Some say leaders are born. Some say leaders are made. Some have clearly defined parameters that constitute leadership. Some simply, “know a leader when they see one.” It seems indefinable, because everyone has a different view of what leadership looks like. This is the way it should be, and here’s why. Leadership is a personal, individual expression of who you are. Your expression of your leadership is at its most powerful when your beliefs, thoughts and words align with your stance, actions and strategies with continuous consistency. It’s readily apparent when they don’t.
My question is this: how do you correct the damage that’s already been done? Perhaps you are one of those people who have been affected by this gender bias, and it’s having a negative impact on your career. What makes biases particularly challenging is that they often get filed away in the unconscious, where they direct your behaviours without you even realising it, manifesting when you least expect it.
The manifesto might make Agile seem a little idealistic, but the fact is, it works. In my view, it takes into account a more accurate reflection of what life is really like. The one guarantee we have in life is change. If you’re able to cope with change as a fact of reality, you significantly increase your chances of navigating your way adeptly around the future. If, however, you find change unsettling, you will be in for a bumpy, difficult ride.
If the world needs women to step into the shoes of leadership, then it’s women who will make that happen. Yes, men must be open to the idea. Men must be willing to allow women into the C-Suite. Men must work on the gender biases that create the blocks to women’s progression in the workplace, but ultimately, the job of stepping up and leaning in is the responsibility of women.
Training promotes people’s understanding of an issue, but it accomplishes very little by way of transformation of the issue at hand. Why is this the case? Training delivers the learning at one level, the most conceptual and detached means of learning, so while it enables participants to grasp the idea, it doesn’t necessarily enable them to apply it to themselves and their personal experiences. The issue continues to serve as an objective, with no real strategy for implementation and change.
If I had a pound (or a dollar) for every time I’ve heard faults of an organisation blamed on “company culture,” I’d be a very wealthy lady. Working with organisations as an outsider, I also have the privilege of observing things from afar, taking a bird’s eye view on a situation and accessing perspective that those of you in the middle of it struggle to see. There is a belief amongst employees of large businesses that taking action against the collective mind of the “company culture” will disrupt the environment to your detriment, causing you to lose favour, and possibly even your job. What are you going to do about it?
Leadership and management are like birds of a feather. They flock together. In my mind they do, anyway. This then begs the question why people in the business of selling management and leadership expertise make such a meal of the distinction between the two.
Cerebral management is an approach to management that’s based upon a thought or an idea of what management could or should look like. Cerebral management shows up as typical responses from managers when asked what they do. Those typical responses include planning, organising, controlling and coordinating. In theory, this is what managers do, but the practice of management is very different. For example, people believe managers are reflective and spend a lot of time planning. However, studies show that managers actively avoid tasks that require reflective work, like planning, in favour of short interval exercises and regular bursts of energy across different activities.
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