I came out of the military schooled in command based on the masculine model of leadership designed for warfare, where there is clearly no room for being collaborative, compassionate, or seeking consensus.
I held the belief that I always had to be strong, to be imposing, to act confident perhaps even to the point of being arrogant, to embody the masculine qualities of decisiveness, resilience, and assertiveness. I could NOT show vulnerability, only strength.
Over the next several years I studied successful leaders, and made wonderful discoveries about the ‘yin and yang’ of leadership. I realized that the great women leaders embraced feminine qualities and integrated them with selective masculine qualities. They used patience, expressiveness, intuition, flexibility, and empathy to their distinct advantage.
With these powerful new insights, I was able to shift from my rigid, masculine-heavy perspective to fully express my feminine qualities — to become an even stronger leader than ever before. I learned that vulnerability is not a sign of weakness; rather, a part of building deep, beautiful, trustworthy relationships that lead to success in all kinds of ways.
And so, the concept of Comfluence in leadership was born. I have now made it my life’s work to teach the mindset, courage, confidence, and holistic skills of Comfluential Leadership which empowers a woman to be the best she can be, in her own unique way.
Selected from my bestselling book / Finalist, 2021 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, No One Stood Up When I Entered the Room: One Woman’s Journey from Command to True Leadership.
About Your Columnist
Linda Patten is a featured columnist for Women Lead, the official blog of Connected Women of Influence where she examines the art of leadership. Linda Patten (MBA) is the founder of Dare2Lead with Linda, an international speaker and best-selling author, radio show host (now syndicated), leadership expert, mentor and trainer to professional associations, major organizations, business networking groups and the military. She is a gifted communicator, who spoke on SUE Talks: Connected Women of Influence.