The Age of Athena - 21st Century Leadership


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A keynote address given by Sina Wendt-Moore at the Labour Women's Conference, "Building Women's Leadership", 24 August, 2013, Auckland, New Zealand.

"2/3rds of men and women believe the world would be a better place if men thought more like women" (The Athena Doctrine, 2013)... As we celebrate 120 years of Women's Suffrage - this paper - The Age of Athena positions feminine qualities as a competitive advantage & advocates for 21st century leadership that is wise, courageous, humane & collaborative

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The Age of Athena - 21st Century Leadership

  1. 1. “The Athena Doctrine - How Women (and men who think like them) will rule the future” Jossey-Bass, 2013, John Gezerma & Michael D’Antonio.
  2. 2. The Age of Athena Presentation, August 2013 ©Sina Wendt-Moore 2013, All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission. “The Age of Athena” Sina Wendt-Moore Keynote Address 24 th August 2013, Auckland, New Zealand Labour Women’s Conference “Building Women’s Leadership” INTRODUCTION Talofa lava, Nga mihi nui aroha kia koutou wahine toa, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa. Good Morning. It is a real pleasure to be here today as you explore building women’s leadership. Thank you for the invitation to participate in an important conversation that is very close to my heart. I know many of you, and applaud you all for the active leadership you demonstrate as you lead courageously in a very public, personal cause; in work that can often be demanding and thankless. Malo lava and fa’afetai for the service you give the people of New Zealand. It has been a big week in Labour party politics and normally I wouldn’t comment publicly but given the subject we are talking about this weekend, I want to raise a few leadership questions that popped into my mind as I observed the media speculation and media hype about potential successors to David Shearer as leader of the Labour Party. Firstly, not one woman’s name came up as a possibility. What is that saying about the state of play within the leadership stakes and succession planning of the Labour Party? I look around this room and see many many capable skilled leaders. The second thing I pondered was the constant references by commentators to David Shearer being ‘too nice’ to be in the top job. What does that say about the type of leadership that is held up and touted within our political system as the ideal leader? That we all need to be charismatic, tough as nails, a ‘’bit of a mongrel to survive? These are very masculine traits that are being held up. Why does our political system have to be so adversarial, so driven by personality, fixed positional ideology and dogma? Just questions that keep me thinking that there has to be a better – a different way - for us to lead this country to achieve the goals of improving NZ inc for everyone! The critical question of how women’s leadership is fostered and progressed in the politics is why you have come together this weekend and I wish you all well in the work you have ahead of you. As Chief Executive of Leadership New Zealand I am very fortunate – every day I get to engage strategically and consciously in achieving my life’s purpose - to help grow a new generation of ethical and authentic leaders. All my other roles and community commitments (YWCA, PACIFICA, work with social enterprise leaders, and intergenerational groups of leaders), are all centered on building leadership in others and everything I do is an opportunity for me to connect the different worlds in which I live and work – I have a rich life in leadership, focussed on building leadership. My success is being a catalyst, a mentor, and an enabler for others to find their path and to be successful. I am passionate about empowering others to succeed – to find their bliss, their true north, their mauli or mauri (the life force, energy that binds us to the past, present and the future). What does success look like? For me – a person is successful when - they have clarity of purpose, vision, goals – that they have set for themselves - they are passionate committed and love what they do - they have the opportunity to experience life to its fullest – and make the most of opportunities that present themselves - they have choice and take responsibility for the decisions they make - they are resilient and can handle whatever life throws at them - they face the fear and do it anyway - They feel a great sense of belonging and connection to the worlds they live in and people they love and care about,
  3. 3. The Age of Athena Presentation, August 2013 ©Sina Wendt-Moore 2013, All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission. - their life has meaning and value So what is leadership?? In my view, at an individual level - leadership really is a decision - a mindset. It is not a title or position. I believe that we can lead, positively influence, serve, call others to action, and create change from wherever we are. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader” John Quincy Adams 6th US President (1825-29) Some of you lead from the front – standing in the very public, external facing leadership roles – others of you work quietly in the background in support - across the various places and spaces of strategic influence. You will see demonstrated a multiplicity of leadership styles and approaches to leadership that are influenced as much by people’s personality as their training, education, life experiences, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, abilities, disabilities, religious beliefs; behind our leadership is a deliciously complex blend of things that makes us unique, including, at our core a whole bunch of values and beliefs drives our purposeful work in leadership. Do you understand clearly your drivers, values and influences? For leaders to serve and lead others we must first lead ourselves - understand ourselves – demonstrate self-intelligent leadership 1 . At a societal, structural level, leadership is about how we behave as a community, society: the behaviours and practices, norms, beliefs we value and celebrate and call ‘leadership’, and that we present and model to the world in the way run our organisations and institutions and engage with each other. I want to ask you to consider 4 questions as I present some ideas and thoughts I have on leadership.  