WOMEN

John Gerzema, 'The Athena Doctrine' Author, Says Leaders Should Embrace 'Feminine Traits And Value'

06/06/2013 12:51 pm ET
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What makes a good leader?

According to a story in the June 2013 issue of Inc. magazine, it's not about being dominant or assertive. Instead, other traits may be more important:

Control is a mirage. The most effective leaders right now--men and women--are those who embrace traits once considered feminine: Empathy. Vulnerability. Humility. Inclusiveness. Generosity. Balance. Patience.

The writer, Leigh Buchanan, interviewed John Gerzema, author of "The Athena Doctrine," who has found that it's not necessarily best for women to adopt traditionally male characteristics. In fact, in a survey he conducted, two-thirds of the respondents said "the world would be a better place if men thought more like women."

"Feminine traits and values are a new form of innovation," Gerzema said. "They are an untapped form of competitive advantage."

A recent study found that, while women expect female bosses to be team players and judge them negatively for not delegating decision-making power, they don't have the same reaction to men who act the same way. Let's hope that we see a shift toward celebrating the seven leadership qualities Buchanan wrote about -- in men and in women.

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