Friday, September 12, 2008

leading like a girl

I read many leadership blogs and articles and I recently came across this one about how women lead. "When Women Lead Like Women" by Carla Barnhill. The following are excerpts from that article.

Most organizations are structured on a tier system—there are levels of management or coordination, each tier getting smaller the higher up the system it is.

Women, however, tend to organize themselves into mutually dependent groups, each of which has a share in the outcome of the whole. It’s often hard to say who the real leader is because the decision-making power is spread out across the whole organization. This structure makes room for new ideas, experimentation, creativity, and innovation because everyone involved feels a sense of ownership in the organization.

Women bring an instinctive sense of how to put people first in just about everything we do. That instinct can serve us well in leadership—as long as we don’t squelch it with the false belief that tasks are more important.

We have an innate understanding of what other people need and will work hard to make sure they get it. It’s good old women’s intuition at work!

I have sometimes been concerned about my own leadership skills. Wondering why I can't lead stronger or enjoy the fact that "the buck stops here".

A light went on when I read this article. "Mutually dependent groups", that is definitely my leadership style! I love it when fellow staff or volunteers take ownership of projects or tasks and share in the accomplishments. Who cares who gets the glory when the task is completed, as long as everyone has a sense of ownership and the task is done in an excellent way.

Where the accomplishment becomes a bit muddy, is in the process. Tier structured organizations I have been involved with in the past seemed to assume there was only one way to accomplish a task and became critical of the "mutually dependent group" style. It takes on a messy look sometimes. But if grace can be granted to this style of leadership not only a task can be completed but great community can be the outcome!

I am very thankful to be part of a community of believers that allow each of us to use our own unique gifts and lead the way God created us. So I gladly lead like a girl!

1 comment:

Mark said...

We're thankful too! Keep up the great work on the blog.