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5 Lessons on Leadership From New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Soft power is no less powerful than hard power. It's just different.

By Joanna Martin Edited by Jessica Thomas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Phil Walter | Getty Images

When you look at the timeline of human history, you observe that it's only relatively recently that women were allowed access to the spheres of education, commerce and politics. It's no surprise, therefore, that our role models for leadership were molded to distinctly "masculine" characteristics — competition, assertiveness, achievement.

In order to succeed as leaders, women have tended to adopt these masculine traits. The successful female leaders we recall — the ones who "get stuff done" — are often the ones with a singular focus, a desire to win, the ones who want to be seen as high achievers. The Superwomen.

Comic female superheroes exude the same masculine energy as their male counterparts. They fight, they are physically strong and they succeed by dominating. They are also drawn with the physical traits of the other female stereotype we associate with power and influence: the woman who uses sex as power.

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