Who are YOU as a leader? What do you value and believe about leadership? What are your strengths/capabilities? Your areas of growth? Do you know?  What behaviours do you value in the leaders you work with, the behaviours you endorse, celebrate, practice and maintain in your leadership practice?  Who does your leadership serve? Who benefits from your leadership? Who is excluded?  How would you describe the leadership culture of Aotearoa New Zealand? The leadership culture that our institutions reinforce, sustain? Last year at Leadership NZ’s inaugural Sir Paul Reeves Lecture, Dame Anne Salmond called for a change in New Zealand’s mindset – she believes that "we are trapped in habits of mind that limit our potential” and that the "quality of our relationships has gone awry". She thinks we need a new kind of democracy, governance, way of leading and living that minimizes the bipolar, binary nature of thinking and old hierarchies.... stop thinking either/or and move to thinking about both/and.... A new leadership that moves away from one dominant culture’s social, religious, political ideology – we must move away from a western mindset. She advocates for a new leadership that celebrates the complex and dynamic networks of relations, that is focussed on collaboration, inclusion and consensus "seeking those points of balance where all is ora/ola - prosperous and well". At Leadership New Zealand our vision is to develop this leadership culture in Aotearoa – a leadership culture that weaves together NZ leaders from across the diversity of our country in courageous conversation about the issues for NZ that matter. We work to build a cross-sector leadership that 1 JOLT Challenge is an award winning experiential holistic programme that helps develop the Self Intelligence needed to create positive, practical and permanent change in all areas of your life. Written and designed by two New Zealand thought leaders, Steve Hill & Wade Jackson, I recommend the book & journal with exercises and tools
  4. 4. The Age of Athena Presentation, August 2013 ©Sina Wendt-Moore 2013, All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission. celebrates diversity, is inclusive, that encourages collaboration for innovation and change, that’s about leaders committing themselves to make a great contribution to improving and building New Zealand. Leadership New Zealand is 10 years old this year and we now have an alumni of some 250 leaders and thousands of other leaders from all sectors of Aotearoa who have engaged with us through our programmes and thought leadership events – a connected network of active leaders; community contributors, who have a broadened leadership mindset, better appreciate the complexities and interconnectedness of society, the world and the challenges we face. Leaders that are open, inclusive, value diversity, are more adaptable and agile, and are willing to engage in courageous conversations that foster new thinking, ideas and a collective vision for our future. Why is this so important? Well Aotearoa is a diverse microcosm of the world (4 th most ethnically diverse country in the world!) and we belong to a fast paced, globally connected, high tech world that is changing at a wicked pace, complex and dynamic. We are faced with challenges never experienced before so we need leaders who can find new solutions and work together in a very different way. James Martin – a futurist - in his book, and movie “The Meaning of the 21 st Century” 2 made a strong case for how we can create a blueprint for ensuring the viability of humanity, ensuring the future. It was his view that the future of humanity rests in this century - that it lies in the hands of the Transition Generation (young people) creating a 21st century revolution. That we need to work with this young generation and enable them to use leverage factors - small and politically achievable actions that have very powerful results to ensure we have a future! He talked about the "catastrophe first" pattern of the previous century. That (despite being forewarned) human beings only react when a huge catastrophe/ crisis occurs e.g. the Black Sea, thalidomide babies, Hurricane Katrina, September 11th, the GFC... We must start using the modelling science that is as available to prevent catastrophes. We must start listening to the scientists and act before it’s too late to prevent catastrophes. He asked what principles are right for this complex and contradictory future? He said we, the leaders, needed to create positive and powerful visions for society - broader visions that encompass diverse possibilities. It’s a time of huge opportunity but also immense mega - multinational challenges. Martin was brutally realistic about the balance on which humanity rests but offers hopeful and practical advice and thinking about how we can ensure the future is positive.... the choice is a human one. David Suzuki, a world renowned scientist and environmentalist and considered by many to be one of the planet’s pre-eminent elders, believes we have a sacred duty to pass onto future generations a world that is richer than the one we came into (He wrote the book "the legacy - an elders vision for a sustainable future"). 