Masculine traits are not bad traits; of course we need them and they are especially powerful when they are in balance with the feminine -- traits like being empathetic, expressive, honest, loving, kind and nurturing.
Our collective narrative about leadership, both its traits and aesthetics, are profoundly gendered. As such, when we see a strong, smart woman leading, it is tempting and familiar to ascribe her success to gender alone.
Personally, I think we'd be better off if we stopped arguing about which approach to leadership is better and consider a different way that could be more effective and actually sustainable. I like to call it Integration.
I realized that in order to stay competitive and be taken seriously in a business setting, women had been hiding their natural feminine gifts and abilities and adapting to a more male-centric model and approach to success.
The essence of a modern leader is inherently feminine; a more expressive type of leader who shares their feelings and emotions more openly and honestly. This is in direct contrast to what we find in traditional power systems today.
Athena's broad range of qualities and skills are a symbol and namesake for best-selling author John Gerzema and Michael D'Antonio's new book, The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the men who think like them) Will Rule The Future. A more apt title would be hard to find.
This TED conference was an exhilarating exercise in thinking differently -- asking new questions, hearing answers to questions you didn't know you had, exploring new possibilities. That is what innovation is all about.