Our image of leadership has always been masculine. Society has rewarded men who are focused, decisive, daring, fearless and dominant. Make no mistake; those masculine skills are what made this country great.
What we need now to solve today’s morass of complex issues are feminine skills that guide people to work in community to solve problems. Feminine skills, such as deep listening, inclusion, empathy, finding common ground, collaboration, emotional intelligence, support for others and intuitive thinking. It is these feminine leadership skills that are critical for success in the 21st-century business environment.
In the past, these skills have been ridiculed, marginalized and thought of as unnecessary soft skills. They are the exact opposite. These are the skills necessary to create a strong, adaptable business organization with effective working relationships based on a solid sense of community in the work culture.
In actuality, these “soft skills” are not easy and their complexity makes them hard to acquire, learn and develop. Yet we have been honing these very powerful skills since we were little girls.
It is worth mentioning the following impressive result of a 2016 survey of nearly 22,000 firms in 91 countries by the Pearson Institute for International Economics. The survey found that the profitable firms that went from having no female leaders to a 30 percent representation gained a 15 percent increase in their financial position.
Like the superheroes of our mythos who came into being when we most needed them, our world desperately needs your feminine skills. When you proudly and openly use those skills and embrace their power, you are helping to validate the new kind of leadership as feminine, which is just as powerful as masculine. Then come and take your rightful place at the new leadership table.