Our traditional work place values competitiveness, independence and self reliance. The go hard rulers of the world, the solo heroic journey. These values are characteristic masculine traits.
But our workplaces are changing. And they need to. While we don’t want to throw out the masculine values, we are learning that on their own they are limited. And that indeed the masculine journey is lonely, isolating, disconnecting and creating way too much damage at the global and community level. (Power over other nations, companies, people, nature…relentless focus on shareholder value no matter what, winners and losers…)
Shareholder value as the be all and end all of a companies existence simply doesn’t cut it anymore. People want companies to be considerate, to make art, to not leave a trail of destruction, to be great places to work, to care for community, to not be symbols of excess executive pay and the rape and pillage mentality.
We are moving into a culture that has more collaboration, sharing, nurturing and care. Yes, these are the feminine attributes, but don’t let that scare you. Think of the rise of the internet, one of the greatest sharing tools made by man. Of companies like Airbnb, Zipcar, Crowdfunding platforms. The opportunities are for business to embrace these new values and find ways to incorporate them deep into the culture. A few more women at the leadership and board level will help. Not because you need to fill a quota, but because in so doing you will ensure the long term success and viability of your business. It’s simply good business.
*If you want a more compelling view on this topic check out the new book, The Athena Doctrine. 64,000 people in 13 countries were interviewed for this book. Authors John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio found that the majority of adults (both male and female) across the world are dissatisfied with the conduct of men in their respective countries. This study came about after Gerzema and D’Antonio earlier studied the impact of the global financial crisis on values in the United States. From their travels across America, they started to discover that many of the traits being exhibited by entrepreneurs and leaders post-crisis were those widely regarded as feminine.