Lyndsey Johnson is a licensed real estate broker and a licensed mortgage lender in Dallas, TX with experience closing more than $1B in transactions. As a ‘one-stop-shop’, she was a pioneer in representing and educating clients about the entire real estate and home loan process. She represents real estate clients at her boutique brokerage Emmly Group and her mortgage clients through her mortgage branch L2 Lending powered by UMortgage.
Women often hear they must have the right mix of leadership, arrogance, and assertiveness to succeed in business. They are told being too agreeable can lead to career stagnation. While there have been dramatic changes in the traditional definition of male and female traits over the past several decades, there are still clear gender stereotypes and biases. Can women get ahead without steamrolling their way to the top of the income-earning scale?
It’s important to be clear about the traits we’re talking about — and which translate to advantages for a woman’s career. Conversely, there are certain traits that are not helpful. The nuances and complexities play out differently for women vs. men as part of the leadership lexicon. Let’s separate the truth from fiction with research, reality, and recommendations for getting ahead and earning more, all without leaving the best qualities behind.
Personality Type Influences Earning Potential
Out of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types, those with the ENTJ (someone who aligns with Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judging) personality type on average earn the most money. ENTJ’s are known for being bold, decisive, and rare. This personality type accounts for less than 3% of the general population, but among women, it is by far the rarest type as they make up less than 1% of the general population.
Interestingly, ENTJ women are the highest income earners; not only do they out earn women of other personality types, but they make even more money than already high-earning ENTJ men, which is remarkable. Persistence, ambition, achievement, and logic are core values and consequently why their financial success doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
As an ENTJ woman myself, I constantly challenge the norm, which is not frequently recognized as a positive female attribute in business. Challenging others, and being challenged by others, is an important part of my learning process. I maintain conflicting thoughts simultaneously, evaluate them from different perspectives, which allows me to navigate between the big picture and granular details to formulate a plan with a high probability of success. ENTJ’s are natural born leaders and have a unique ability to see things from a long-range perspective, while simultaneously executing immediate changes, to create sustainable results.
How then do women, with these distinguishing characteristics, inspire people to get behind their vision?
Sugar And Spice and Everything Nice?
The assertive factor doesn’t necessarily mean I am truculent or disrespectful of others’ opinions or ways of completing a task. The ‘my-way-or-the-highway’ approach works more often for men, and mostly with short-term gains, but rarely works in reality for women or for long-term success. Women who attempt this approach are simply viewed as difficult to work with. Instead, leadership requires confidence, but true power to effect change is the balance between confidence and humility.
Women have an advantage that is often overlooked; their ability to be charming. When women leaders demonstrate confidence, humility, along with a little charm, they gain credibility, and trust. Have you ever met a woman who didn’t agree with your perspective but looked you in the eye, asked engaging questions, all with a smile on her face, and before you knew it, you were rallying behind her idea instead? Women don’t win in business with fact and logic the same way men do.
One of the dimensions of the human personality is “agreeableness.” It’s the stereotypical double standard. If a man disagrees, he’s a good negotiator but if a woman disagrees, she’s viewed negatively. As women, we must shift the power dynamic in a way that makes sense to our current societal norms, to tilt the scales back in our favor. I call this the ‘assertiveness dial.’ In some situations, I’ll come on strong but in others, I may not. Oftentimes men aren’t as skilled in emotional intelligence – the capacity to blend thinking and feeling to make optimal decisions.
Finance is a black and white subject, the numbers are the numbers, but the experience of buying a home is very emotionally driven. The mortgage industry has rapidly evolved from traditional brick-and-mortar banks to now choosing a lender based on their Tik Tok profile. The emotional connection and authenticity are what builds trust between lenders and their clients and lenders and their referral partners (i.e., real estate agents). This is precisely why I positioned my lending business with UMortgage; their vision, and core values, were aligned with mine and a positive home buying experience was non-negotiable.
As societal norms continue to change, we will continue to see fearless women leaders. There has never been a better time for women to excel in business and shatter the perceived glass ceiling with charismatic moxie.