How AOC is Redefining What It Means to Be a Female Leader


When we talk about leadership, there are many qualities that we associate by default with men. One in particular: competitiveness.

A traditional leadership figure would argue that their way is the best way and this is why you should follow them.

That’s the first part of the problem.

The thing about leaders is that once you perceive them as such, you pick up everything they say and do. It either defines you or it drives you away or you simply stop caring.

Traditional leadership is not so effective in today’s divided world. It may seem that we’ve never been more connected, and that is true in terms of Internet connection, but it is precisely the illusion that we’re united along with our differences that further drives us away.

That’s the second part of the problem.

We have our differences and we should not try to erase them, subdue them, convert them, but focus on celebrating them and learning from them.

Great leaders are great listeners that rely on empathy when they speak. These are qualities that traditionally belong to women, so it’s not surprising that the great female figures we hear and see in politics are in possession of them.

AOC comes into the picture to remind us that empathy works more effectively than competitiveness; it is empathy that unites us and empowers us to try harder, be better, and work for change together.

What makes AOC stand out as a great leader?

When women make their way to executive roles in society, they are somewhat expected to lose whatever reveals them to be ‘women’ and ‘man up’ instead. Or at least that’s what we’re still observing in many countries.

Think of the women in power today that rely on traditional leadership style: Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton, Theresa May.

It’s true that roles with a greater level of responsibilities require a different degree of concentration, resilience, and resourcefulness.

But a great leader doesn’t forget where they came from, or the people they are trying to serve and influence.

In that sense, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is just exceptional. Not only is she extremely proud of her working background, but she uses it as a powerful storytelling device to connect with fans and opponents.

AOC Breaks the stereotype by being 100% herself regardless of the situation.

Remember how we are all different and in that respect amazing?

I’ll remind you again.

We each have our unique differences that make the world the amazing place we know. When we aspire to become someone else, it’s everyone’s loss.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of the most authentic female voices we have the pleasure of hearing today and that is why we are so drawn to her leadership style.

#1 AOC is proud of her life story.

“I wake up every day, and I’m a Puerto Rican girl from the Bronx. Every single day.”

Unlike most people in a position of power, AOC didn’t come from a rich background, yet she portrays herself as anything but a victim.

AOC views the past as a great educator. She celebrates her origins, her path, and even her challenges.

AOC is not ashamed of her working background. She wants to talk about the things that matter to the everyday person, because she is the everyday person.

AOC is one of us. Now, then, and hopefully in the future.

“I understand the pain of working-class Americans because I have experienced the pain.”

You can use your past circumstances to create excuses or opportunities.

#2 AOC is unapologetically herself.

“Women like me aren’t supposed to run for office.”

Everywhere she goes, AOC is bringing her strong values to the conversation. Whether it’s going live on Instagram, starring in a Netflix production, or making a guest appearance in “RuPaul’s Drag Race”.

Every opportunity to speak up for change, AOC takes it. Her words are not just winning slogans, but heartfelt truths that unite the crowds.

She might not have known it at first, but politics is in her heart.

And here’s the thing. When people rise in politics, they don’t automatically become machines without emotion and interests.

So while you will certainly see AOC fighting for justice and equal human & health rights, she still remembers how to whip up her favorite cocktail.

That’s what sets her apart from the rest, she’s not lying or covering up the facts, such as her working background or multi-cultured family roots.

#3 AOC does her makeup while talking about politics.

“I’m very hands-on about social media. That’s my voice.”

Can you imagine some of today’s women in power, like Hilary Clinton or Angela Merkel, to talk about their skincare for 20 minutes? No way.

Women in politics have always been afraid to display their female side. That’s partly due to the more frequent media attacks when it comes to their beauty rather than their ideology, philosophy, or game plan.

AOC is not afraid to embrace her feminine side, which in turn allows her to control the conversation.

The more you attempt to hide what you got, the more you’re going to have to deal with haters.

Instead of waiting for the press to dismantle her outfit choices, AOC is stealing the focus by embracing her feminine side.

This way it’s what she’s talking about that really matters.

#4 AOC is one hell of an inspirational millennial.

“Hope is not something that you have. Hope is something that you create, with your actions. Hope is contagious. Other people start acting in a way that has more hope.”

That’s right. AOC is the voice of millennials.

It’s one thing to fight for someone else’s cause, but entirely more powerful when the words you speak come directly from your heart.

AOC is the female voice we need right now.

The real beauty of AOC is that when she takes a cause to heart, it becomes a personal mission to change the status quo.

It makes a difference both in everyday life and in big game politics when people are committed to their work; when people don’t speak up for the sake of speaking, but because they truly want to bring about a change.

If you’ve ever had a colleague or a project partner who didn’t care, you know exactly what I mean.

#5 AOC embraces the different faces of being a woman.

“I never saw myself going into politics, but now that I sit here in this room with you all, I just feel like we can only accomplish great things together.”

Being a woman is not easy. Being in Congress is probably also a challenge.

AOC works to show us that being a woman and being in congress doesn’t have to be against the order of things.

In other words, women have the same right to voice their opinion, to work towards global change, and to lead courageously.

Women have not always had the same rights as men. Even today there are areas where women struggle to make up the same money, rise to the same positions, and thrive in the same societal power.

A great female leader doesn’t automatically become the exception to the rule. She empowers the women around her. Well, everyone actually.

We still have work to do before the glass ceiling is fully uncovered.

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The #WomenTalking Takeaway

The American dream for many remains to accomplish great things through hard work and resourcefulness, even if they have to start from the bottom.

Until recently, the American dream for women, however, could have been summed up as being the loving wife of a successful husband, surrounded by healthy kids and a dog or two.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a family of your own, to aspire to be a great mother and a loving wife.

But — and we can deny it all we want — women are now part of the designers of the global society we live in.

Women today strive for a career. For purpose and leadership outside of the home.

We need strong, authentic, and unapologetically sincere female role models like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that encourage and empower women worldwide that they, too, can strive to be successful.

In the meantime, there’s one leadership quality that women are just better at. Fierceness. It goes well with red lipstick!

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