There are many forms of leadership, i.e. what works for some might not work for another.  It’s important for each of us as Lean Six Sigma Black Belts to explore these different techniques and qualities to see if it helps us with our teams.  This includes people from different gender, race, country, etc.  This article focuses on lessons learned from women leaders, great perspective.

One way to assist you in your quest for unbiased leadership techniques is to write quotes and lessons from different leaders on index cards remove their name from the text.  Mix up the cards in a container and start selecting them randomly.  See which ones you agree with.  Do the same with the ones you disagree with.  Now trace the index cards with the leader’s name.  See who you selected for those who you agree / disagree with.  Are there any correlations of the leaders by gender, race, country, region, age, military, school, etc?  If there is one segment that is dominating over the other, you may want to look at expanding your reach of who influence your thinking.  You may have too narrow of a scope when learning new skills and techniques such as leadership.

The main point for any leader is results.  Did your team accomplish what it was sent out to achieve?  One way to assure task achievement is through ownership as Sheryl Sandberg noted in a speech at the International Leadership Association (ILA) Global Conference in San Diego:  “Leadership belongs to those who take it”.  The following is a summary of the six overall lessons learned from the women leaders that spoke at the conference with several famous quotes from popular women advocates and leaders.

  1. Be Courageous – Be your own champion, until others start to champion your success! It often takes time to deliver a significant impact in a organization. Accordingly, it is imperative to stay courageous until you can prove what you are capable of doing with and for the team.
  2. Be Determined – Couple your time and skills with your deep desire to make it BIG! Embrace the mindset of the champion and just run with it. This is a powerful key for you to succeed on the way to the top.
  3. Be Disciplined – It takes a lot of discipline to achieve and maintain success! While we my try, we cannot “fix” everything; instead we should focus on areas that will make the biggest impact. Know what your priorities are – and stick to them!
  4. Be Resilient – Make small changes each and every day! Be ready for the marathon, not a sprint.
  5. Be Responsible – More than ever it is essential to take responsibility for our choices and decisions while we lead others.
  6. Be Supportive – HELP your team members, especially other women! During times of change or uncertainty, your support, guidance and encouragement can profoundly benefit both you and your team. In the end, you will create relationships that encourage a fearless free flow of ideas that just may lead to the Next Big Thing!

“What does it take to be a champion? Desire, dedication, determination, concentration and the will to win.” ~ Patty Berg

“ One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~ Helen Keller

“Don’t worry about being successful but work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

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Gary Kapanowski – Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt – Excelsior

The following blog is the opinion of Gary Kapanowski and  Contact him directly at  It is the sole intent to broadcast this opinion from Gary Kapanowski and exclusively and not to reflect on any other institutions or organizations associated with Gary Kapanowski or

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