1. Be boldly independent amid uncertainty
Throughout history, women who have changed the world have done so with conviction and without indecision. The most powerful women in the world stand by their decisions with confidence, even when challenges present themselves. Take Angela Merkel (#1) and Ana Patricia Botín (#8) as prime examples from this year’s Forbes list.
We’ve all seen that photo of Angela Merkel and other world leaders standing over a seated Donald Trump at the G7 summit in 2018, seemingly putting him in his place. Lately, she has been showing more determination than ever. In her New Year’s Eve address in 2018, she said global challenges like climate change, migration, and terrorism are best addressed “when we take the interests of others into account.” She continues:
“That is the lesson of two world wars last century. Today, that conviction is no longer shared by all. Certainties of international cooperation are coming under pressure. In such a situation, we have to advocate, argue, and fight for our convictions more strongly.”
In a time of complexity and uncertainty, Angela Merkel is not holding back.
Neither is Ana Patricia Botín, Chair and Executive Director of Banco Santander, who found herself stepping into her father’s role as leader of the bank after his sudden death in 2014. Faced with uncertainty and the aftermath of the biggest financial crisis in almost a century, Botín still managed to forge her own path.
Botín demonstrated confidence in shifting the bank’s focus to supporting businesses, embracing technology, and shaking up the board to bring in fresh talent. Often called “the most powerful woman in finance,” Botín has no problem embracing innovation and facing challenges head-on.