Mental toughness for women leaders

Angie Morgan and Courtney Lynch were among the only women in their Marine Corps officer training school. The physical demands were tough, but commanding men who'd never worked for a woman proved tougher.

Morgan and Lynch excelled at it and now, they're teaching other women to lead in tough environments. In 2004, the pair launched Lead Star, a Virginia company that teaches female managers and women's business groups. Their workshops focus on these Marine-centric ideas:

  1. Lead as you are. Some women think they have to act macho or talk in a deep voice. Forget it. The troops will appreciate it more if you behave like yourself.
  2. Avoid emotional outbursts. As their drill instructor put it: "Save the drama for yo' mama." Never, ever cry at work.
  3. Set higher standards for yourself than for others.
  4. Don't apologize for something that's not your fault. Example: Never say "I'm sorry" when you interrupt a meeting. Say "Excuse me." And when you do mess up, say you're sorry once.

— Adapted from "The Art of the Woman Warrior," Stephanie Clifford, Inc.