Author: Real Leaders

Sheryl Sandberg: Disrupting The Status Quo

The COO of Facebook argues that in order for change to happen, women need to break down societal and personal barriers by striving for leadership roles. Her global movement is encouraging women to lean in to positions of leadership to ensure that more opportunities are created for everyone. Mark Zuckerberg once told me,” says Sheryl Sandberg, “If you’re going to be someone who makes everyone happy, then you’re never going to change anything. You’ve got to be willing to fight for what you believe in.” While Sandberg has certainly taken this advice to heart as COO of Facebook, the greatest social engagement  phenomenon to hit the planet, it’s also sage advice for leaders who are brave enough to tackle controversial social issues. While Zuckerberg has relentlessly pushed his vision for building an online  global community since 2004, Sandberg has launched an agenda of equal magnitude, one that resonates with 3 billion women around the world. Her first book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, co-authored by Nell Scovell in March 2013, aimed to help professional women achieve their career goals, and to help men contribute to a more balanced and equitable society. Her book looks at the barriers preventing women from taking leadership roles in the workplace, namely discrimination, blatant and subtle sexism, and sexual harassment. Sandberg  also examines societal barriers such as the fact that...

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Women Can Provide The Key To Boosting Corporate Performance

A recent WEF study shows that C-suite executives are kept awake at night by large-scale global problems such as corruption, geo-political security and energy price instability which increasingly impact their business. These problems go well beyond the ‘tame’ challenges that traditional business models and command-and-control leadership styles can address. A growing body of research shows that women excel in precisely the traits necessary to address these 21st century problems – collaboration, empathy and team-building combined with more vigorous approaches such as taking initiative and driving for results. ‘Women have the potential to be truly transformational, value-driven, value-adding executives who can change their organisations from within and find new solutions to our  toughest challenges,’ said Gayle Peterson, co-director of a new Oxford programme designed specifically for women leaders. Women Transforming Leadership, co-directed by Gayle Peterson and Kathryn Bishop, Associate Fellows of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, was developed both in response to organisations’ need to prepare women for leadership roles more effectively and the need of women themselves to find strategies to fulfil their leadership potential. The continuing low numbers of women in leadership positions globally indicates that companies and individuals have still not found a way to tap into their valuable skills. ‘Women leaders around the world continue to face significant structural barriers that limit their potential.  Advice to women to “think their way through” is just not enough. Companies that wish...

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The Future is yours – Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever

Every day, when watching the news, we see pictures of famine and floods, droughts and demonstrations, confronting us with the effects of increasing resource scarcity, climate change, food security, civil unrest and poverty. We see the increasing numbers of people left behind. Many wonder how on earth we are going to address all these challenges. They feel overwhelming and not a little confusing. We should not lose sight of the fact that there is also plenty of ‘good’ to write home about. We’ve succeeded in nearly halving child mortality rates since 1990, for example, and polio cases have decreased by more than 99 percent since 1988. But this is still a time of volatility, revolution, of uncertainty and ambiguity and increasing complexity. The challenges are pressing and distressing, and it can be difficult to know where to begin to address them — there are no quick fixes for what ails us. What many people forget is that we have an emerging power to make fundamental shifts in the state of the world – the power of youth. And we also have an evolving and emerging tool called technology. The masterful 20th century designer Charles Eames once said, “Beyond the age of information is the age of choices.” We’re racing through the information age — more than 95 percent of all information on the planet is now in digital form, and...

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Matt Damon: Not Everything Can Be Measured

Damon’s mother once told his school teacher, “It’s stupid, it won’t tell him anything and it’ll just make him nervous.” How do you empower teachers to unlock the true potential of students? Watch Matt Damon explain how standardized tests might not be the best way to achieve...

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More Than 250,000 women Lean In

Leanin.Org today announced the Lean In community has grown to over 250,000 members with nearly 1 million unique visitors to leanin.org since the organization’s launch in March. Additionally, over 7,000 Lean In Circles – small peer groups focused on empowerment – have registered in all 50 states and at least 50 countries. In a keynote speech in Chicago at BlogHer ’13, the annual women’s blogging conference, Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead and founder of LeanIn.Org, commented on the steps women all over the world are taking to move toward gender equality. “While the number of people joining Lean In has exceeded...

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