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This assignment discusses the transition of male centered leadership to the
female centered leadership in corporate world.

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  1. 1. 1. INTRODUCTIONThis assignment discusses the transition of male centered leadership to thefemale centered leadership in corporate world. Several researchers haveconducted research on the argument that women in business require a differentrange of leadership skills from men.Women have similar set of managerial, leadership and interpersonal skills asmen do however, most of them lose it before reaching the top. Leadership skillsare not personalized spheres of either gender; these can be more effective forany person regardless of gender or vice versa. At times, the leadership style ofwomen differ from men, but as mentioned earlier, these can be adopted mymen as well.Researchers have classified four different thoughts to discuss the gender basedleadership concept (Appelbaum, Audet, & Miller, 2003), these are as follows:  Biology and sex believe that leadership is related to gender and is biologically determined and inherent for men (Oakley, 2000).  Gender role acknowledges the role of mixing with people and considers the gender to be determinant of leadership (Kolb, 1999).  Casual factors discuss various factors other than gender deciding upon the effectiveness of leadership, being influential on it. These include feminist attitude, self-confidence, and work environment (Cassirer & Reskin, 2000).  Attitudinal drivers accept that women may have different set of skills of leadership than men and they practice these in different manners (Claes, 1999).
  2. 2. 2. LITERATURE REVIEWResearchers have found out that women may succeed as an effective leader butthey usually achieve the success by behaving and performing like men. Theyseparate themselves by their own feminine group and mix with their malecolleagues to match their style of leadership and management (Simpson, 2000).Some of the leadership qualities maybe innate in the individuals but most ofthese can be acquired and learned by experience (Andolsen, 2008). Thisdefinition supports the research that leadership is not based on gender but it isbased on skill sets an individual has.Another approach stating significant qualities of an effective leader discusses itwith every alphabet of the word leader (Porterfield & Kleiner, 2005).L – Listening the ideas and thoughts of others and learning from those,E – Energizing the colleagues with own commitment and fueling the whole organization with energy,A – Acting in the way that benefit everyone in the organization,D – Developing their own skills as well as others,E – Empowering the team to take risk and make decisions, andR – Recognizing the achievement of the team.This approach also doesn’t talk about gender, it discusses the qualities as aperson.2.1 McKINSEY CENTERED LEADERSHIP MODEL McKinsey & Company started a project called McKinsey Leadership Project almost 8 years ago, to help women in corporate world navigate the paths to effective leadership along with the learning about the factors that help women reach the top and sustain there. The research resulted STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP ~ 2 ~ SUBMITTED BY: REHMAN ASLAM
  3. 3. in finding five interrelated dimensions of a leadership model called ‘Centered Leadership Model’. These dimensions include meaning, managing energy, positive framing, connecting, and engaging (as shown in figure 2.1 below). Every one of these is important for a leader to possess and more the engagement of the dimension is, more would be the effectiveness of leadership.Fig 2.1 Centered Leadership Model (Barsh, Cranston, & Craske, 2008) STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP ~ 3 ~ SUBMITTED BY: REHMAN ASLAM
  4. 4. a) Meaning This dimension of centered leadership model discusses the importance of having meaning of whatever the leader believe and practice. Once they find the meaning in their aims and goals, they enjoy the pursuit of these aims and goals. They personally feel it worthwhile and engage with the achievement of these goals. A goal with meaning is a goal with purpose. It is easy to convey to the followers and sharing the meaning actually inspire them to follow (Barsh, Cranston, & Craske, 2008). This is the most important dimension for leaders. The leaders can convince others very well if they themselves are clear in their objectives.b) Managing Energy Once the leaders find meaning to their goals, they need to manage their energy to achieve those effectively. They need to know about themselves in more details so that they can find their strengths and weaknesses. The things that deplete their energy should be countered with accordingly as well as the things that enhance their energy should be practiced more often. When they replicate energy, it helps them to become a role model for the people in organization to sustain their own energy and commitment towards the goals. The art of minimizing depletion, restoring the energy and necessary flow of it is essential for effective leadership (Barsh, Cranston, & Craske, 2008).c) Positive Framing Taking things as they are helps in believing that we can do it. Optimism enables the leaders to frame the facts and situations as they are. Having found the meaning and managed the energy, positive framing is another important dimension of leadership. It recognizes the facts of adversity and responds to those with appropriate actions. A meaningful goal with appropriate energy and motivation would lead to the positive framing of the path for achieving the goal. Self-awareness is another important STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP ~ 4 ~ SUBMITTED BY: REHMAN ASLAM
