Business Leadership – there is nothing new under the sun
The New York Times best-selling book The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future, by John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio, was published in 2013 and is still very relevant today.
The authors surveyed 64,000 people across eighteen countries in a global spread of West, East, Middle and the Far East. They discovered a global identification that more traditionally ‘feminine’ characteristics of empathy, listening, and collaboration are the key to business leaders’ future success. The book has been described as “the operating system for the 21st Century”.
In the 16th century, Galileo turned conventional wisdom on its head when he identified that Earth went around the sun, not the other way around.
In the 1940s, Dr Carl Rogers turned psychology on its head when he recognised that the patient is the expert, not the doctor. He discovered that if he provided the right environment, his clients knew how to heal themselves. In fact, they not only healed themselves, but they also gained the potential to grow stronger and more successful as individuals.
Carl Rogers recognised that humans need three elements to grow: empathy, acceptance (non-judgmentalism) and authenticity. When people experience this environment, they can look inside themselves, find their own answers, move forward with their own plans, grow and thrive.
These potentially ‘feminine’ qualities promote listening, collaboration, and rapport and enable you to get the most from people and relationships in both your business and personal life:
Empathy: All human beings have an innate need to be heard and understood, including you. People scale buildings, invade TV studios and even hold others hostage to get others to understand whatever is their point of view.
You can build incredible rapport and challenge some of your rigid or fixed beliefs about the world by showing a genuine desire to understand another person’s worldview. At the same time, it’s also more likely that they will become more interested in you and what you have to say.
Authenticity: Trust is the basis of all relationships, and authenticity is one of the most powerful ways of gaining trust. People are naturally tuned to spotting a phoney. We quickly notice discrepancies between words and actions and every shift in values and beliefs driven by someone’s current situation (think politicians).
Acceptance: It is difficult to thrive and grow under the harsh glare of negative judgments. People either wither and lose hope or build walls, push through and drive on. Either of these responses can impede your ability to connect with yourself and to have powerful relationships with others, impacting your impact as a business leader and human being.
So, in terms of the future, Carl Rogers identified ‘feminine’ characteristics as the key to success way back in the ’40s. Try adopting these three elements in your business or life. When you meet someone authentic, who doesn’t judge you and who takes the time to understand you, your natural drive for health, growth and personal success will be stimulated into action. When you offer it to others, they will experience the power of this natural process and logically will respond more positively to you. It’s a real business/lifewin-win.