by wowmagazine

Dr. Prativa Pandey
Founder, CEO Catalyst Technology/ Herveda Botanicals

Leadership is a highly adaptive and dynamic process that requires the ability to build and maintain a strong team while navigating through uncharted paths to achieve shared vision. Often times, we are made to believe that leaders should have solutions to all the problems and answers to all the questions, which is highly misleading. Leaders should not be expected to single handedly solve the problems. In fact, as a leader it is more important to be able to rely on others and tap collective potential as a group to achieve big impact. Having mentors and allies is crucial, esp. as a woman, to get support and guidance in finding opportunities and overcoming obstacles in the path towards leadership and success. We should not mimic men’s leadership traits/ behaviours to have fair consideration as a good leader. We should leverage our individual strengths and styles in practicing leadership. I have realised that humility and courage are of utmost importance in this journey. I draw humility from the fact that my privilege is a culmination of the sacrifices and contributions of multiple generations of leaders from the past, and I draw courage from my moral responsibility towards improving the lives of multiple generations of men and women in the future.

Major Niru Dhungana
Pilot, Nepali Army

Leadership is something that comes with inner confidence and desire to change the society, nation and world to make it a better place. To lead the mass and motivate them for betterment one should first set the example which comes with hard work and determination. One should first be self-disciplined and focused with their objective. With my experience and the examples in society, I have always believed that one should be able to fight for oneself, then only can you lead the society and fight for others who are struggling for their rights. If you don’t stand up for yourself, no one else will. Any person can do their best where their interest and inner desire lies. For instance, I always wanted to be a pilot, if I had chosen any other profession, I might not have been good at that. I heard my inner voice, spoke for it and achieved it, I was quite lucky that speaking was enough for me, for those who need to fight for their dream, they must do it. We all have the potential to change the world and make it a better place where everyone is equal. Every person regardless of gender, race, caste, region, society can achieve their dream and can contribute to this society, nation and world.
Anyone in this world is full of potential, they just need to recognise it and motivate others to realise it. There are a lot of women out there who can do far better if they get little support and motivation.

Shyam Badan Shrestha
Founder, Knotcraft Centre Nepal

A leader is a path breaker and maker. For this, she has to be the role model herself in her respected sector. Women are born with all different natural strengths and capabilities which were not explored and realised by them. The true story of the leader makes them see and realise their own qualities.
I often tell women my own story to encourage them. I listen to women who have often not been heard. I have found that with this simple act of listening to the most disempowered women, a sense of their own importance is realised. Often, my story is not far removed from their own. I encourage them with words and stories about women’s strength. These might sound small but once women find that there are other women who believe in them, it gives them courage. This often encourages them to become a different person from the rest of the society and a new budding leader is born. Once her new found confidence finds the path, she strives to march ahead. One simply has to instill faith in a woman to make her strive forward, breaking and making the path for herself.

Lily Thapa
Founder, WHR Nepal & Member of National Human Rights Commission

Women in particular are often highly skilled at making connections with more people and that will certainly help a leader to reach their goals. That’s why I always try to reach more people especially those who are not reachable due to many factors and try to listen and respond them.

Dr Tseten Yonjen Tamang
Hepatopancreatobiliary and Liver Transplant Surgeon
Head, Department of HPB and Liver Transplantation Shahid Dharma Bhakta National Transplant Center

You are a born leader. And it’s true, you will be judged, wronged, belittled, questioned, criticised, stared upon and doubted. You will be stereotyped and overwhelmed. Balancing profession and personal life will be a myth, a far too simplification of the struggle. But know this: it is okay.

You are beautiful, strong, assertive and confident. You are real, practical, resourceful and responsible. You lend your ear to others, consider them, do your own thinking and put your thoughts to meaningful action. You have your beliefs and disbeliefs. You have your good and bad. You have a comforting heart and a forgiving soul. You have a vision and a goal. You know your team. The team knows you. You are for your team and the vision you share. You know when the team grows, you will too, much bigger and far better. You are the spirit of your team. You are the phoenix, never fear the bottom.

And there is nothing feminine or masculine about this. It is just about leading your team and that’s what your team needs. Everything else is part of the game, at least for now, at least that’s what I tend to regard it as. You are a born leader. Believe.

Dr Rita Singh
Managing Director, Oracare Periodontal Clinic

I always go by the quote, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” by John Quincy Adams. I truly believe this. As a leader you need not just to show the way but go that way too.

Ramila Nemkul
Founder, Kasa

Every organisation needs a leader, irrespective of its size and functions. For me, a leader is a person who influences and encourages a group of people to work towards the realisation of goals. Leadership is not gender-specific in fact women leaders are more transformational than men leaders and we, women leaders are invariably focused on completion of tasks assigned within deadline. And that is the reason that we can see more women leaders compared to the past. But there are few things we need to follow. For me, those are my thumb rules to follow to lead an organisation like Kasa.

I practice resilience, which is a quality that allows you to overcome stress and adversity and to come back strong. Furthermore, positive attitude, optimism, the ability to regulate emotions and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback always helps in the long run.

Female leaders should have humility and should always play to your strength. I don’t work only for money rather I volunteer my time in connecting others with ideas and resources and participating in my fashion community which is a great way to demonstrate leadership.

I took risks in my life and I think what holds women back is the lack of confidence to act and take risks. To become more confident, women need to stop thinking so much and just act. I chose the right mentors in my life and I will suggest others also to choose their mentors wisely.
I never compare myself with others. I know it’s hard but don’t compare yourself to others because it will stall your creative potential ideas, your ability to be in the flow, and your capacity to hold a vision for others.
‘I am not bossy; I just have executive leadership skills’ Sheryl Sandberg said, and I follow that religiously.

