Gone are the days when the metric for success is based on the dollar amount in your bank, the achievements won, or the accolades collected. While these are fabulous measures of performance and results, for longer term sustainability, the foundation of a success is built on character.
As leaders, entrepreneurs, and business owners, learning to lead with character is imperative. Establishing your essence in developing characteristics grounded in emotional intelligence is drastically shaping the way we look at the new era of success.
It begins with self-awareness. The ability to grow and understand how you operate in the given context of the workplace, your team, or more simply your strengths and shortcomings. When you are more aware and accept the variances and uniqueness your greatest value, your navigation through problem solving and making better decisions comes with ease. You are readily able to understand perspectives and appreciate the ones you may not typically jive with. Lastly, you can commit to take action: whether it's expanding your ideas, innovating the company, or planning the next step in your career trajectory-this falls into place with profound focus and clarity.
Remember, your mother saying something to the tune of when decisions are made in haste, they rarely ever serve you, or rather come back in some way to haunt you?
Here are 4 essential traits that shape emotional leadership which include these 4 key
Embracing what you are building and for whom you are building by being sensitive
and open to the feelings of others. Understanding the perception and the perspective of the other person. This is the art of finding the reasons behind the decision making, and thought process of others. With kindness and warmth, this is the new era of leadership.
2. Vulnerability (Transparency)
When you are able to be vulnerable and showcase a more “human” and relatable side to you, it offers humility, trust, and respect that is instantly gained. It offers a tremendous opportunity for us to realize we are imperfect beings.
Celebrate flaws and champion some aspects that make you human which is desperately something that offers more collaboration and more cohesion with families, businesses, communities, and societies as a whole.
There is never any judgment in curiosity. This is a deep understanding and inquisition to know more. To understand why, and to pursue the unknown, gain a different perspective, a different thought process, encourage openness and expansion.
This is the understanding that adversity is a part of life. Embrace the tenacity and fierce
capacity to rise up again and again, in the face of the natural ebb and flow of life. In every single life there will be dark times, and it’s not about avoiding them altogether, it’s about understanding how to navigate through the challenging aspects of life and embrace some of the toughest parts along the road. Everyone will have them to some degree or another. It is not about being the victim, but rather opening oneself to life’s valuable lessons that strengthen your core as a human as a result. Utilize the silver lining in each scenario, so that you can make better decisions as a result.
Fundamentally leading with a greater capacity for understanding and strengthening your emotional leadership prepares you and steers you forth in the right direction that will not only empower and impact those around you, but make you a more distinguished human being with boundless success in that spills over into different aspects of your life.
Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.
Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.
That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.
Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.
Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.
Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.
With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.
The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.
Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.
As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.
Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.