Obstacle Course vs Labyrinth

Have you ever looked at something for an extended period of time and always just seen the same thing. Then someone comes along and says, “Hey thats a pretty young girl.” You then suddenly see the other side, another perspective, or in this case person.

Well this blog had been driving my thoughts in one direction and I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. I wondered where the next thought-provoking impulse would come from, what it would be and where it would lead. What “doors-of-thought” would it open?

My latest impulse came from Roberta Hill’s blog “Eclectic Change”. I was in search of something that was a bit different than the usual, statistics-based scientific research outcomes that were telling me women are oppressed and men are at fault. I wanted a creative thought. That is when I stumbled onto the article I have linked above titled  “Leadership: An Obstacle Course or Labyrinth”.

A week ago, one of our professors asked us whether or not leadership is a trait one can learn or if its an inherent characteristic one is born with. I was and am still of the opinion that some may have it easier than others but that generally anyone can adopt the necessary skills to be a successful leader.

Roberta Hill takes the idea a step farther. She compares leadership to an obstacle course and a labyrinth. The obstacle course represents the male, with its requirement of brute strength and goal oriented way of completion. On the other hand she states that the Labyrinth with its many possibilities and perceived dangers is more representative of the female strengths. She concludes her post by suggesting that due to the complex nature of the world today and the changing business environment there will be a need for new systems and…

“ Different skills will be needed and women have one attribute or competency that it appears most men refuse to develop. When all is said and done, it really boils down to one thing: Women will make the better leaders of tomorrow because they are willing to ask for directions.”

Now I must admit that I don’t completely agree with her conclusion. I mean yes men and women think and analyze differently, but to generalize and base arguments on whether one gender is genetically disposed to asking for help and the other not, is a bit far-fetched. However, the points that jumped out at me were: 1) What are the specific strengths of each gender (if generalized),  2) Would one gender be able to adapt better or worse than the other if it were forced to “run the other’s race”, and 3) What if the “glass ceiling” is really just a myth created to explain a phenomenon that hasn’t been explained yet.

What if the reason there are less women in positions of power has nothing to do with their gender but rather that the males know the rules or the way around the obstacle course or labyrinth, and most females haven’t found the path yet.

Would you show someone the way to the treasure? Under any circumstance? Just some food for thought.

4 Responses to “Obstacle Course vs Labyrinth”
  1. Roberta Hill says:

    Salid (I think),

    Thank you so much. Knowing that one person was triggered to think a little differently is the whole goal of my blog. And that you would imply it was a creative thought – quite a compliment. I enjoyed your post but do want to clarify that my final conclusion was definitely flip. I have discovered that it is almost never a case of “either or” but rather “and”. A perfect example of this is my recent post: http://www.eclecticchange.com/2010/10/who-are-better-leaders-moms-or-dads/

    Keep up the good work and you will lead others as well as yourself to the treasure.


    • diiasg says:

      Thank you for your comment. I appreciate the new blog post, it really re-affirms your theory of “and” rather than “either or”.


  2. katjo2010 says:

    This is a very well written and interesting post.
    And I totally agree in wondering if maybe it isn’t a question of gender but more of knowing one’s way around, which men had the chance to do for centuries. They have been transferring know-how and experiences for a long time in their exclusive networks. Women still have to find their way. And I think they should ask men for direction but also take them along, i.e. learning from each other and bringing each other forward.
    So it stays complicated to say whether or not it is a question of gender, since knowing one’s way around and gender are kind of mixed up and hard to separate.

  3. Izzy says:

    Saiid, well done. This was really a contribution to the path that we have followed so far. Keep up with looking at the other side of the argumentation.

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