Women are naturally more conscious leaders
By Stephane Leblanc, Founder and CEO, International Centre for Conscious Leadership
As I observed the actions of Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, following the shooting in a mosque last week, it reinforced my observation that women are naturally more conscious leaders.
According to the research of Richard Barrett, the Founder of the Barrett Values Centre and the Academy for the advancement of human values, the six countries with the highest levels of consciousness are Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and New Zealand. Three of these countries have women prime ministers: Norway, Iceland and New Zealand and they are within the world leaders for gender equity and the protection of the environment.
In our global community of conscious leaders, 70% of the participants are women. I am not saying that all women are conscious leaders, but in my experience most are.
In each of us, we have both the feminine and masculine energy. The feminine energy is more intuitive, patient, caring, creative, protective, focused on relationships and concerned about the long term impact of its actions. The masculine energy is more rational, driven, action oriented, destructive, violent, focused on tasks and concerned with achieving the results at all costs.
Women in leadership positions have generally learned to develop their masculine energy while maintaining their feminine energy and this makes them more balanced and more holistic leaders. Unfortunately, it is often as a sign of weakness in business for a man to embrace his feminine energy and to show care and compassion.
According to a study from Korn Ferry on women CEO's in the Fortune 500 companies, women CEO's demonstrate characteristics that were quire different than men while demonstrating the general characteristics of a good CEO.
Like men, they demonstrate the fundamental characteristics of a good leader such as courage, resilience, risk taking and management of ambiguity. They also demonstrated perseverance as on average, it took them four more years than men to reach the CEO position. They have all occupied operational positions where they were directly responsible for results and they have a strong background in science, technology, engineering and management.
What made them different than most men CEO's however were characteristics that are more related to the feminine energy such as the fact that they were more agile to manage their ego as asked for help, focused on the needs of others, were more appreciative of the contribution of others and this allowed them to get the best from the organization. They were also committed to make a difference and were motivated by a mission and the possibility for the organization to have a positive impact on the employees, clients, the community and the world. They were clearly more conscious leaders.
The Dalai Lama has said that the western women will save the world. I don't think we can save the world unless men also become conscious leaders, but it occurs to me that women leaders will lead the way for the rise of consciousness in organizations and in society.
I intend to do everything I can to support the rise of women leaders and the rise of consciousness in leadership.
What about you?