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Mental toughness for women leaders

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Angie Morgan and Courtney Lynch were among the only women in their Marine Corps officer training school. The physical demands were tough, but commanding men who’d never worked for a woman proved tougher.

Morgan and Lynch excelled at it and now, they’re teaching other women. In 2004, the pair launched Lead Star, which teaches female managers and women’s business groups. Their workshops focus on four Marine-centric ideas:
  1. Lead as you are. Some women think they have to act macho or talk in a deep voice. Forget it. The troops will appreciate it more if you behave like yourself.

  2. Avoid emotional outbursts. As their drill instructor put it: “Save the drama for yo’ mama.” Never, ever cry at work.

  3. Set higher standards for yourself than for others.

  4. Don’t apologize for something that’s not your fault. Example: Never say “I’m sorry” when you interrupt a meeting. Say “Excuse me.” And when you do screw up, say you’re sorry once.
Women leaders don’t necessarily think of the military as a source of inspiration, Lynch notes, but every woman can learn to lead the Marine Corps way.

—Adapted from “The art of the woman warrior,” Stephanie Clifford, Inc.

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