  5. 5. thing that leads to positive framing and enables leaders to coup with unfavorable situations effectively and moving on with the best solution (Seligman, 2004).d) Connecting Connecting with colleagues as well as other corporate professionals is another dimension of effective leadership. The personal touch that communication gives for achieving the goals is unmatchable. It ensures the colleagues about personal commitment of their leader. Networking is really important for a leader. They need to grow the network and sponsorship to enhance their credibility as well. They also need to reciprocate with the situations they deal with (Barsh, Cranston, & Craske, 2008). The attitude ‘WE’ is better than ‘I’ and it is the key to success.e) Engaging Engagement is related to risk taking, taking ownership for the outcome of the goal. This includes opportunities as well as risks associated with the goal and its outcomes. When the achievement of goal become the personal voice of the leader, the team gets the confidence to take risks and getting things done more effectively and sometimes differently. Leaders who choose risk and work with it are more likely to be satisfied with their decisions than the others who didn’t opt for risks (Gilbert, 2006). Discussing the means and methods to achieve the goals or to solve a problem often results in coming up with better opportunities. STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP ~ 5 ~ SUBMITTED BY: REHMAN ASLAM
  6. 6. 3. CRITICAL EVALUATIONThe involvement of women in business and their success as effective leaders inthe past decades has triggered the research in this field. The gender differencesin leadership style have been studied thoroughly as women have begun to takeover more leadership positions. The research studies impact of sexstereotyping, organizational effects of various types of leadership, andacceptance of a diversity of non gender linked leadership styles as the maininterest.Women used to look after their homes and families while men used to work forliving. This changed during the World War II. Despite the hazards that the warproclaimed on us, a positive change was the involvement of women inbusinesses, production and other organizations. Countries like France,Germany, Australia, Canada, England and America focused on recruiting womenworkers in order to release the men for national defense. The industrialrevolution in USA also helped this change to prosper (Cardinali, 2002).Since then, slowly and gradually women are making their mark in nationaleconomies with their engagement and participation in businesses. Their senseof ownership in the organizations has made them successful in their careers.This increasing trend is continuing in twentieth century with more femaleleaders serving at the top of organizations. Though they face and have toovercome stereotypes and gender discrimination at work (Rees & Miazhevich,2005).Our critical evaluation on the assertion that women in business require adifferent range of leadership skills from men is supported by variousresearchers as well as the Centered Leadership Model which is interlinked witheach other, overlapping with the other dimensions. Though the McKinsey’smodel was meant to be for women, men also follow it to be an effective leader. STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP ~ 6 ~ SUBMITTED BY: REHMAN ASLAM
  7. 7. The five dimensions of leadership discussed above are essential for any leader.The level of competency in each dimension differs for men and women. Theleadership style of men is more towards being ‘autocratic’ while for women it ismore towards being ‘democratic’.Understanding and finding the meaning is equally important for both genders.Women need to struggle more for sustaining energy for work and change asthey are the ones who look after their homes along with work. The passiontowards work leads to the incredible energy that helps in being effective. ZiaMody is a successful litigator in India; she enjoys winning the cases in court.Her passion to win excites her and restores the energy needed. She used towork sixteen hours a day to prepare for cases along with managing three youngdaughters at home (Barsh, Cranston, & Craske, 2008).Women are stereotyped, to be more pessimists, and maybe they actually are,rather than optimists. To become a successful leader, they need to teachthemselves optimism. Seeing things as they are help in finding better solutionsand opportunities out of any situation. They face exceptional confrontation inaffirming and developing a distinguished leadership style. The scarcity of rolemodels for women creates hurdles for them to look up to one. However,framing things positively to counter their adverse effects require more effortsby women (Seligman, 2004).Participating in the presentations herself promotes the work done by womenrather than just working on the projects and let others present the ideas.Displaying engagement with work portrays the confidence and strength ofwomen as effective leaders. Engaging colleagues and mentors to share anddiscuss ideas is also an effective way of displaying leadership qualities. ShonaBrown is the senior vice president in Google Inc. She handles opportunities andthe risks associated with those opportunities quite efficiently. She is a risktaker. She dives into the situation to find the opportunities and analyze therisks that usually gives her success (Barsh, Cranston, & Craske, 2008). STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP ~ 7 ~ SUBMITTED BY: REHMAN ASLAM
