Professional women power: There is no “one-size-fits-all” or “the right“ leadership style


published on 4 May 2022

In the context of our career blog "professional women power", female colleagues introduce themselves,
talk about their career paths and day to day work at Rödl & Partner.
In this way, we would like to raise awareness of women as well as motivate female applicants and colleagues
to bravely pursue their individual career paths at Rödl & Partner.

Nobody is perfect. As a female manager, you should act on your own beliefs. 

There is no “one-size-fits-all” or “the right” leadership style.

Aziza Yakhloufi

Aziza Yakhloufi (44 years old) has been working for Rödl & Partner since 2011 and is Branch Manager Law at Rödl & Partner in Eschborn.


Aziza, how did you come into the role of a female manager at Rödl & Partner?

I joined Rödl & Partner in Eschborn as a career changer. Before becoming a pure consultant, I worked as an in-house lawyer for a company and headed the legal department there.

This is how I got to know and appreciate Rödl & Partner. From my point of view, Rödl & Partner offers the ideal conditions for successful development. And this applies both to employees and, as a result, to the rapid devel­opment Rödl & Partner has undergone in recent years. This can be seen in the company's extremely open wel­coming culture - you can start off right from day one, in a manner of speaking. My Managing Partner, Dr. José Campos Nave, has supported me in this from the very beginning and encouraged me to take on responsibility
at an early stage.

Implementing creative ideas is very much appreciated and encouraged. Right from the start,  I had the feeling that there is room for new ideas (such as the development of new consulting fields) at Rödl & Partner among colleagues, completely regardless of gender. I was able to take on management tasks early on, and continually more were added. My range of work expanded within a very short time, and I was able to grow steadily into my role as a manager.

I have put a lot of heart and dedication into my work right from the start. But that also means that you have to free yourself from the idea of having a “nine to five” job. At the same time, I also had the feeling that perfor­mance, commitment and dedication to the company are absolutely appreciated and seen. This also applies to the company's intercultural competence. Due to Rödl & Partner's international setup and the daily exchange with colleagues from abroad, the company is very open to employees from all cultural backgrounds. One can speak of Rödl & Partner as “multicultural” in the best sense of the term. I can judge that well because my par­ents came to Germany from abroad many years ago.


What advice can you give to female junior executives - which experiences have you made?

As an aspiring manager, you have to be aware that you are vulnerable and can face strong headwinds if you initiate something new, express criticism or make unpleasant personnel decisions. You must deal with this offensively, but you need to be resilient in the face of headwind.

Anyone who decides to take on responsibility must be aware that there can be many good days, but also some very bad ones. You're not always “everybody's darling.” Especially at the beginning of my career, I made the mistake of thinking I had to satisfy everyone. This is a widespread misconception, especially among young professionals.

My professional experience shows that there is rarely a straightforward career path. That is what I sometimes appreciate about Rödl & Partner. The opportunities for further development, the acceptance of new ideas and the hierarchies that are not strictly applied are what have attracted me to Rödl & Partner for almost eleven years.


What is the worst mistake you can make as a female manager?

In my opinion, the worst mistake is not taking action or becoming active simply because you are afraid that you might not please someone.

This is where self-awareness and constant self-reflection are needed. You have to be able to make binding decisions regardless of unpleasant consequences and have a healthy amount of risk-taking to do so.

Of course, no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. But you have to be aware that it is important to continue your development. For this, you need to accept constructive criticism and not take everything per­sonally.

It is certainly important to get rid of the cliché thinking that as a female manager you always have to be better than male managers. Rather, you should act according to your best knowledge and conscience. It is crucial to remain authentic, not to pretend and to trust your intuition. The motto is: Be open to criticism and deal with it, but then make your own decision! Have confidence in your own leadership style!


Thank you, Aziza, for providing such interesting insights into your career path and your role as a female manager. This is certainly very inspiring and motivating for many women!
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