IS FEMININE LEADERSHIP ONLY FOR WOMEN? 3 REASONS TO EMBRACE IT [WISE WEDNESDAYS]
You’re probably already using feminine (and masculine) leadership.
But what is it? There’s no consensus, but the distinction might be:
Masculine leadership: focused, outcome-oriented, competitive
Feminine leadership: receptive, process-oriented, collaborative
They’re both valuable. But the feminine principle has been underrated in the Great Man view of the world.
For example, I've been called caring (traditionally feminine) and also ambitious (traditionally masculine). But my caring was usually more acceptable than my ambition. And it’s time to evolve.
I have a belief that it's time to transcend gender stereotypes and embrace both styles of leadership.
Here are 3 reasons to embrace and celebrate it:
[Read on or watch the video]
1) Being a hostage to the “Great Man” culture limits your potential
Subscribing to the ‘old boys club’ may look like it gets you places but you eventually hit a ceiling because you cut off a part of yourself. A more patient and wiser route that includes diverse collaboration may take longer but will ultimately be more satisfying both professionally and personally. It also makes space for precious creativity and innovation to help solve complex 21st century problems.
2) A narrow, goal-driven (masculine) focus leads to burnout if not balanced by feminine receptivity
The mind is biased in terms of *what* we pay attention to as well as *how* we pay attention. Being entirely outcome driven leads to excess. Tuning into (feminine) receptivity means you pick up signals from your body that tell you when it’s time to pause. Self-care is a feminine but also a political act in today’s world. As Brene Brown said: “It takes courage to rest in a culture where exhaustion is a status symbol.”
3) Including the feminine feels good and tools are available for free
Simple tools like mindfulness meditation help cultivate an open receptive awareness. The relaxation feels great, but more importantly it enables access to higher functions of empathy, wisdom, and brilliant spontaneous thought. Spending time in nature, listening to music, and creative expression also opens up awareness that helps regulate your energy more masterfully.
It’s thought that the ‘feminine’ sense of interdependence explains why environmentalism is driven by women while men resist green behaviour as “unmanly” according to research. Think of WHO Secretary General Gro Harlem Brundtland who kickstarted global sustainable development policy in 1987 with Our Common World. If true, embracing the feminine principle in leadership is urgent, and a paradigm shift is overdue.
As Gloria Steinem puts in: “Women are always saying, ‘we can do anything that men can do.' But men should be saying, 'We can do anything that women can do.'” This includes feeling deeply, intuitiveness and honouring our interdependence with each other and the environment.
What do you think?
Have a great week,
p.s. I have one space for coaching. If you’re ready to clarify your vision, let go of what’s holding you back and live from a sense of innate self-worth and authentic power, email me on email@example.com to have a chat.