African Journal of
Business Management

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1993-8233
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJBM
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 4157

Full Length Research Paper

Leading self, teams and organizations from a female perspective: An exploration of the women leaders’ journey

Nuria Toledano
  • Nuria Toledano
  • University of Huelva, Spain.
  • Google Scholar
Crispen Karanda
  • Crispen Karanda
  • International Centre for Development of Entrepreneurial Communities, Zimbabwe.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 26 August 2013
  •  Accepted: 10 October 2014
  •  Published: 28 October 2014


This paper seeks to capture the characteristics that prevail in the leadership styles of women leaders paying special attention to their individual leaders’ journeys. The study reviews the theoretical models of leadership and feminist theory that are particularly pertinent from the discussion of women leadership. A narrative approach is adopted for analyzing two women leaders’ journeys –Mary Kay and Mother Teresa– who succeeded in very different contexts. The stories exemplify some of the most important attributes that have been highlighted to play a focal role in current leadership research. The findings suggest that women lead teams and organizations through an authentic leadership and a genuine position of service, once they have become masters in self-leadership.

Key words: Leadership, gender, women, transformational leadership, servant leadership, self-leadership.