Here’s why Taylor Swift is the perfect icon of a GUTSY WOMEN LEADER

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Summary: My book, “GUTSY: How Women Leaders Make Change,” emphasizes the importance of authenticity, resilience, adaptability, and vulnerability. Here’s how Taylor Swift includes these teachings and connects with the principles outlined in the book.

Dear Dr. Sylvia,

My city, Los Angeles, has been a hub of Taylor Swift performances.

Firstly, I know she is a great recording artist. Her voice is fab, and even more, she writes fantastic songs.

What interests me, however, is how she became such a strong business leader.

What do you think makes her a GUTSY woman leader?


Happy to Learn

GUTSY Leaders stand out because they are willing to speak their truth.

Dear Happy to Learn,

I also find Taylor Swift as a leadership sensation most fascinating.

For example, other artists also draw large crowds. Many have done so for years.

Yet, Taylor Swift is a shining light on being both an economic star and a talented, loved recording Artist.

For this reason, I want to add two other women who are also shining stars.

Therefore, I am adding Madonna and Beyonce. These three talented women have helped move the needle as models of daring, strong women. (See my formula for better gender relationships at the end of the post.)

Leadership comes in various forms and many aspects of life.

Madonna, Beyoncé, and Taylor Swift are three iconic women who have significantly contributed to the music world. In addition, they show powerful leadership qualities in their careers.

  1. Madonna: The Maverick Trailblazer Madonna Louise Ciccone, often called the “Queen of Pop.” We know her for her boldness, innovative ideas, and relentless pursuit of being a boundary breaker.

As an illustration, she’s unafraid to challenge the status quo, addressing controversial issues through her music, performances, and activism.

Hence, Madonna’s leadership is characterized by fearlessness and willingness to tackle societal taboos head-on.

Thus, she inspires others to embrace their individuality and self-expression.

2. Beyoncé: The Empowering Visionary Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, a global sensation, has earned a reputation for her empowerment-focused leadership. Her leadership style connects with servant leadership. She uses her platform to uplift others and promote meaningful social causes.

Consequently, through her music, visuals, and philanthropic efforts, Beyoncé emphasizes unity, feminism, and racial equality. She encourages her fans to be confident, resilient, and aware of social injustices.

Beyoncé’s leadership is about using her influence to create positive change and amplify marginalized voices.

3. Taylor Swift: The Relatable Communicator Taylor Swift, renowned for her storytelling abilities, connects with her audience through vulnerability and authenticity. Her leadership style is relatable leadership.

In other words, she shares her personal experiences to create a sense of camaraderie with her fans.

Swift’s music often reflects her growth, struggles, and triumphs, allowing her followers to relate their experiences to her narrative. This leadership approach fosters a strong emotional connection between her and her fans. This enables her to inspire and support them in their own lives.

All leaders with long-term effects offer specific ways to look at communication, diversity, and healthy relationships.

As shown above, here is a comparative analysis of these three artistic champions:

Madonna’s innovative approach challenges norms.

Beyonce advocates for social change.

Taylor Swift fosters relatability.

In short, Madonna, Beyoncé, and Taylor Swift are three remarkable artists with unique leadership styles. Madonna shows trailblazing innovation. Beyoncé empowers advocacy. Taylor Swift relates to anyone who has ever wanted an excellent relationship.

On the other hand, their methods differ.

Yet, their influence on music and beyond is a testament to their extraordinary leadership ability.

Taylor Swift is a super role model for those who want to be leaders.

Authenticity: Taylor Swift’s authenticity shines through in her music and public persona. She remains true to her values and beliefs throughout her career, never compromising her identity to conform to industry standards.

In 2012 Talor announced that she would take a year from the public eye, in her own words, “to find her true self.”

She talked about how she was concerned she was spending too much time “becoming what others wanted her to be.”

Taking a year in the upstart of a long career can be a challenge.

She did it anyway.

Swift’s unwavering commitment to being herself has garnered immense respect and loyalty from her fans and peers.

In GUTSY, authentic leadership highlights a powerful tool for building trust and inspiring others. Taylor’s genuine approach exemplifies this principle.

Resilience: Taylor Swift’s journey is one filled with challenges and obstacles. When her mother drove to Nashville from their home in Pa., Mama sat in the car while Taylor walked into various recording agencies and asked to be hired.

She was just eleven years old! No one gave her a thumbs-up at that time.

That is to say; she went from rejections in her early career to facing criticism and controversies in the media. However, she has always bounced back more robustly, using these experiences as opportunities for growth and learning.

While she writes songs about lost love, she talks in broad strokes so that almost every female, from twelve to ninety, can relate to her.

For example, when noted singer-songwriter and musician Carole King presented Taylor Swift with the Artist of the Decade Award in 2019, she commented, “Her lyrics resonate across generations; her songs touch everyone.”

In short, Carole spoke for many of the older generations. Think about it. Who hasn’t been “shunned” at some point in high school or had their heart broken in an early romance?

In other words, we can all relate to being left out or hurt by someone who prefers others.

Her resilience aligns with the GUTSY book’s emphasis on perseverance and staying the course, even in adversity.

Adaptability: Taylor Swift’s transition from country to pop music was a significant turning point in her career. While it might have been risky for many artists, she embraced the change with open arms, demonstrating her adaptability and willingness to evolve as an artist.

In “GUTSY,” adaptability is crucial for leaders to successfully navigate uncertain and ever-changing environments.

Empowering Independence: From a young age, Taylor’s parents empowered her to make decisions about her career, allowing her to take ownership and responsibility for her choices.

A sense of independence and empowerment fosters a strong work ethic and a clear vision for creativity and artistic direction.

“GUTSY” emphasizes the importance of empowering others and trusting their abilities, a quality Taylor’s parents displayed in their support.

Giving Back: Taylor Swift’s philanthropic efforts have been significant, from donating to various charitable causes to engaging in acts of kindness for her fans. She uses her influence to positively impact the world, aligning with the book’s emphasis on the power of giving back and using leadership for the greater good.

Building Strong Support Networks: Taylor Swift has surrounded herself with a loyal team of professionals and close friends who have supported her throughout her journey. In “GUTSY,” the book underscores the importance of building strong support networks and fostering a collaborative environment to drive meaningful change and success.

In conclusion, Taylor Swift’s remarkable journey as an exciting artist and influential leader perfectly aligns with the teachings in “GUTSY: How Women Leaders Make Change.”

Authenticity, resilience, adaptability, vulnerability, and philanthropy can propel leaders to global stardom.

These leadership principles empower individuals to create positive change and drive success in their lives and careers.

Taylor Swift’s story is an inspiring example for women leaders and aspiring changemakers to embrace their true selves, persevere through challenges, adapt to changing circumstances, and use their influence to improve the world.

Here is my theory on how we can have better relationships with our male colleagues:

Daring + Caring = Sharing

All in all, as women become more daring, men have room to become more caring. This leads to more sharing of responsibilities at work and home.

To your success,

Sylvia Lafair

PS. Want a “cheat sheet” about gender relationships and leadership? Email me at, and get a copy of “GenderSpeak,” a handbook for better relationships.

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Sylvia Lafair

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