Margaret Whitman is an American business executive. What makes her the exemplar of good leadership?  

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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Margaret "Meg" Whitman is an exemplar of good leadership, due in no small part, no doubt, to her exemplar education, having graduated from both Princeton University and Harvard Business School, where she was exposed to a variety of success stories from the business world and where she learned the principles and methodologies that have been proven to help executives excel. That academic background, however, can only partially account for her success. Many similarly well-educated business executives have failed in their professional endeavors or have simply failed to attain the levels of corporate leadership attained by Whitman.

The information technology sector was developed and largely led by men, so Whitman, in addition to the ordinary challenges facing prospective top-tier executives, had to confront social and cultural obstacles along the way. Overcoming such obstacles does not always sufficiently sensitize all women to the obstacles those following in their path confront, but Whitman is sufficiently wise, as well as intelligent, to understand and appreciate principles of leadership that encourage camaraderie, innovativeness, and the courage to challenge accepted norms. On the specific issue of gender and the problems unique to women executives, Whitman has been quoted as stating,

"I was just focused on how can I lead this young company (referring to eBay) the most effective way I can, and you know what I also over my career thought about is--you know there are lots of things I can change but my gender is not one them . . . I have to lead according to my personality, according to what I think is necessary under any set of circumstances."

Whitman's leadership style, her openness to change, her appreciation for the academic and professional challenges facing all prospective business executives, and her appreciation, in her own words, for the opportunities that this country offers irrespective of gender have all contributed to her success as an executive and as a leader.