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Is Being Emotional Effective In Leadership Roles?

In recent years, there has been a notable shift of global and hierarchical power toward females, and it is changing the political and corporate landscape we once knew.

The idea that more and more women are holding powerful positions concerns some, particularly those who adhere to the archaic belief that females tend to be emotional and thus, can’t make important, rational decisions.

The first part may be true. The second part is complete B.S.

While I, myself, am a proud member of the female team, my conviction that women are just as competent at running a successful business, committee, or even a country has nothing to do with pride or feminism.

Nor does it have to do with a vested interested in seeing my female peers succeed. My belief that women are not only capable – but often more effective – leaders has everything to do with my experience throughout my career in the corporate world.

For starters, just as all men aren’t the same, neither are all women. So, my arguments as to why women often excel in areas that our male counterparts might fall short are (admittedly) somewhat blanketed and stereotypical, so this doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone. But hear me out.

So long as man has made fire from rocks and hunted for food, his role has always been one of dominance and leadership while the female has subsequently taken on the role of caregiver and supporter. Biologically, women are programmed to be nurturers because we conceive and it is our responsibility to take care of our offspring in order to keep the human species going.

In order to raise children, women are predisposed to using their emotions and “gut instincts” to make decisions that are best for her offspring and family.

Men also have to make important decisions regarding the safety and health of his children, but often those decisions are rooted in objectivity or “rational” (a term that is misconstrued as being void of emotional impulse).

The long-held assumption that one cannot make clear and practical decisions when emotions are involved is simply not true.

For starters, EVERYONE uses emotions to navigate how they decide to manage people. The problem is that we attach the word “emotional” to “sadness,” “compassion,” “sensitivity,” and “openness.”

In doing so, we completely negate the fact that “anger,” “frustration,” “pride,” “egotism,” and “righteousness” are also emotions. And the ladder emotions can cloud judgment and decision-making just as easily.

I have worked alongside men in high-ranking positions that have made huge mistakes because their ego got in the way. I have worked with men who lost great employees and had high turnover rates because they perpetuated the myth that everyone is replaceable. I have watched businesses go into the ground as a result of some antiquated belief that one does not show compromise or benevolence when leading. Conversely, it is the companies in which women have dominant roles that I have witnessed the exact opposite.

In my experience, most women are innately driven to be supporters (largely due to our biological need to nurturer offspring). Many men would see that as a flaw, but I think it’s quite the opposite. Whether it be a household, a business, a corporation, a city, or even a country – none of these systems can be productive and prosper if the person leading them doesn’t support the people that keep the metaphorical machine running.

Humans perform their best when they don’t feel like their job can be ripped away from them at any minute. A happy, thriving, successful company or body of people is the result of the participants wanting to do a good job because they like what they do and they have the support and confidence of their boss. It’s really that simple.

Additionally, women are often better at negotiating and compromising because we’ve been taught that these are not signs of meekness, but important skills to keep things running smoothly. Women are less likely to start a war or create conflict because our natural inclination is almost always to lead with compassion and understanding, not ruthlessness or anger.

I have continually found that businesses spearheaded by women have proven to a) keep company morality high b) continually allow for and create fresh, innovative, and effective processes c) significantly cut down on employment overturn and d) promoted better communication internally and with outside clients, leading to confidence and trust in business acquisitions and ventures.

The takeaway isn’t that women are necessarily better leaders than men;  I just believe that many of our approaches could prove very beneficial for men in business and in leadership. When done consciously and systematically, letting emotions guide business behavior can actually be quite powerful and effective. And playing a supportive role as a leader doesn’t make you weak; it makes your business savvy and more likely to enjoy long-term success.

 

 

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About Mcclain W.

2 comments

  1. I am an 81 year old male. I concur with the above dialogue , for the most part. I have observed for the last 40 years this one tragic fact. When a women finally, after many rears of effort and service, gets in “the cat’s bird seat” she will normally get rid of any males in leadership positions. Thus, that company entity will be reliving many of the same errors that the, now new leaders, went through before the new leadership assention to “the throne”

  2. Good luck living in la-la land. It’s one thing to have a “high-powered corporate” position, and it’s another thing to get things done. The acid test is building up your own startup – where you can’t pass the buck or hide your poor performance in the grand morass that is a large corporation. And in the startup world, the track record is rather different than this article suggests.

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