess leadership. What makes this index so unique? Rather than look at risk measures found in typical studies, the index examines behaviors more likely to be found in the real-world we work in every day. These include how well leaders challenge conventional thinking and motivate others to go further.
Women out-ranked men in the boldness index by falling in the 52nd percentile, compared to men that ranked lower in the 49th percentile. This may not look like much of a difference, but the results point to the very opposite of what most people have come to believe about who’s bold in the workplace.
Assessment Criteria Looks at Who’s Bolder
With the data to back it, women leaders can feel confident that the business decisions they’re making are bold ones. Even of you don’t typically think of yourself as a bold leader, you may change your opinion once you look at the seven leadership behaviors used in the assessment.
- Challenges standard approaches
- Creates an atmosphere of continual improvement
- Does everything possible to achieve goals
- Gets others to go beyond what they originally thought possible
- Energizes others to take on challenging goals
- Quickly recognizes situations where change is needed
- Has the courage to make needed changes
Do these behaviors sound familiar? Women are often told they need to take more risks and are given advice on how to become bolder, but chances are, you’re already there. It’s easy to fall in-line with the general stereotypes that are still placed on women today.
While men might be viewed as bolder in the general population, women that succeed in the workplace are the boldest.
To see how you measure up on the “boldness index” click here to take the assessment.