Posted by: ericaschlecht | February 22, 2013

Lady Gaga In Leadership

ImageLady GaGa has been included in Time’s annual “The 2010 Time 100” List of the Most influential people in the world as well as Forbes’ list of “The World’s Most Powerful Celebrities’ in the World”.  Forbes also placed her at number seven on their annual list of the World’s “100 Most Powerful  Women”.

Leadership means establishing the qualities needed to lead, finding a vision to lead, and carrying out that vision in the most effective and fruitful way possible.  Lady Gaga has established her qualities as being an outsider in societies view of what is normal to be her strengths in guiding people who feel they are different to a happy and self loving life.  Her vision is seen through her recently established Born This Way Foundation.  The Born This Way Foundation’s goal is simple, to foster a world where youth are empowered, humanity is embraced, and individuality is encouraged.  According to the organizations statement, the foundation focuses on “youth empowerment and equality by addressing issues like self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development and will utilize digital mobilization as one of the means to create positive change”.  

“Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.” 
― Lady Gaga

She goes from making statements like the one above to revealing in interviews in interest in having a family and shortening her career.

Although Gaga has had a successful career, at what cost? She stated in an interview at the beginning of her career in 2009 that she hoped to “have a ring on her finger” in a few years.  She has also showed interest in having children.  Much like in the Opting out article we read for class she would be fine making a graceful exit when it is her time.  Has she pushed so far in her career at a young age and put forth so much effort because she knew that later on she would get a break and have a family?  Even a woman who has recorded countless albums that preach women’s empowerment and individualism still is holding out for a family and a slower life in the future.  Although she is still without a husband and children is that because she focused too much on her career? Instead of pushing through and continuing on her success and empowering women she spoke about wanting to slow down, even at the height of her career.  If even this empowering woman is opting out then how is that going to be an example for the women that she is trying to positively influence in the Born This Way Foundation?


  1. For her situation, yes I think she has put way too much into her rebel empowerment image to want to switch to a normal, slower, socially accepted life. However, that does not mean she is a hypocrite. Unless she said I want women to not marry and not have kids so that they don’t stunt their growth in the professional world, then her new approach does not make her a hypocrite. What we don’t know is why she wants to do this in the first place. Yes, she might be at the height of her career, but how are we supposed to judge her when we have no fathomable idea how stressful it is to be in her position. To me, she reached her potential, her pinnacle. It seems as though she is willing to pass the torch with this program she has set up. Just because she wants to have a family doesn’t make her any less of an individual, she just wants to do what makes her happy. That being said, I agree with your base argument. She is still young, she is not receding, and she is at the height of her success. Why stop now when she’s such an influential figure and has the power to continue to do so.

  2. I feel that being a mother is a major part in the plans of most women. This is going to be a part of many people’s lives. I do believe that women can be seen as empowering to young women while being married and having children. This can be done by the way they raise their children and how they act once that they create a family. It will be interesting to see how she handles her career once she had a husband and children. Will she be an empowering figure to her child and will she be able to continue her music with a family?
    While reading the opting out article, I felt like a valid point was made when they were discussing that the article was written about women that are in a financial situation that enables them to take time off to raise their families. Lady GaGa would fit this scenario. I will be interested to see if she stays popular in the future, and if she still makes this impact once she has a family. Also will she use the opportunity of financial stability to take time off during the pursuit of a family.

  3. I dont think she is opting out. Just because she wants a family shouldn’t mean she will forever be kept from her career. Though there are countless numbers of women who have failed to maintain both a family and a career that does not mean that every woman will have the same troubles. I think if she truly wants to have a family and slow down for a bit she deserves to. And I don’t think this should effect the people she is trying to help. Having a family as a woman doesn’t make you weak, the type of person you are will determine whether or not you are capable of doing both. There is nothing set in stone saying a woman cannot have both but I feel like most leadership discussions revolving around this subject indicate that no woman can do this. Even is it has never been done before which I highly doubt, that would not mean it cannot be done at all. And maybe she has not found a husband because she simply has not found the right man for her. While it’s true doing both is mentally exhausting as well as physically draining, I believe if you want something bad enough nothing can stop you from getting it.

  4. I would not have expected her to want to settle down and have a family. Her career and values looked to be the opposite of this dream. I find it very interesting that she would “opt out” of the music industry if the situation arose. What is this saying to women to who look up to her and respect her value and what she stands for? Once again this shows the stereotypes that women are put under.

  5. Lady Gaga is a very interesting person to do a case study on in relation to leadership. She is the same age as Paris Hilton (they went to school together) and has really caught the public eye. She does have talent and because of that, she has been able to use her publicity for good but also for mere shock value. Before reading this post, I did not truly consider Lady Gaga to be in a leadership role because many of the things she does (i.e. wear a dress entirely made out of meat) is for notoriety. I don’t think she will be making the graceful exit that has been determined because many celebrities have been able to maintain both a family and work life. As a singer, she may be able to compromise both of her lives. However, since she is so wildly popular, she does not seem to feel the need to continue working. That is her perogative. She has worked hard and I don’t think she is dismissing her career as a musician forever. Just look at Madonna!

  6. Though I have to admit I find her to be rather bizarre, despite loving her music, I think Lady Gaga sets a great example to young girls that it is okay to dress as wild as your imagination, and wardrobe of course, allow you too. She breaks the norms of what society today generally expect women to wear in Hollywood, low cut, tight, almost sea through dress. Whether or not her style is to set a statement her confidence in herself and how she carries herself lets those young girls who look up to her understand that they don’t need to conform to be “popular.” I learned a lot reading this article about how she wants a family and children, that would not be something I would have expected to here her say, an unfair bias on my behalf from stereotyping the typical young, famous, pop singer.

  7. I’m not really surprised by this article, although I didn’t know for a fact that Lady Gaga is hoping so badly for a family. I think throughout this discussion, it’s easy to lose sight of the genuine wish many women have to be the primary caregiver and raise children, taking motherhood on as its own full-time job. The problem comes mainly from it being difficult for women to balance these two things, so they often opt for raising a family rather than struggle against the current in a career. We need to make the workplace, which caters to general life choices made by men, more compatible for women, who may require more flexibility in schedule to be better represented in the workforce while still making the life choices that they wish to pursue. If we’re changing our definition of leadership and straying from our typically masculine idea, we must also change the environment in which that idea has perpetuated since the beginning of its establishment. We’re trying to fit women into a workplace that has been tailored to men since its creation, and aren’t allowing our shifting views on leadership to also promote change in the male-dominated environment.

  8. I think it is interesting that a female symbol of empowerment such as Lady Gaga endorses women to either lead or be led by men. I think many women put aside their ambitions in order to become nuturing mothers to their children. In spite of this, it is their choice. It is not something that all women are forced into. I believe that the workplace should be sympathetic to women who want to be providers for their families. Companies and corporations should be more willing to work with women instead of against them.

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