According To Stanford & Forbes: Successful Women Are Chameleons

Who knew chewing gum, dancing backwards, frying up the bacon, and finding lost keys would serve women so well in the business world? “What does that mean?” you ask so intelligently. It’s simple. Once again, women have received confirmation that in order to succeed in business and move into positions that are highly profitable, we must be masters in the art of “change.” Successful women know how to master the “switch.”

“Stanford research confirms that women must sometimes be tough, self-promoting, competitive, goal oriented, commanding, self-assured and direct (masculine). At other times, they must be soft, self-effacing, collaborative, process oriented, persuasive, unassuming, and indirect (feminine). Moreover, they must be an expert at turning the masculine switch on and off by “self-monitoring.” (quoted from the Forbes recent post Secret Switch For Women)

The evidence is piling up high for the benefits of gender diversity in both the corporate and the entrepreneurial world’s upper ranks, yet we still are not reaching that needed tipping point. What can we do to position more women in these roles to generate the changes that everyone keeps eluding will help us reach that critical mass? Does it depend on these successful women mastering the art of “the switch?”

To Be Successful Women, Do We Need To Master The Swich?

What Does It Mean To Switch?
Good, Bad or Ugly – What Are Chameleons To You?

As described, switching is the ability for women to be able to turn on and off the masculine attributes like being aggressive, assertive and confident. I do not know about you, but who wants to have to be a faucet in order to be a recognized as successful women in leadership roles in business? Haven’t we had enough of these types of claims thrown at us as women in business? Is it necessary for us to play these games in order to stand in the same positions and roles as men? Do we associate ugliness or beauty with being a chameleon?


Is it possible that because we are strong in adaptability, we would benefit from focusing on doing just that – being a “switch agent?” Maybe we have been fighting our own strengths for such a long period of time – over generations – that we as women might serve ourselves better by looking at how standing in the power of “switch” delivers the results we want.

What do you think about women standing in their strength of adaptability? How has being able to move in and out of these different types of qualities allowed successful women to rise as a force to work with in the business world? Is it possible we can start by giving our young women growing up permission to flex those fluid qualities?


Image Credits: [ / Flickr] [Ravages / Flickr]