Some people have asked me why I decided to call this movement Rise & Lead like a Queen. This, I reply, is a very good question.
First off, I will start with why I say Queen instead of Lady or Woman or Girl. To be a queen is the most ultimate a woman can be. A queen is a ruler and has immense power. Just look at chess, where the queen is the most powerful piece in the game. I believe that every woman on this planet is a queen in her own right. Queens are destined for leadership and greatness even before they are born so why shouldn’t we as “ordinary” women be.
Women are great leaders and for me it all started in my home. My mum was the ultimate queen to me. No matter what she was going through or whether she was well or not she made sure her “subjects” (us kids) had everything that we needed to function, even at the most basic level, and were looked after. Some mums ruled with great care and others ruled with an iron fist but they ruled.
I say Lead because I am passionate about women’s achievement especially when it comes to leadership. I want to bang the women in leadership drum because I feel there could be more top female leaders than there already are. It is true that women are in leadership positions already and make up 51% of the non-managerial workforce but only 21% are in top executive positions. I am doing my bit to help turn that around.
Women are fantastic organisers and are great at rallying troops and we’re even better at bringing everything together. Just look at Joan of Arc who led an army during the Hundred Years war. She was quoted as saying “I am not afraid… I was born to do this.” Get rid of that fear ladies and lead like you were born to.
Some of the best female leaders I have met have lead with compassion and wisdom. They have shown how to get the best out of people no matter what their gender or age. These women know about growth and teamwork. They have taught me about the sisterhood. For those of you with confused looks on your face… I am talking about helping to pave the way for a new generation of rising queens to lead. Why do we need to stop at a certain level of leadership?
I’ve been performing in leadership roles for almost 20 years in various sectors. When I got to the highest I could go in my organisation the next step for me was to become director of my own company. I could have gone for a higher position somewhere else but I had the burning desire to use my skills and experience to help others and to take my business in which ever direction I choose. Not everyone has the desire to run their own company but you definitely have the skills and experience to run one. All you need is tenacity, organisational and leadership skills.
I use the word Rise because it is short and sounds better than progress or climb. I want to encourage women to rise as high as high as they can rise. It puzzles me that girls and young women flatten the boy in academic terms but are like unicorns when it comes to being at the top of the tree.
My theory is that if women performed in the workplace the way girls and young women perform in academia, we’d have more representation in leadership and companies would be better run. Yes, I said it! I think women take more calculated risks than men and are much more successful at supporting each other. Men have their strengths too, particularly with competition and I reckon we should leave it to them. Women in leadership love the thrill of a new project but we think of the bigger picture, whether it is how people will be affected or the overall outcome of it.
Of course, not everyone has the desire to rise, lead or be queen like but for those who do this message is for you. Earn what you are worth and take your place at the top table. You are priceless, a diamond and a queen.