In an age where we are trying to focus less on gender polarity, why should we care about “Feminine” Leadership?
Here are a few reasons:
Feminine Leadership has not been supported or allowed for thousands of years. It has been missing to our detriment. Leaders have been mostly male. And the female leaders have been pushed into acting more “masculine” to compete. We are starved for Feminine wisdom and leadership.
Systems of Power have been Masculine. And this focused, analytical, and hierarchical approach has left us off balance, on the brink of cultural and ecological devastation. Balancing the good parts of Masculine Leadership with a more Feminine style promises more balance and might just save the world.
“Feminine” is not just for females. All people with a heartbeat have a “feminine” side, and are capable of embodying a more connective, collaborative, and nurturing form of leadership and power. While these feminine qualities are more naturally exhibited in a body pumping female hormones, which is chemically designed for birthing and nurturance, we ALL have these qualities and can find balance between these polarities in life, love, and work.
How does Feminine Leadership differ from Masculine Leadership?
To get underneath the cultural conditioning BS, go to the natural expression of our feminine and masculine hormonal constellations.
Our nurturing “feminine” instincts drive us to listen to people’s bodies for instinctual and emotional concerns and wellness. Our more “feminine” side opens us to connecting before competing, even if someone seems to be in conflict with us. Feminine hormonal realities spur us to see the wide range of possibilities, instead of focusing in quickly. We gather possibilities, and make decisions through collaboration and conversation. We learn through stories and relational experiences. We use our senses to stay aware of new information, potential dangers, and also pleasures that feed and nourish our spirits and communities.
Our directed “masculine” instincts drive us to make quick decisions in crisis, to take action in danger, to fight intruders and those who seem to attack us. Masculine ways of leading are needed, important, and helpful. It’s just that they’ve taken over.
Our educational systems, which have been patterned on more masculine qualities, teach us to quickly analyze and draw conclusions on our own, becoming “independent thinkers” as soon as possible. Our culture, which has valued masculine leadership intently, has created masculine heroes in our stories, masculine leaders in our nations, and masculine rules that guide our corporations towards focused monetary profit over the common good. High achieving females in business, law, and politics are practically forced into more masculine relating to survive our systems. I experience this first-hand in law school and the practice of law.
Masculine leadership has suffered without the complement of the Feminine style to balance it. We are all suffering the consequences.
It’s time to highlight, encourage, and train ourselves back into Feminine Leadership styles.
It’s a matter of balance, not dominance.
We can re-discover what magic happens in our creative communities and businesses when both styles flow together in harmony.
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