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Friday, December 04, 2015

Leadership Discussion pt. 2

Dr. Eagly comments after her presentation were interesting yet sorted.  There were at least two statements that stood out to me.  The first was her research was to find empirical answers to gender and leadership questions which, till then, psychologists were not able to do.  I point to this because I thought her answers were still normative to some degree.  When discussing leadership and how women can advance, she mentioned overcoming stereotypes, nurturing women's approach and not having to be like a man.  Those critiques provide an answer but not one that is factual on a plan to accomplish the goal at hand.  Another point of her argument was not to study women for leadership roles because they did not have them.  I do not think this perspective helps her position.  It would be good to study women to see how leadership is missing what they can provide.  Her study can be assisted by seeing the qualities that women would bring as improvements instead of seeing how the genders are different.

The balance question is another topic all together.  She later inferred that the bias is continued by men promoting men and masking it as only hiring the best person for the job without considering women.  Gender equality will be brought about by equal power was something else she offered.  However to have an admitted feminist stance and speaking at a women on top conference, what type of equality or balance is trying to be achieved.  I think appropriate balance can be created by accepting that the genders are different.  Let's understand that there are different beliefs in how to move forward by each.  Men have pursued those roles as a feat to perform for as long as we can remember.  To see how that was completed and the results of it, could respond with women wanting the same but not in the same way that they were able to see it happen.  If we could see what feminine characteristics are sought by men, it would open the door to a discussion on how this can be reversed in some way.  The possibility to begin there exist but I do not know where it shall end.

What she is speaking about makes me want to question what the goal a person is attempting to reach is.  There are people on both sides that want to take from the other to create their own space instead accentuating the positives of how they can complement each other.  I feel that anyone is worth listening to and has a right to their opinion.  You never know when the next great individual will utter words that can change the future.  And this can come from either gender.  I think it is important to be ready for those words whenever they are spoken or written.  We should also prepare for the opposite too.  As someone could simply be designing their own agenda with the support of credentials and an organization to say they are credible even though their message is destructive and polar.

Leadership Discussion pt. 1

To start, I do not agree with Dr. Riggio that the question is dangerous.  As he stated in the article, the answer you will receive will give insight into what leadership style the person being asked feels is most effective.  To ask the question alone only allows someone the right to give their opinion.  Instead of a calamitous outcome, it may begin a discussion that could begin the exchanging of information and persuade one to think differently about the matter.

I do agree with his viewpoint of the contrasting modes of how someone is seen as a leader.  The natural born leader who has the innate abilities to direct others and is recommended by the higher ups really do exist.  Then there are some who can learn from others and develop into a leadership role after gaining confidence with the right kind of help.  We see instances of both types in the world accompanied with varying levels of success.  The division would be in what version of leader you need at the time.  If something is original and has no precedent, you may not be able to develop someone to take control and progress it forward.  It might require someone with radical techniques to grow with it.  Contrarily, like the styles, once a person is present to get an organization off the metaphorical ground and establish it as a winning entity, they can prepare someone else to continue what has been done.  It could then be improved or shown a new direction for prosperity.

The last paragraph of the article I have mixed emotions about.  First, it is a time-honored position to believe in and accept that all leaders are extroverted.  Extroversion can be associated with getting to the front, rallying the crowd and telling everyone the plan.  We have seen this over and over again.  However, I feel there is a very rare quality to introversion that can be integrated into the most elite form of leadership.  Introverts are able to be themselves in a quiet and reserved way.  If their approach or method of acting can be interpreted as leader-like acumen and astute, it could be welcome by others.  People can see or understand what they did and begin to attempt to do the same.  I feel this is more effective because it was not sought or called for by the perceived leader.  Nor is it the direct choice of another authority figure.  It does get emulated and repeated by the new followers as a result though.  That would show the competence to be able to select your own path and develop yourself into what you chose.  And it appears that was not taken into consideration as a possible option by the author.