Managers and Leaders

The greater the power of women, the greater the country’s economic success.

In one of the last comments, which was relating to a study of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (2006), I found this interesting statement. If this works for a country, it should work for a company as well, I thought.

We always talk about the need to rethink our traditional management styles and to switch to a more integrated one, often referred to as the journey from management to leadership.  Sharon Nelton claims in her article Men, woman and leadership – management styles that the general perception of traditional command-and-control management styles has been a structure of large hierarchies, action-orientation and, she even goes that far, a “quasi-military” leadership style. She also states that a survey of high-level executives by Russell Reynolds Associates, Inc., a New York-based executive recruiting firm, found out that women were more likely to be leadership executives  than their male colleques.

Women lead differently, because they are different. Women set higher values on personal relationships. They involve and encourage their team members and tend to think in a way that is more sustainable.

I think that the more women break through the glass ceiling and top management gets more mixed up, sooner or later that switch I talked about earlier will happen automatically. Men and women will be forced to work together and to cooperate using both styles. And besides one part putting effort on value maximisation, the other part of the ‘zipper’ will put effort on relationships and sustainability. And that sounds quite promising for me.

5 Responses to “Managers and Leaders”
  1. frmcgill says:

    I agree that women and men lead differently because in my opinion they think differently, analyze and reach decisions differently. Yet, an effectively woman and/or man are just as effectively as the other depending on the situation. Women, in my opinion, are learning to be team players instead of individual contributors or a lone wolf leader. Consquently, they have become more effective leaders. When women and men learn to lead as a team, then our world will be more stable and productive.

  2. diiasg says:

    I agree with frmcgill. When cooperation is maximized we will learn how much potential we have and how far the boundaries reach. On the other hand, the question that my mind is begging me to ask is (and bear with me, this is a bit of devils advocate at play here) whether or not this harsh style that men have developed was essential and/or key to reaching the level we have now. In other words, did we as a human race take the predestined route of development to get here. Did we arrive at this fork in the road, where we are questioning and re thinking these topics at the time we were supposed to or are we ahead or behind schedule? Better yet, is there a schedule?

  3. Izzy says:

    Wow, very good question diiasg. Sometimes I also have my minutes when I think about destiny and how it all fits together in the end. It could be that what you say is right. That up to now, male leaders were the only possible option for our world to reach the standard that we have today. To exhaust this idea and go a step further, imagine that from now on we will have both men and women making careers, living their individuality and leading side by side. We already see the decline in the birth rate in many industrialized countries and women becoming older and older before bearing their first child which in many cases remains the only one. This all happens partly because of nowadays almost equal career chances and the women’s desire to achieve the same as men. May I raise the question what will happen in 200 years if this phenomenon lasts as long as the male supremacy?

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