Are You Too Good a Woman to be a Great Leader?

Cultures worldwide tend to raise their daughters to be good rather than great. Women are raised to serve others and consider the feelings of others before their own. Good women, in turn, support families and tradition and teach the “good woman culture” to their daughters and sons. Being a “good woman” has advantages for women and can also create obstacles to women becoming strong and achieving their greatness as leaders.

The following questionnaire was designed raise awareness regarding in women leaders regarding whether being “too good a woman” is diminishing their strength and the ability to achieve their leadership potential. Rate yourself: with 1 meaning I don’t do this and 5 meaning I do this all the time.

Scoring: The higher the number on each item, the more likely you are to be a great leader. The lower the number on each statement, the more likely you are too good for your own good and to be a great leader.

A score of 40-50 means you are already exhibiting the behaviors of a great leader. You are strong in these variables. Your development work should focus on improving the highest rated behaviors, the number 5s. Next the focus should be in identifying the variables most closely related to success in your current role and the next two role you want to occupy in preparation for your career advancement.

A score of 30-40 means you have some work to do. Look at the items that you rated as a 4. This is where to start. It will be easier for you to improve in areas where you are already strong. It may be that certain variables that are more important to develop sooner than others because you know you need them to excel in your role. If so, start your development there.

A score of less than 30 means you really are too good for your own good and this “goodness” is likely a barrier to your advancement as a leader. You need to executive a strong development plan to remove these obstacles to your success and grow and deepen as a leader.


  1. Place the variables in each square according to the rating you gave. Begin to work with the highest rated items. If you have variables in the 5 box start there. If the highest rated variables are in the 4 box, start there.
  2. Use the variable statement to set a “Greatness Goal.” For example, if you have “I trust myself and am discriminating when trusting others.” In the 5 box, you may set a goal to become even more discriminating about who you trust and for what. You may want to consider who you really can trust at work and in what situations. Maybe there is someone who can trust to listen,, but not to follow through with deliverables as you would like.

Let's Stay in Touch

Join my email list to keep in touch.