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Why Men Need Women To Lead

Updated on January 15, 2015

I arrived at the house to pick up my son for the weekend. I had a bandage on my forehead, as I had run into a bird feeder earlier that week. (Yes, I ran into a bird feeder.)

"That's a good look for you."

Sarcasm. Not the response I was hoping for from the lady that I had spent 24 years with and still called my best friend. Not the response I would expect from most any woman.

Empathy and Trust

Women are more empathetic than men. So goes the conventional wisdom in our world. Most of us believe that women are better than men at seeing other's point of view, experiencing compassion, and feeling their pain and joy. Many surveys and much research back up this stereotype.

Social Cooperation

Gender is a good indicator of a person's likelihood to refuse an unfair offer. Men will most often react in a more negative way to one sided deals.

In A Neural Basis For Social Cooperation, the authors say that, in women's brains, the region of the brain associated with reward shows increased activity when they cooperate. This suggests that working with others for the common good is more satisfying and even more natural for women than for their male counterparts.

Muhammad Yunus is a Bengladeshi who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering the concept of microcredit and micro financing. His bank focuses on lifting people out of poverty by extending loans to poor women. His system is mainly based on trust and collective responsibility between millions of women villagers. Yunus' business loans mostly to women because "They are simply better with money." One may interpret this as better with credit or better with trust.

Once the swearing in of the new members of congress is complete, the American Government will have over 100 distinguished women in our national legislative bodies. So what does this mean for us and our politically polarized country?

"They tend to be interested in finding common ground." Says Senator Rob Portman. Republican from Ohio. Legislative effectiveness scores, created by Volden and Wiseman, show that, on average, women are more effective lawmakers than are men.

All Politics is Local

— Late Speaker of the House Tip O'Neil

Scandalous

I grew up Catholic. I was a very proud and active catholic for most of my life despite a few disagreements with The Church. As I approached my 40s, however, I got more and more uneasy with Church leadership. something was missing, off kilter.

About 15 years ago, I had the opportunity to watch a clip of the American Catholic Conference of Bishops at one of their meetings. I was stunned by the blinding glare of a bunch of white haired, white skinned men. Barely a minority in sight and not a woman could I find. No wonder we were missing something. Where were the gifts and the perspectives of the women of Christianity? How could such a homogenous group make prayerful, spiritual decisions for the benefit of millions of Catholics?

I know that many of my Catholic friends and especially my friends who are Catholic priests cringe at such thoughts, but it seems so obvious to so many of us who strain to be faithful followers. Every institution, group and community needs the compassion, empathy and cooperative spirit of women.

I am convinced had there been women bishops, priests and bishops in the Catholic Church the child sex abuse scandal would not have been so pervasive and ruined so many lives. The one priest that has been identified as a child molester in my diocese was a personal friend of mine. One of his victims committed suicide. The bishop knew. The pastor knew. They were men.

I never realized, until lately, that women were supposed to be the weaker sex.

— Katherine Hepburn

Business Leadership

Over 50% of managerial or professional positions are now held by women. Women are changing the way we do business in the United States and throughout the world. According to a Pepperdine University study, women in top business leadership positions are outpacing the industry average in respect to productivity and profitability.

The Institute of Leadership and Management conducted a study and found that female CEOs are not only often more productive, but more trusted than male CEOs. Female leaders also build a team of trust because they are much less likely to deal with someone they like but do not trust.

Why are women becoming leaders of productivity?

Women See Opportunity. They show an ability to see opportunity in friends, family, assaocites and partners.

The late Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neil believed "All politics are local." Business and political leadership is built on trust and relationships. This is why we need women to lead.

Women Network. They are masters at navigating, follow up and sowing seeds in fertile ground.

Women Seek Relationships. They specialize in growing relationships that are genuine, meaningful and long lasting.

Women are Givers. They are socially conscious and help grow innovation and opportunity for themselves and others.

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    • russinserra profile image
      Author

      Russ Inserra 3 years ago from Indianapolis, In

      Ever hear of the Peter Principle? Each manager is promoted to the level of his incompetency. I have many women bosses and generally prefer them.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      It's often a different type of strength and power that women cultivate. In corporate America, I worked at a well-known Fortune 100 company and the Sr. VP of HR at the time commented -- not in jest -- that all the HR associates were female. A gutsy broad quipped back, "That's because you've promoted all the males to managers." Truth.

    • russinserra profile image
      Author

      Russ Inserra 3 years ago from Indianapolis, In

      Thanks, Ruthie!

    • profile image

      RuthB49 3 years ago

      great post

    • russinserra profile image
      Author

      Russ Inserra 3 years ago from Indianapolis, In

      Thanks BB.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great perspectives and I happen to agree with you across the board.