From the Boardroom to the Ballot Box – Why Women CEOs Make Better Politicians

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Trump may have been the loudest, but he isn’t the only business-minded person to jump into the political ring. More and more business leaders, men and women, are joining politics and speaking up about social causes. What’s needed is more qualified leaders, CEOs who have run large corporations, to join the race. The reason for this – CEOs make better politicians. 

But not just any CEO will do.  The receipts are in, and its women CEOs who rank higher under pressure and in leadership roles. They have gained trust during crisis and are tackling harder issues than their male CEO counterparts.  

For our country to have the best in leadership, more female CEOs need to run for office. 

Why women are better leaders

Women who become CEOs are held to a higher standard than their male counterparts. The glass ceiling has kept women from entering the board room at the same rate, but for those who have arrived, their leadership skills are on full display. 

In a study conducted by S&P Global, it was found that while talent is not determined by gender, female CEOs and CFOs when compared to their male peers: 

  • drive greater value appreciation
  • improve price momentum
  • better defend profitability moats
  • earn higher excess returns 

The study discovered that women executives are held to a higher standard. Having made it to the board room, they show higher attributes associated with success than the men at the table. 

Simply put, if you are a woman in a CEO position, you’ve already shown your worth as a leader. You are a force to be reckoned with. 

However, Harvard Business Review reported that there is more to it than simply being held to a higher standard. During the pandemic, women leaders were rated as more effective leaders during a crisis. 

Why? The data showed that people are looking for leaders who are:

  • willing to learn
  • able to pivot 
  • pursuing employee development, even during hard times
  • empathetic to employee struggles and stress

Women leaders showed up during COVID-19 and proved to be sympathetic to the needs of those they were leading, adjusted to the new norms, and still motivated those under their care to pursue personal goals. 

So now that we know women make for great leaders, why is it that women CEOs should run for office? That’s simple. Keep reading. 

Why CEOs make better politicians

Great CEOs surround themselves with advisers who aren’t afraid to disagree with them, and as a leader takes their arguments seriously. 

They know the risks of every decision they make and every word. They don’t run off at the mouth because they know each word needs to be weighed for the benefit of the employees and stakeholders they represent. 

Speed and conviction are essential when leading a company and when tackling social issues. Decisions have to be made often in both politics and on the executive level. This is often done with incomplete information and in unfamiliar territory. 

Decisiveness is key and a good CEO understands they can’t wait for perfect information before making a call and knows when to pause to not cause harm. 

CEOs know how to motivate others and make employees and stakeholders feel as though they are a part of the organization. It is never a one person show. Instead, a good leader learns how to communicate the goal and the steps of how to get there so that everyone is part of the process. 

When the demand for product or the environment changes suddenly, a good leader knows how to adapt to situations that have never been faced before. They are ready for the unexpected and able to see the shifts needed in short, medium, and long-term goals. They understand setbacks and are not derailed by them. 

Every one of these qualities is transferable and greatly needed in politics. 

But there is one more reason women CEOs should be running for office – the time is right!  

A shift in culture demands companies take a stand

Consumers are looking to brands to contribute to society. Gone are the days where companies remained neutral. We are in a new era, one Bill Gates called Creative Consumerism, that demands businesses look at their impact on society and the environment. 

“If you’re a CEO today, you have a balancing act, making sure you’re living up to the expectations of your future consumers, without being over the line in areas where your older customers don’t really expect you, as a private company, to be involved in,” stated Matt Kleinschmit, CEO of Reach3 Insights, to NBC News

It’s exactly what politicians do, weigh the balance of future supporters while living up to the expectations of those who placed them in office. 

The role of CEO makes for a strong training ground for a larger, national position. 

It’s time for CEOs to transfer from the board room to political office. It’s time for women politicians to fill the seats that only they are uniquely qualified to fill. 

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