Nagma Shrestha
National Director, Miss Universe Nepal

Don’t just talk about being a leader. If you aspire to be one, make this possible. Work towards it. Leadership is all about claiming your own space. The society we grew up in is a male dominated society, especially in a country like ours. There are certain barriers for women even at home but you should learn to speak up for yourself, make your space and then claim it with pride. Always remember you are no less than anyone and believe in yourself. You need to be clear about your goal and vision. Leadership takes a lot of courage, dedication and commitment.

I was a beauty queen earlier and I have always voiced out my opinion about important issues. Things were changing but I felt it could have been better. As soon as I took up the role of National Director, I could make decisions. This was a big difference. The power helped me get rid of criteria which didn’t make any sense. As a result, the Miss Universe Nepal pageant is now more inclusive.

Swastika Shrestha
CEO, Teach For Nepal

We are great at what we do because we are women and not “despite” of being women. Men often define what leadership should look like and it’s natural for us women to try and compensate for what we have learnt to believe is our shortcomings. My own journey has been acknowledging that I have strengths and shortcomings like everyone else. But I don’t need to try and spend my life trying to compensate for skills I don’t have. I just hire a person in my team who brings in what I don’t have. This way I shine in things I am good at and people in my team shine at what they’re good at. That’s my way. But despite the fact that we are all women doesn’t mean we all have to be the same way and approach leadership similarly. But I do believe, we deserve to be happy. And nothing feels happier than finding your authentic self and leading your team in your own unique way. We are complete as we are. For everything else, there’re people you can hire, team you can depend on, consultants you can get, friends and family you can ask for help.

Vidya Kumar
Chief Financial Officer, Standard Chartered Bank Nepal

In a world that’s more uncertain than ever, leadership takes a new meaning. Someone once said, “A leader is as good as his or her team” and the pandemic has reconnected us with our teams in a new and unthinkable way. Empathy and empowerment have never been so inter-linked and adaptability has taken centre stage. For many women in the workplace, managing a team, home and family became a juggling act, which brought out the best in terms of resilience, communication and adaptability. The most capable leaders in the new era will be those who are able to pivot plans quickly and maintain regular authentic communication with their teams. Most importantly for women who are normally higher on the emotional quotient, the ability to manage emotions will enable us to tell the difference between perception of a situation and the situation as it objectively is, thus enabling us to better handle critical decision making. As women, we need to draw strength from within to see opportunity in every failure, face obstacles head on and strive harder to continue to develop a sense of belonging, shared values and success within our teams.

Mannsi Agrawal
Motivational Speaker, Photographer

While we are forging ahead at unparalleled speed, I believe that there are still many impediments for women leaders in the world.

As a woman entrusted with childbearing and child-rearing responsibilities, I feel that prioritisation plays a huge role in being leaders. As a result of the pressure of this double burden, I often find myself ‘stealing time’ which is taking out a few minutes from my day here and there or waking up painfully early to get my precious creative time and to get work done.

Further, I do understand that strong women in the workplace are often perceived negatively, while the not-so-strong ones are taken lightly. As women, it is a challenge to maintain that fine balance. While my biggest suggestion would be to be on top of your A-game at all times, and to put in your best, it is also important to be mindful of your manner; how you speak, how you put your message across, and how you come across to people.

Finally, I do believe that women have a natural leadership style that is different from men. I believe that one should embrace that and play to their strengths, rather than trying to be someone they are not.

Anouk Tamrakar Versteeg
Founder, Timro Concept Store

Stay humble and true to yourself, always. We live in a country and a time with a young generation of innovative thinkers and change makers. As a leader it’s your super power to help others to see their potential, their brilliance and support them to succeed. Our world is calling for regenerative leadership, leaders who create a situation where everyone wins; you, the people around you, and the world around them. It’s not about walking up front. It’s more about paving a path for others to succeed, but walk with pride in their shadows and support them, always.

As a female leader I understand the warrior in other women. The warrior who is ready to fight for women empowerment and equal rights. To all of you I would like to say, in a war we only have winners and losers. It’s not about one over the other; it’s about equality and embracing diversity.

Never lose yourself and your power in a fight. The focus should always be to make a difference. 
Leadership today means embracing diversity across genders, income levels, cultural background and seeing the world without borders. Always listen and learn from others, we live to grow together. Not to know it all alone.

A true leader knows how to transform our differences into wisdom, ideas and strength by bringing others together.

Anushka Shrestha
Miss Nepal World 2019 & Co- Founder & CEO, Makkuse

Leadership to me is the ability to grow your people to the best of your abilities and align all the growth towards a vision that serves your people, your business and yourself, a win-win-win.

Susmriti Bomjan Tamang
Health and Rehabilitation Coordinator/ Tai Chi Instructor, Bihani Social venture
Volunteer Rescue Incharge, Gaurdian Angels for Animals

If you believe in something, go for it. This is something I have learned in my journey of life. From being a martial artiste to a Health and Rehabilitation Coordinator and a street animal rescuer – I have been fortunate enough to have worked with great leaders who have helped me to become who I am today. I believe leadership is both an innate and self-created ability. Leadership means having a team and you are defined by your ability to make others feel a part of your team. We must always remember that without team members who support and value you, one cannot be considered a leader. To play leadership role one does not have to be the CEO of the company. Leadership is not defined by societal norms, age or gender and professional status – anyone can be a leader in any capacity even in our personal lives. If you do not believe in yourself, no one else will. The most important person who can walk the path for you is only you so believe in yourself – know your strengths, follow your dreams and never let others define you.

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