Gender and Leadership – who knew
There are some differences, but no one gender is better than the other.
Women and Transformational Leadership
Women in western culture tended to lead with transformational leadership and democratic and participative, meaning they tended to be non-dictators, delegating and egalitarian9. This tends to be our natural leadership style – whereas men tended to be more transnational and direct and delegating9. Remember, a leadership style is a method that can change. It is also noted on the difference of gender in leadership: men and women demonstrate drive, charisma, teamwork, determination, ambition, and strive for success at equal levels10.
Project GLOBE’s work extensively examines leadership roles throughout the world and concludes women of western culture have a strong affinity towards transformational leadership in large part due to our Emotional Intelligence skills set. Project GLOBE further examined, from a global viewpoint, where genders differed. The data demonstrated women again tend to be more democratic and empathetic which are both Emotional Intelligence Competencies10.
Judging from the research and information available one could argue women are what business need in leadership today to thrive. However, I have to ask … is being a woman enough?
We—regardless of gender—can adapt and pivot skills to our strengths regardless if you are transformational or transactional based. In the 1990s, I learned my leadership style from men. In the United States Army, the leadership style that is more acceptable and result driven for the organization is transactional. Therefore, my style took on a transactional appearance. Even though I had an inclination towards transformational tendencies, I adjusted and pivoted my assets in the direction of transactional leadership, and in the business world then, it suited me well. In the wake of an emerging transformational style, I again pivoted and embraced my natural propensity towards that form of leadership.
The age-old question of gender in leadership needs to stop. We should focus our attention on the skills and Inclusion. I argue gender does not matter! Both genders can be equally wonderful or lousy at leadership. It all comes down to how you utilize your skills, what you allow yourself to be open to learn, and how you inspire others to move forward.
Leadership is both born and learned. Leadership is a passionate choice. No matter the level of your skills in leadership, if the passion and desire to lead is missing you lack the drive to succeed. You can have the best transformational training, but without the excitement or goose bumps to activate yourself, those skills are better spent training others who are.