Aspire Launches 'Connected Leadership' to Advance Women Leaders

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Women should be using their networks far more to help each other up the career ladder and achieve their goals, according to Dr. Sam Collins, CEO and founder of women’s leadership development organisation Aspire.

The call follows this year’s Aspire Report, a survey of over 1200 professional women, which found that over 40% prefer connected leadership, working with others to achieve results, compared to the ‘solo’ model. Most dominant leadership styles in corporate companies are more akin to ‘masculine’ leadership traits, such as authoritative, assertive, command and control. In contrast, almost 60% of women associated themselves with management characteristics include nurturing, calm, warm and egoless.

The Aspire Report also found that 78% of women were considering leaving the corporate world, turning away from an environment where they don’t feel encouraged to ‘make a difference’.

To address this, Aspire is calling on women to recognise the power of collaboration and turn their preference for working with others to drive change, using their networks to achieve their goals but to also help other women achieve theirs. ‘Connected’ leaders are able to persuade and influence others within their network to work together to achieve more, meaning better business results and a rise of female leaders who are empowered to challenge the more masculine solo leadership model.

Aspire is also reminding businesses to recognise that management teams can’t – and shouldn’t – adhere to one single style of leadership: there are credible ways of managing projects and people that still deliver exceptional results.

Dr. Sam Collins, CEO and Founder of Aspire, said: “The key to a fulfilling career is authenticity. If a woman feels she has to change who she is to get ahead in her career, it affects motivation but it can also prevent her from realising her potential. Very few people achieve more success when they are not true to themselves.

“Corporate culture is changing, but it’s taking too long. Women shouldn’t feel they need to conform to the traditional mould of a leader: instead they should drive the change themselves by demonstrating the validity of different leadership styles. Collaboration is powerful and using networks for help and support can lead to greater outcomes and make a far greater impact than persevering alone.

“A collaborative leader is courageous, intuitive, resilient and committed to making a difference through powerful relationships – precisely the type of leader organisations should be targeting.”

In response to the report findings, Aspire has launched a women-only event, ‘Connected Leadership’, to take place in December. The two-day event will give provide women with practical strategies to use networks to help and support others and drive success,through panel discussions, speakers, learning and development sessions. The programme also offers women access to successful female leaders, coaches and mentors to help them focus on goals and drive change in home and work life.

The event takes place in London, UK on Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd December 2014, led by Dr Sam Collins , CEO and Founder of Aspire and recognised by Her Majesty, The Queen as one of 'The Top 200 Women to Impact Business and Industry' and named 'One of the Top 10 Coaches in the UK'. More information is available at

About Aspire & Dr. Sam Collins

Dr. Sam Collins founded Aspire when she was just 30 years old. Now a globally sought-after conscious business organisation that enables trailblazing women to thrive as leaders in their life, work and world, Aspire operates in 80 countries and has made a positive difference to the lives of one million women and girls across the world.

Sam has been named one of the Top 200 Women to Impact Business & Industry by Her Majesty The Queen, one of the Top 10 Coaches in the UK, and 'Leader in the Workplace' by the Ogunte Women's Social Leadership Awards.

Through Aspire, Sam has worked with over 25,000 women leaders from global corporations, government and NGOs over the past 13 years and has contributed to The Financial Times, The Guardian, CNN, The Huffington Post, The Sunday Times and the BBC. She is a regular contributor to 'Focus on Africa' on the BBC World Service and is passionate about the power of business to empower women as leaders globally. Sam is an active campaigner on the role of business in solving world issues, supporting families after suicide, the worldwide orphan crisis and empowering women in developing and emerging economies.

The Aspire Foundation mentoring program operates in more than 80 countries: with every event place purchased, Aspire will provide mentoring to a woman in need somewhere in the world.

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