Leadership throughout the world today faces many challenges and increasingly dynamic changes. Financial environments are very demanding and require leaders to perform like never before, yet confusion still reigns on just what an “effective leader” is and does. In parallel with this, women today can enter what have traditionally been male contexts in greater numbers. However once women are in these contexts and positions there is confusion about just how they are to behave. Some people argue that there is no difference in what is required by males and females and, indeed, style flexibility is required of all effective leaders. Yet other people have very differing perceptions of a feminine and a feminist woman leader, some of these are positive perceptions and some are negative. Building on existing knowledge of the leadership context, effective leadership, gender differences and feminine and feminist terminology, a number of experienced New Zealand men and women leaders have been interviewed with the aim of adding clarity to this global confusing debate.