Is there a gender stereotype for leadership behaviour?

Let me be provocative and say:

  • Men are risk takers and can lead us to new grounds.
  • Women are nurturers and lead the ongoing well being once we have arrived.

There is plenty of evidence that support my theory (Maybe we are different, or simply search Google “women nurture” and “men risk taking“). And I guess there is plenty telling that’s rubbish.

However, in our male dominated culture women had to adapt to the way of males. Here a quote from Harvard Business Review:

“Specifically, at all levels, women are rated higher in fully 12 of the 16 competencies that go into outstanding leadership. And two of the traits where women outscored men to the highest degree — taking initiative and driving for results — have long been thought of as particularly male strengths. As it happened, men outscored women significantly on only one management competence in this survey — the ability to develop a strategic perspective.”

They  outperform and replace men before they revert back to their nurturing behaviour. For example:

“So not only do men dominate Wall Street, creating an environment full of testosterone, but that very environment creates more testosterone. Women, who tend to take fewer risks, classify themselves as more conservative traders, and were less caught up in the euphoria of the financial bubble. John Coates, a researcher at the University of Cambridge in neuroscience and finance, has said that if women made up half of the financial world, there would be fewer “volatile swings” in the markets. Women would serve to temper all that testosterone.”

Let us combine this with the unsustainability of our current growth oriented culture

“You cannot sustain population growth and / or growth in the rates of consumption of resources.” – Dr. Albert Bartlett

What do you see happening to the idea of dignity to human species if this population growth continues at its present rate?:

“It’s going to destroy it all. I use what I call my bathroom metaphor. If two people live in an apartment, and there are two bathrooms, then both have what I call freedom of the bathroom, go to the bathroom any time you want, and stay as long as you want to for whatever you need. And this to my way is ideal. And everyone believes in the freedom of the bathroom. It should be right there in the Constitution. But if you have 20 people in the apartment and two bathrooms, no matter how much every person believes in freedom of the bathroom, there is no such thing. You have to set up, you have to set up times for each person, you have to bang at the door, aren’t you through yet, and so on. And in the same way, democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive it. Convenience and decency cannot survive it. As you put more and more people onto the world, the value of life not only declines, but it disappears. It doesn’t matter if someone dies” – Issac Asimov (article)

If our growth culture is driven by risk taking leadership and there being the advent of a nurturing leadership …

Are we in for a significant change?

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