  8. 8. Leadership experts suggest that women should have mentors and they shouldcontinuously ask for feedback from them. The network within or outside theorganization is also helpful in discussing the progress and issues faced in theorganization. Discussing how the meeting went with the mentor really helps inminimizing the mistakes happened and also results in enhanced selfconfidence. Membership of professional forums or organizations is an effectiveway of finding female role models because observing is one of the best ways oflearning leadership styles.Networking helps the leaders to understand the environment of anyorganization. Networks act as the hub of power and social capital (Perriton,2006). Women networks are relatively smaller than those of men but withstronger ties and higher degree of similarity (ONeil, Hopkins, & Sullivan,2011). Researchers have found that social networks created by women are lessinfluential as well as not well developed. This results in fewer opportunitieswithin the organization and corporate world (Forret, 2006). Women need toconcentrate on the development of an influential network that will help themgrow and reach to the top in corporate world. Studies prove that networkingstrategies that provides success to men are not equally practicable for womenin their success.4. CONCLUSIONThe Centered Leadership Model was initially designed for young women leadersto learn and develop leadership qualities and styles to excel in corporate world.The literature on leadership qualities and styles reflects that women needdifferent level of competency in the set of skills for effective leadership.Women need to concentrate more on networking, connecting well to theircolleagues and getting good sponsorship. They need to negate the stereotypesabout themselves that they cannot be a good leader. STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP ~ 8 ~ SUBMITTED BY: REHMAN ASLAM
  9. 9. The different attributes in female vs. male styles of leadership have beendescribed as follows (Appelbaum, Audet, & Miller, 2003): Female MaleConsideration StructureTransformational TransactionalParticipative AutocraticSocio-expressive Instruction givingPeople-oriented Business orientedWomen tend to follow interpersonally oriented leadership style that focuses onhelping and doing favors for colleagues, hearing their problems, havingconcerns about their well-being, explaining procedures and being friendly withthem. This style is also known as consideration (Eagly & Johannesen-Schmidt,2001). This style focuses on connection and engagement dimensions ofcentered leadership model. The attribute of women to listen to othersdistinguish themselves from men, and hence is a difference between their styleof leadership and that of men.Networking effectively and carefully for the success in their leadership roles inalso important as discussed above. Women need to develop more influentialnetworks to sustain the effectiveness of their leadership.A collaborative team approach empowering employees as well as customers isalso an important attribute of women leaders. The whole team is connected tothe leader as a rim of wheel. This results in better communication with theteam as well as confidence of the team into their leader’s abilities to lead(Appelbaum, Audet, & Miller, 2003).Women leaders should not portray feminine orientation towards managementthat is believed to be poor in leadership. This would minimize the perception orstereotype of women being incompetent from the minds of decision makers inany organization (Kirchmeyer, 1998). STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP ~ 9 ~ SUBMITTED BY: REHMAN ASLAM
  10. 10. The advantages and opportunities for women in leadership style maysometimes be countered. However, it’s often that social and organizationalchanges place women in the position of new entrants into higher levelmanagerial roles. These women may reflect contemporary trends inmanagement emphasizing on transformational leadership, threatening olderand more established managers (Fondas, 1997). Nonetheless, on the whole,research on leadership style has very favorable implications for women’sincreasing representation in the ranks of leaders.Concluding the discussion with an example of a successful woman leader, thathad the positive growing impact on sales and revenue of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi.She started her career at a lower management level from Johnson & Johnson,making her way through different positions and organizations to becoming theCEO of PepsiCo. Her commitment and passion towards work and leadershipskills helped her in reaching at the top of world’s second largest beveragesbusiness (PesiCo Our Leadership). Her continuous growth is the result of herwell developed and influential network throughout her career. Forbes hasranked her as number fourth in the world’s hundred powerful women (IndraNooyi - Forbes). She is a role model for every woman in world to look up to forbeing a successful leader. STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP ~ 10 ~ SUBMITTED BY: REHMAN ASLAM