Saturday, April 11, 2009

Just some thoughts...

Yesterday, I attended a course on Leadership and People Management. I will not discuss the finer aspects of this course here. No, the purpose of writing this is to record few thoughts and phrases that were discussed.

Couple of things stood out, one of them being his definition of Masculinity and Feminism.

The lady next to me bristled with indignation when he used the word – Feminine Leader!

But, I found his explanation fascinating…

He said a Leader’s approach needs to be more Feminine than Masculine.

This, generally means, a Leader needs to be more tolerant, more open to ideas.

A Masculine approach would mean rigidity, being rough with your team, which might not work in all situations i.e. universally…

He further elaborated on the same saying that the general misguided notion of Feminism meant weakness…


But, Feminism is actually tolerance, openness to ideas, empathy to your employees and most importantly emotional strength and surety while dealing with problems.

I found his definition fascinating. Mainly because not many people have managed to explain something so complicated and debated upon topic, so easily.


When you think about it, all great leaders are feminists, mainly because of their ability and willingness to be tolerant and open minded and willing to experiment on new ideas and explore the unexplored.

Now, he also went on to say that Feminism and Masculinity have been beaten down by gender biasing which is really unfair because not all women are tolerant or open minded.

One important point that stood out was, toughness of mind was needed and not physical toughness… you need to defeat an opponent or argument with your mind

Quite a revelation, isn’t it?

The discussion spanned across various platforms, but, again, 1 important thing that stood out for me was
Lao Tzu’s quotes on Leadership. Here was a man, who wrote about leadership and its qualities approx 4000 yrs before the actual research started on the said subject!

“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. A superior leader gets things done with very little motion, for he is a catalyst”


Be the chief but never the lord.”


“He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.”


Quite true isn’t it? When you think of great leaders, or closer home, your managers, bosses, the person one actually looked up to was the person in whom these qualities were present…

Now, I am not saying all this is very accurate research, but it makes perfect sense to me!

Final parting words from on how a leader should be – Charismatic, i.e. a combination of - Honesty, Inspiring, Forward Looking and Competent.

A Leader should be Empathetic, broad minded and Willing to experiment…



P.S: All quotes were picked up from google.
I do not comment on the authenticity of all this. These are my opinions and views. Nor am I trying to impose my views on anyone while condemning any other sort or type of view...


12 comments:

mohit said...

well said!
I totally agree with his definition of feminism... its all about being tolerant, open-minded, brains-over-brawn kinda stuff... more importantly, love the notion of the leader being a catalyst, so everyone says at the end, "hey, i did it myself"

hope to read more!

Swati said...

Amazing post ! Loved it !

wisegirl said...

hey nice kane... i really liked this article

Indian Homemaker said...

I agree about the definition of leaders - they need to not be bossy! many times we hear of leadership qualities being compared with being control freaks or being dominating ...
About feminine qualities in leadership, I think qualities are genderless- men and women both are capable of being equally tolerant or kind or strong or gracious.

Pixie this was a thought provoking post...

Indian Home Maker said...

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Indyeah said...

Thought provoking post Pixie:)

yes though I understand what the guy meant when he said feminine qualities yet I do think men and women have an equal measure of all kinds of qualities ..

its just that conditioning brings out some and suppresses the others...

Indian Home Maker said...

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Renu said...

very well said and amazing is the definition of feminism, I also think like that but could nevr put it into words so neatly.

Just a grail said...

Wow, that is so true. I often say I hate working for women. I know realize that the MEN I have loved working for have been so wonderful because of their feminist characteristics. Interesting.

rayshma said...

nice quotes... and an interesting article...

claytonia vices said...

yeah the sad stereotype that leaders need to be forceful and dominating... I have seen it too often...

Solilo said...

Pixer, I agree with every word in this post.