Women’s Role In Redefining Leadership
Our world is facing a multitude of challenges
Climate change, plastic pollution, a rise of the far right, employee disengagement, loneliness, education crisis, work/life imbalance, stuffocation, loneliness, high divorce rates, wars, modern day slavery, numbing to name just a few.
In my recent article ”The Problem With Fairytales” I’ve already smashed our illusion that there’s a magical saviour out there coming to our last minute rescue. We can no longer wait for politicians, governments, or some other leader to take charge and lead the change. We need a multitude of leaders at all levels to change the status quo. We need people who care personally and take charge. One individual at a time.
We need you
There’s never been a better nor a more pressing time for women to reclaim positions of power. Not for the shallow glory of ‘power over’, but for the collaborative power to create the change we want to see. Gone is the time of the heroic lonely leader at the top. The ability of any single individual – as heroic or skilled or dedicated as he or she may be – is no longer enough to meet the complex challenges we face today.
In addition – speeding up the urgency for transformation, a new generation of employees who reject hierarchical leadership is entering the workforce. What has worked in the past is no longer working now.
The leadership of the future is a collective leadership that is purpose-driven, reliable, principled, inclusive, and effective.
Let’s challenge outdated notions together
It’s time to challenge the outdated notions of what it takes to be a leader. Even in the dictionary, we still mainly find traditional definitions that say things like:
- Leadership is the action of leading a group of people or an organization, or the ability to do this.
- A leader is the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.
- Leading: (adj) most important
- Leading is making a person or animal go with someone by holding a hand, a halter, a rope, etc. while moving forward.
Do these definitions make leadership sound like something you aspire to? At Azkua, this is not what we think leadership is. These definitions sound more like control to us. They sound like outdated definitions of a not so distant past when many jobs were about hierarchy, contributing on an assembly line or serving in the military. In each case, if you were the employee and your boss said jump – the only clarification you might have asked is “how high?”.
Today’s information age is aiding the necessary redefinition of leadership
You no longer need to be powerful to be a leader. We now have the power to reach people without being the loudest or the richest in the room. Think of all the silent, unsung and yet incredible leaders out there that are making a difference because of the people they are able to reach via the internet. Think of people helping refugees, the moms and dads fighting for their children’s health or education, or the employees implementing less-waste strategies within their organisations.
Being a good leader today means engaging in a dialogue with our staff, incorporating ideas, keeping open lines of communication about plans and decisions. Today, we are thinking strategically in ways we never did before.
Leadership in 2019 – Balancing the masculine with the feminine
Leadership in 2019 requires creativity, empathy, collaboration, two-way communication and listening skills, in a way that it never did before. Skills that are often associated with women. Perhaps as a result of working together to take care of our communities and children since the dawn of time, while men went out hunting. We are witnessing a “feminisation of leadership”.
But what do you think? Do you agree that there is a feminisation of leadership? Does this article resonate with your own strong self? Do you also feel this calling to step up and make a difference?
At Azkua, we believe that the leadership journey starts by fanning our own inner flame. Through reconnecting with our innate leadership capacity and re-embracing our feminine magic we can make the world a better place. Join the Azkua tribe on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. See you there!
Manuela Damant. Azkua Coach