The topic of women leadership potential is still a hot topic with leaders like Oprah and Arianna Huffington asking women to lean in – there is a real need for female leadership and feminine values in our organisations and in the world.
Leadership is a simple notion that still divides opinions.
First, let’s look at what leadership is not.
Seniority or titles are not leadership.
Many people refer to top executives as leaders. Leadership doesn’t always happen when you reach a certain pay grade. You might find it there, but there are no guarantees. You can be a leader in your community, with your family.
Leadership isn’t an adjective and has nothing to do with personal attributes.
People wrongly associate the word leader with dominance, take-charge, charisma. Charismatic and extroverted people don’t automatically lead.
Do not confuse management and leadership.
There is a lot of confusion between these two. Managers plan, measure, monitor, coordinate, solve, hire, fire, and so many other things.
Typically, managers manage things. Leaders lead people.
So, what is Leadership?
Leadership is a series of social influence, that maximises the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.
Leadership originates from social impact, not authority or power. It is not related to personality traits, attributes, or titles; there is a multitude of styles and paths, to effective leadership.
It always includes a goal, not influence with no intended outcome.
Why are there so few female leaders?
If we look at the business world, politics, the media, and non-profit organisation, women are under-represented at high levels.
Out of 195 heads of states around the world, only 22 are women even in so-called “developed countries.”
Men are leading 89% of the countries in the world.
While these figures are shocking, I have been wondering wonder if leadership for women means rising to the top?
Or if “rising to the top” is an aspiration that is more fitting for a masculine and outdated paradigm and that we are not approaching leadership with the feminine angle?
Do women want to be leaders?
I believe we do, but I wonder if we want to rise to the top. I am starting to learn that it’s more about raising together.
Female leadership has to do with looking out for the greatest good of all.
While I see money and profit important, I don’t see the feminine leadership adage as “money before people.” I see it as “let’s help humanity to be healthy and abundant.”
There is no doubt that feminine leaders see money as a useful tool that helps people live a better life. But we also know how people suffer when money becomes the priority over humanity.
In an article J. Oelwang, CEO of Virgin United talked about how values that used to be classified as “too feminine” are now becoming vital. “I believe women haven’t been assuming more leadership positions in the world today because the systems we’ve created do not place the right value on the strengths that women can bring to the table,” she said.
Instead of labelling these values as masculine or feminine, she calls them “Gaia values”.
I love this. Gaia personifies Earth and is the mother of all life.
She is the Divine Feminine. You might have already noticed that the Divine Feminine is coming back into our consciousness.
Gaia values are about helping all beings to live healthier and happier lives. It is never about us against them. It is about how we all prosper together.
For more women to be in leadership positions, we (both women and men) need to honour the feminine virtues of our intuitive, compassionate and emotional nature.
As a friend shared with me recently, “to endure my job, I cut myself off from my emotions — a result, she cuts off part of her intelligence.
Our emotions are the holders of our intelligence.
They are the doorway to our intuition, wisdom and our connection to our humanity.
Right now, globally, too much power is in the hands of men and the male perspective. It is tough for women to soar in this paradigm. The few women who have climbed to the top, have sacrificed a lot of their feminine essence and values to reach the top.
The key to creating a balance is to identify what we value in this world. If we carry on forcing our way to the top of the mountain using the traditional ways (i.e. survival of the fittest), I believe we would end up tumbling back down bruised and disconnected.
Our spirits are calling for something ancient. Our souls are calling for us to unleash our feminine power and operate from a place of universal compassion.
When we honour the feminine within us, we honour it around the world.
This recognition, I believe, is the new path to leadership and the world needs us to show to the next generation of women and men that is possible.
Is The essence of future leadership
is feminine at heart?
According to John Gerzema, “femininity will be the operating system of the 21st century.”
Leaders sharing their vulnerability and emotions in an authentic way. This type of leadership challenges what we find in traditional power systems today.
The values or qualities that can be characterised as more “feminine” — collaboration, connectedness, interdependence, sharing, inclusiveness — these are the values we need to build back into our leadership, our institutions and our society.
So women and armed with these Gaia values are perfectly positioned to take on powerful leadership roles in this changing world order.
The future successful businesses will incorporate these values and always do well by doing good. There has never been a better time and more critical need for women to embrace leadership roles and for all of us to embrace their Gaia.
The day I stepped into my leadership is the day I decided to leave my 9 to 5 job and learn how to run an online business. If someone had told me at the time that I would leave my 9 to 5 job, step out of my comfort zone, and then decide to pack my life and travel the world I would have laughed and dismissed their comment. Well, here I am doing exactly that, I sometimes have to pinch myself!
Nobody can reverse the trend but you and I. Don’t try to conform and fit into the mould; instead, be an example of change by fully embodying and embracing your feminine qualities.
Our future, the future of the next generation, depends on it.
Written By Cynthia Serra Neves – Why isn’t your life feeling good right now?
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