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Leadership Intelligence is a complex yet crucial aspect to all leaders, especially female leaders in the 21st century. As a female leader, my philosophy includes the 4 Rs as the essential elements of Leadership Intelligence, which I have gathered through my personal experiences.  

  • Reality 
  • Realness 
  • Relevance 
  • Relationship 

The 4 Rs help nurture and strengthen our leadership intelligence as females in the 21st century.  

Among the 4 Rs, I chose “Reality” to expound on first because, as Female Leaders, we must see the inevitable and engage with our reality. What is unavoidable is that there will always be a false narrative, a dysfunctional system, and a biased society that refuses to give us the benefit of the doubt. They will always somehow see us as less than them and always try to limit our abilities and capabilities. Yes, that is the reality of this one-sided, near-sighted, shallow-thinking world, but that is not a reality we have to accept or embrace. Every intelligent female leader understands that there will be challenges, obstacles, and barriers that we must overcome. Some of those hindrances are external, and the most potent ones are internal. Although many things are happening, can happen, and will continue to happen on an outer scope, our intellect helps us understand the value of nurturing and strengthening ourselves from within, specifically as female leaders in the 21st century. 

How do we nurture and strengthen our “reality” as intelligent female leaders?

We wholeheartedly embrace who we are unashamed. We evaluate and carefully assess ourselves without hiding. To nurture and strengthen ourselves, we must first see what we are ignoring, tucking away, covering up, and masking. We can’t be afraid to see ourselves for who and what we are. Not the fake, made-up, categorized, altered self-image that society, tradition, and culture have told and taught us to be. No, not that female leader. We need a feminine, emotional, sensitive, compassionate, passionate, driven, and dedicated leader. Authentic female leaders are created from conception without all the stereotypical alterations and make-believe narratives. We have allowed ourselves to believe that we must be strong, masculine in nature, hard talkers, have rough personas, and have difficult emotions. But that is not whom we are created to be. Our reality is that we are designed to be soft, womanly, expressive, delicate, and empathetic. We are precisely what the world needs. As women, we nurture and strengthen our leadership intelligence by accepting whom we are without hesitation, being authentic in our creation, standing in our creative abilities, voicing our truths, stabilizing our mental capacity, fortifying our physical stature, and living out an untold brilliance. Our reality is not about what the world wants us to be. Our reality is about whom God created us to be. We are designed to nurture and strengthen. We are nurture and strength. In the 21st century, females are intelligent in leadership. 

How do we nurture and strengthen our “realness” as intelligent female leaders?

It takes a lot to decipher what is real, especially in the 21st century, and most certainly about leadership. But what is natural for us as female leaders are the numerous experiences that we have encountered. Our experiences give us a level of insight that is identified through what we have felt through each experience. We can no longer dismiss our actions and the actions of others. Most importantly, we cannot disregard how those actions have made us feel. What we feel is real. How we choose to nurture and deal with what we think is “realness.”  Realness has always had a way of strengthening female leadership intelligence in the 21st century. We enable and enhance reality by removing ourselves from imposed obligations that do not belong to us. We remove attachments that have become like leeches to diminish our identity. We reject any notion that comes to taint our image. We do not allow anyone else to narrate or produce our story, and we certainly do not allow anyone else to use our script to mimic the starring role of our lives. We show up without altering ourselves, lowering our standards, principles, and morals. We remove intimidation, fear, or any insecurities that exist. As intelligent female leaders, we understand that being sensitive to others, the conditions, environment, specific situations, and circumstances allows us to be authentic and be present in real life. The world has yet to see or experience realness pertaining to gentleness, love, acceptance, and warmth. Realness has a way of removing lack, chaos, confusion, and all false narratives. Our reality is not about whom the world wants us to become. Our realness is about how God created us to be. We are created as a fundamental piece to the overall scheme of life. We are the reality and real. In the 21st century, females are the realness that is needed for leadership intelligence even to exist. 

How do we nurture and strengthen our “relevance” as intelligent female leaders?

We often enter different environments, embrace platforms, stand on stage, involve ourselves in careers, and engage in partnerships, collaborations, and relationships to realize that time has been wasted because there was no evidence of relevance. When we waste our time and allow others to take our time for granted, we lose a sense of significance as a leader. Relevance encompasses our presence, voice, time, and attention. We nurture and strengthen our relevance by how we spend our time, lend our voice, give our attention to, and where we are present. All these things provide substances to our existence. The substance is relevant to a leader’s credibility, especially in the 21st century, where leaders have operated deprived of integrity, honesty, and truth. As female leaders, we must nurture and strengthen leadership intelligence by protecting our time, space, voice, and existence. Our decisions must be based on quality first, then the quantity we discern as quality. Our relevance is about when God created us to exist. We are created as a relevant element to the inclusive plan of life. We are a reality, natural, and suitable. In the 21st century, females are needed for intelligence to propel them to a greater level and phase in leadership. 

How do we nurture and strengthen our “relationships” as intelligent female leaders?

Relationships are among the most valuable allies, assets, and advantages to leadership in the 21st century, especially for females. Whether it is friendship, partnership, mentorship, collaboration, alliance, sorority, family, and marriage, every relationship counts when it comes to leadership. It is essential that whom we are connected to and how we are connected tells the right story without saying anything. Leadership Intelligence is bound upward, outward, and across the aisle. It relates to people and connecting with them according to how it will benefit all parties involved. Yes, relationships should help everyone that is a willing participant. When we connect with people, we should positively impact their lives, or the relationship must be evaluated.  We nurture and strengthen our relationships by intelligently choosing the people, groups, and individuals specifically designed for our lives. Our relationship is about how we relate to God and others. We are created to fit into the scope of relationships and relationships masterfully. However, our relationships truly reflect how we can relate to ourselves as intellectuals, females, and leaders. We are a reality, authentic, relevant, and relationships embodied into one creative being. In the 21st century, females are the golden key to unlocking centuries of intelligence to enhance the sphere and scope of leadership.