Highly successful women leaders are able to balance empathy and inclusiveness with assertiveness, ambition and drive. Ideally, all leaders should strive to arm themselves with these traits.

What does it take to be successful in business? A tough work ethic, being task-oriented, a willingness to put in long hours, dedication to one’s career, and having the right connections are a few characteristics that immediately come to mind.

However, research shows that the small number of women who have risen to top positions in business often possess leadership traits quite different from those associated with successful men.

Traditionally, in the business world, men have been given what social psychologists describe as broad “stylistic latitude” to operate as leaders using formal power, position and authority.

Think of the post-World War II U.S. corporation, where virtually all business executives were men. Corporations of that era were characterized by top-down, command-and-control organizational cultures, and lines of reporting authority strongly mirrored those of the military.

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