Leaders, Leadership Development, Confidence, Courage, Centered, Resilience, Emotional Intelligence, Coaching, Executive Career Management.                      Online Coaching & Training: Dr Sue Mitchell MAC AMInstLM, Aeona Limited, Edinburgh, Scotland

Confident, Courageous & Centered Leaders

‘Triple C Leadership’ for Professional Women

Leadership development to inspire trust, engagement and exceptional results in your organisation.


Overwhelming evidence proves more diverse leadership, executive and management teams deliver far better performance (1). Yet, despite that evidence, women are still seriously under-represented at senior levels. There are many reasons including gender differences in leadership behaviour and life/work values; unconscious bias (in recruitment, organisational and national culture and elsewhere); corporate culture requiring work to be prioritised over personal life; and more.


When a board, manager or recruitment team chooses who to appoint or promote, they are typically influenced at a very deep, unconscious level by two factors: 1) preferring people who are similar to you, because it is easier to connect with people with whom you have something in common; and 2) unconscious bias: you only see what you are looking for. Our brains are wired up to help us focus on what is important and filter out all the white noise that would otherwise overwhelm our cognitive capacity. Our unconscious beliefs, assumptions, habits, past experiences, learning and knowledge create the filters. (The first step to reducing the impact of unconscious bias is to be aware of the filters and test for your assumptions. Coaching is one tool which can help you uncover unknown assumptions. Examine your gut feeling and start looking for other data you didn’t notice yet.) Everyone (even a leader!) makes decisions based on emotion, usually at an unconscious level, and then finds rational arguments to support that decision, usually believing these are the only influences on the decision. This is why unconscious bias is so pervasive in hijacking decision making.


Leadership stereotypes are typically culturally male, which can mean women are overlooked for leadership roles as they seem to “not have what it takes for important leadership roles” unless they behave like a man. Yet the real value of having diversity in leadership teams occurs when women are leading with their authentic style, not trying to be something they are not.


The media also influences how we view leadership and what we consider to be great leadership – typically highly ambitious people with strong charisma and who are newsworthy, who can show a direct causal effect of their leadership behaviour and the results they generate for their organisation. This type of leadership is characterised as “Level 4” leadership in the extensive research summarised in Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great”. Level 4 is an effective leader who catalyses commitment to and vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision and stimulates higher performance standards. It can lead to great results but only while that leader is at the helm. I’m sure you can think of a few examples in recent news headlines!


In Good to Great, the research identified a far more effective style of leadership which they call level 5. It leads to great performance which is sustained long after the leader leaves the organisation. The media generally don’t notice these leaders because their style is indirect and very different to the charismatic leader. Level 5 leaders create the environment where everyone can excel. They distribute leadership throughout their organisation and encourage responsibility and recognition. They bring out the best in their team and develop them to be leaders themselves who can continue bringing out the best in the people throughout the organisation. Level 5 are the hidden leaders, the CEOs who no-one has heard of and who are uncelebrated in the media, but who have the most lasting impact and influence.


Attributes of a level 5 leader: Determination, focus, ambition and responsibility.


Professional Will

  • Creates superb results.
  • Determined resolve to do what is needed to produce the best long term results, no matter how difficult.
  • Sets the standard of building an enduring great company and settles for nothing less.
  • Looks in the mirror to apportion responsibility for poor results. Never blames other people, external factors or bad luck.


Professional humility

  • Is modest, never boastful and shuns public adulation. (Note – they do celebrate successes.)
  • Acts with quiet, calm determination. Motives others more with inspired standards not inspiring charisma.
  • Channels ambition into the company, not self. Sets up successors for even greater success.
  • Looks out the window to apportion credit for successes – to other people, external factors and good luck.


The good news is

1) Level 5 leadership can be learned.

2) Many level 5 attributes are (stereotypically) more aligned with the way many women prefer to lead. They combine well with the Centered Leadership framework, which was developed from research into how remarkable women lead. This framework has proven results in developing great leaders (both men and women).


For more women to hold senior leadership positions requires change at many levels – culturally, organisationally and individually. Nothing will change if you wait for others to change first. Great transformation is possible when you make the first step and start to influence change around you. Will you take your first step to becoming a level 5 and Confident, Courageous and Centered leader and transform your own and your organisation’s future?


Is this you? Do you want:

  • To have leadership presence?
  • To create the environment where you and your people flourish?
  • To have the courage to be authentic, grounded and confident?
  • To have the courage to be visible?
  • To have your voice heard at the table?
  • To become a level 5 leader and encourage this style of leadership to be valued more widely?
  • To be inspired so you can inspire others and generate exceptional results?


The Aeona Triple C Leadership Programme is designed for ambitious women who want to make a difference in the world and in their organisation, whatever its size. It draws together proven methodologies and tools from Good to Great, Centered Leadership, the Five Leadership Practices that lead to greater engagement, Emotional Intelligence and more to create a focused and aligned programme that gives you the tools to achieve your ambitions. The year programme includes a foundation workshop, leadership conversations at six week intervals, online self-learning, webinars and 1:1 coaching.


1 A summary of evidence is at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4f4b3c8e-d521-11e3-9187-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3LWZ1ryTK




You are talented and ambitious, with aspirations for yourself and your organisation and you are willing to work hard to achieve them. You recognise the value of good leadership for the organisation's performance. You deserve to achieve your ambitions, feel fulfilled and enjoy a healthy zest for life.


Confident leaders achieve outstanding success. Confidence is your springboard to deliver as a leader: you focus on priorities, inspire a compelling vision and communicate with clarity. You listen to, engage and align your people to work willingly towards a common purpose and achieve outstanding results.

Courageous leaders achieve outstanding success. You embrace responsibility, take appropriate risks, experiment and learn from mistakes or set backs, rise to the challenge, recognise opportunities, are open and transparent in your dealings, and inspire trust when you acknowledge your vulnerabilities.

Centered leaders achieve outstanding success. You give your life and work a sense of meaning. You have a healthy awareness of yourself and how you interact with others. You know your capabilities, your strengths and weaknesses. You manage your energy to maintain enthusiasm and make time for all that is important. You are grounded and resilient. You connect and engage with others to build a sense of community and lead your organisation to sustainable long-term success.




Contact Aeona today to see how our programmes will benefit you.

Do your self-assessments and call today in confidence
for a no obligation chat or to arrange a strategy session.
Tel: 01875 830708 or +44 1875 830708
Mobile: 07809 672859
Email: info@aeona.co.uk



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