A candid look at how women may better equip themselves for the millennium challenges
Men can be great leaders. Women can be great leaders. One of the very important aspect of excelling leadership is the quality of the business culture that these leaders are part of creating. This is an important aspect of leadership that is unfortunately often overlooked:
“Scandinavian Leadership (aka Swedish leadership) is earmarked by a flat organisational structure. Decisions are taken by consensus, it is easy to get in touch with the top echelons and transparency is prevalent. Business culture is one of acceptance, clarity and cooperation. Still, a 2009 white paper on Swedish leaders of Swedish companies in Asia showed that the leaders were changing their leadership style from consensus-driven to action-driven, explained by an inability of the local personnel to function efficiently in a flat environment. Asian businesses are prevalently structured in a hierarchical fashion.”
The hierarchical business structure is deemed as more suited to the industrial age and the flat (female quality inspired) organization to the now current information age.
So, what could men learn from women and vice versa? How can women strengthen their weaker and important leadership aspects and how can the good female and male leadership aspects transform into superlative leadership qualities? The following may shed some light on these questions.
You get what you are worthy of
“Women go into a relation with the hope that they will change their partner to the better, men enter relations with the hope that their woman will never change”.
What you are and what you aspire to be will define which people you work with, how you work with them and if they help you in your aspirations. You will never get or achieve what you have not made yourself worthy of, or what you are not ready to take in. The partner or the people in your life today may be hopelessly inadequate a year from now, or they may have supported you in propelling yourself to new heights of understanding and fulfilment. Continual evolvement from you and the people that you surround yourself with is essential for happiness to radiate into every corner of your life (and theirs).
The importance of culture in leadership
The true leader will have some of the qualities often associated with good leadership. Some of these are, according to Zenger and Folkman, as follows:
Takes initiative, Practices self development, Displays high integrity and honesty, Drives for results, Develops others, Inspires and motivates, and some more.
These qualities, when exercised, will affect what we call “the business culture”. It is apparent that when a business culture is clear, radiant and invigorating it will affect all people that are part of it, leading to happiness and satisfaction, curiosity and creativity, openness and willingness to cooperate.
In order for a woman to strengthen her leadership qualities, qualities that will ultimately lead to a sustainable, prospering cultural transformation it is suggested that some steps are followed:
1. Make self improvement a daily way of life, not something that is performed in a crisis. Go to workshops, read books, communicate.
2. Strengthen the inner observer.
3. Collect feedback on how you are perceived as a leader and how the people around you rate a good leader.
4. Show gratefulness and acknowledgement for yours and others achievements and for what universe delivers to you. Do this as a daily exercise.
4. Trust your intuition.
5. Work on issues of failure confidence, being who you are and balancing a professional life with personal endeavours.
5. Take full responsibility for your life and be fully accountable where this is relevant.
6. Work to Live as opposed to Live to work. Deciphered this means “work where there is true joy for you”.
Author: Sven E. B. Wetter
mentor, business consultant,