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How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Lead the Future

The Athena Doctrine was recently profiled in LDRLB | Leadership, Innovation & Strategy. Check out the full text below, and read the full article here.

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Recently, I was privileged to read a fascinating research project by John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio titled The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the men who think like them) Will Rule the Future. These two gentlemen (emphasis on gentleMEN) traveled to 13 countries and surveyed 64,000 people to prove “How Women (and the men who think like them) Will Rule the Future.” Gerzema and D’Antonio asked half the research participants, 32,000 people, to categorize a list of qualities as either “Masculine” or “Feminine.” They then asked the second half of the population, another 32,000 people, to rate the importance of those same qualities in a good leader. The second half wasn’t aware of any gender associations with the qualities to prevent any bias in the results.

The conclusion from the surveys was that the qualities people found to be more feminine were the same qualities that people found essential for a good leader. Examples of the results include:

Masculine Qualities: Dominant, Independent, Competitive, Hard Working, Assertive

Feminine Qualities: Dependable and Reasonable, Long-Term Oriented, Collaborative, Adaptable and Flexible, Patient, Loving, Caring, and Kind

The book goes on to explain that after The Great Recession, many people all over the world, especially Millenials, believe that the old system of leadership and governance is not working anymore. The masculine traits displayed until now are not enough on their own. There needs to be a balance with the feminine qualities so individuals, families, and communities today can live better lives than those lived by the generations of the past.

The “feminine traits” are exhibited by both men and women, and the examples in each chapter include a mélange of masculine and feminine protagonists from over 13 countries. Interview participants include college students, social entrepreneurs, corporate executives, city officials, presidents, and prime ministers. All these people substantiate the most important point of the book: It’s not about determining the superior sex, men or women.

It’s about finding the qualities that are necessary for success in every aspect of life that needs to be pursued more diligently. As it turns out, people (at least 64,000 of them) think that these qualities are more feminine, or more naturally displayed in Women. I highly recommend The Athena Doctrine, written by two renowned researchers, writers, and critical thinkers. It’s a professional biography of some of the greatest movers, thinkers, and shakers of our times in countries, cities, and towns all over the world. Most of us, 99.9 percent at least, won’t get to be the next Jobs, Besos, Disney, but we could be like these people: People who do what they do in a “feminine” way rather than the “masculine” way to impact our communities and countries around the world. This little change can make all the difference. To get where they got, we got to do what they did: Be a little more feminine.

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