More than 300 business professionals gathered to hear Alexis Gelber present “What Kind of Leader are you?” at the Chamber’s Professional Women’s Leadership Luncheon held on September 10 at the Holiday Inn Virginia Beach-Norfolk Hotel & Conference Center. Attendees discovered the different styles of successful leaders and explored improving their skills as an effective leader.
Gelber is an award-winning editor and journalist with experience in digital and print media. A longtime top editor at Newsweek, Gelber supervised award-winning coverage of politics, social issues and international news as the magazine’s National Affairs Editor, Assistant Managing Editor, and as the Managing Editor of Newsweek International. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.
Gelber began her presentation by talking about the importance of recognizing leadership styles.
“We’ve come to accept a variety of leadership styles among the men who are bosses, leaders and politicians,” said Gelber. “We know that there are guys that are the hardy backslappers; there are the strong, silent types, and the pictorial tough guys that shout all the time. But for women, it only seems to be an either or situation. You’re either a rhymes with ‘witch’ or you’re a soothing nurturer, and neither of these stereotypes are taken seriously. Now that women are moving into more positions of authority, there are more images to reflect the variety of personalities and styles that we all have.”
Gelber shared her favorite quotes from presidents that she felt described different styles of leadership. John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” She described Adams quote as the inspirational style of leadership. Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” Gelber said Eisenhower’s quote is the persuasive side of leadership. She explained, “Anybody who comes from a military background understands the idea of motivating people and making them want to become part of the mission.
Gelber noted Daniel Goleman, a former writer for The New York Times and author of bestselling book Emotional Intelligence and a landmark study called “Leadership that Gets Results.” His research identified six styles of leadership:
Gelber said, “Goleman’s research indicates that leaders who get the best results don’t rely on just one leadership style, they use most of the six styles in any given week.”
Gelber provided some leadership tips that she learned through meeting people, readings and conducting conferences.
Gelber opened the floor to questions and comments. Questions asked included topics about developing leadership in youth, understanding intergenerational workplaces and how to advance in the workplace.
Stephanie Dudley, from Personal Touch Services Inc., asked a question that several millennials are probably faced with. She asked, “What advice would you give to younger women who are trying to break into leadership roles, who are stuck in sales or office management, but would like to do project management or simply move up in the ranks?
Gelber responded, “When you are the person who is suggesting good ideas and make it clear that you are interested in the next level of work and understand what the level entails and have the ability, you will surely be rewarded for that.”
Gelber concluded by stating, “Great leadership has never been more important than it is right now. We can do it on a local level, a national level or personal level. You are all leaders in the present and I know you can help prepare the leaders of the future.”
The Hampton Roads Chamber is proud to present the Professional Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series to provide its members and guests with insight and access to nationally-known speakers. Join us on October 29 for Dan Harris, ‘Nightline’ Co-Anchor and ‘Good Morning America’ Weekend Edition Correspondent and author. Harris will discuss his #1 New York Times Bestselling book, 10% HAPPIER: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works—A True Story, published by !T Books/HarperCollins.
Thank you to sponsors: Bon Secours Virginia Health System (Presenting) and Cox Communications, Union First Market Bank, Virginia Eye Consultants, and WTKR NewsChannel 3 (Luncheon).