“Lead in a way that makes you comfortable.” That’s one piece of advice Joyce E. Russell says she picked up during the third annual “Women Leading Women” event at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Russell, vice dean and the director of the Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Program at the Robert H. Smith School, shared the stage with alumna Brenda Freeman (shown at left), global head of television marketing at DreamWorks Animation. “Her advice and the takeaways from the evening are relevant to everyone,” Russell writes in an article that appeared in Daily Herald, “whether you are a rising woman leader or you work with or manage women.”

In explaining her recommendation to create a personal leadership style, Freeman urged women not to lead like male counterparts or in line with convention of expectations. She also told the women in attendance not to avoid confrontations or conflicts. “Just be strategic about how you manage it,” Russell writes. “Managing conflict is probably one of the most critical skills. As Freeman said, you don’t want to be labeled as the ‘emotional woman.’ You also don’t want to fall on the other end of the spectrum as ‘cold’ or ‘unfeeling.’ ‘A lot of it is being an incredible student of human behavior and being in tune to the culture you are in,’ said Freeman.”

More advice: Understand your organization’s culture. Hire the right people and then get out of the way.

Brenda Freeman offered several other insights during the session and Joyce E. Russell’s article can be here. What would be your advice on leadership? Share it at GlassCeiling.com. Step up.

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