Is this report a “Feminist attack on the manhood of leadership?”
“The attributes in which women ranked higher included leading by example, admitting mistakes, transparency, and bringing out the best in others.”
There is no doubt in my mind, or experience that men have shied away from these leadership attributes for fear of being considered weak or overly emotionally attached to the outcome. Unfortunately, this reticence has resulted in “macho” styled leadership in many instances, which tends to look and feel more like a high school football coach than a leader who is concerned with the team cohesion and camaraderie.
The opportunity for growth and expression that lies before men brave enough to embrace their “fatherly nature” rather than their “general nature” is huge. Communication styles, attitudes about subordinates, compassion for the stages and circumstances of real life could be significantly better if some men saw their teams as people with emotional needs who rely on leadership to protect, guide and defend them.
I know, this sounds too touchy feely for many men. I too have been the director, general, drill sergeant leader at various phases of my leadership life. I almost lost my family over such attitudes and the inability to appreciate individual differences and traits.
My suggestion for anyone looking at this study as a “feminist attack on the manhood of leadership” is this: Ask yourself honestly “Would I use the same tone, communications style and vigor in teaching a toddler to walk that I demonstrate with an employee who has failed?”
If the answer is no, why not?