3 Leadership is about “Re-imagining our worlds”. The challenge of leadership is to re-imagine our worlds - how we perceive the world, our vision of what must be, our place in it, and the actions we must take. Suzuki says we must “see the world through new eyes”. We must find new ways to live in balance with the sacred elements and create a future rich in joy, happiness and meaning – our real wealth”. Our Leadership New Zealand theme this year is Disruptive Leadership. We are focussed on thinking about the kind of disruptive leadership that New Zealand needs now. What frameworks, initiatives and game changing ideas must we think about today in order to prepare for a long-term sustainable future that looks beyond election cycles, beyond our lifetime… a 500 year, a 1000 year plan? 2 Martin, J. The Meaning of the 21 st Century, Riverhead Penguin, New York, 2007 3 Suzuki, D. The Legacy - an elders vision for a sustainable future. Allen & Unwin, 2010
  5. 5. The Age of Athena Presentation, August 2013 ©Sina Wendt-Moore 2013, All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission. Albert Enstein said “the problems that exists in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that create them”… and Buckminster Fuller said, “to change something build a new model that makes existing models obsolete”. As I thought specifically about what we must do to build women’s leadership I do believe the time is right to really be disruptive! There is a groundswell of conversation, debate and energy driving for gender diversity in leadership in all sectors that is closely being mirrored by a call for broader diversity in leadership (age, ethnicity, and so on) demanding that those who sit at the table – those who hold the formal power, influence, money - reflect and are cognizant of the people served by that organisation, community body, company. That the rules of engagement – our leadership culture – reflects the hearts, minds and souls of all the people. The drive for diversity is not just about being equitable, having equal representation, being fair - this is not a social justice issue – it is about having a breadth and depth of leadership thinking, diversity of life experience and mindset at every level, to enable leaders across companies, organisations, communities to make good decisions for all their stakeholders, the people they serve, to achieve the vision and results they seek – to improve the social, and economic wellbeing of our society. In the words of journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn - Women in the world “hold up half the sky” and the single biggest opportunity of the 21 st century is to remove oppression and create opportunities for women across the world. I believe that the full diversity of women in our country must be at the table having direct input into the decisions that affect us - our communities, and our children - as a matter of imperative. There is growing body of research out there on the barriers and gender biases working against women that are built into our systems, structures as well as substantive research on the tangible benefits of gender diversity in leadership – social, economic, cultural and political – there is no end of proof/evidence for making this an imperative on all levels. So why isn’t it happening? And how do we get really disruptive change and momentum? I think it requires a significant mindset change about what modern leadership needs to look like - I think we need to adopt the Athena Doctrine! What is this Athena Doctrine? Earlier this year a book came out called “The Athena Doctrine - How Women (and men who think like them) will rule the future” 4 . Written by John Gezerma and Michael D’Antonio, it recounts the results of a global research initiative they conducted in 2011 investigating how the world defined ‘traditional’ feminine/masculine qualities, and leadership. As a starter - 66% in global survey of the 13 nations agreed “the world would be a better place if men thought more like women”. Let me tell you more about their work and what the world had to say. John Gezerma manages BrandAsset Valuator – the largest survey panel in the world. Since 1993 they have regularly conducted studies on more than 1.5 million people, in 51,000 companies, in 50 countries. In 2011 they undertook a survey of 64,000 people across 13 countries that represent 65% of the world’s GDP – Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, UK and USA. Countries that reflect a wide range of cultural, geographical, political, religious and economic diversity. 4 “The Athena Doctrine - How Women (and men who think like them) will rule the future” Jossey-Bass, 2013, John Gezerma & Michael D’Antonio. Refer also Athena links given at the end of this paper for overview of research findings, talks by authors etc.
  6. 6. The Age of Athena Presentation, August 2013 ©Sina Wendt-Moore 2013, All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission. Initially the researchers wanted to gauge how people feel about the times we live in – are they optimistic/ pessimistic, secure/vulnerable? Large numbers across all countries (70-80%) were anxious and negative, expressing high levels of distrust / dissatisfaction for organisations, government, the economy along with the behaviour of men – more than 2/3 (global average). People are very frustrated with a world dominated by codes of what they see are traditionally masculine thinking and behaviour – codes of control, aggression, competition, black & white thinking – behaviours that have contributed to the many problems faced today - wars, income inequality, risk-taking and scandal. Nearly 2/3 of people around the world (men and women) believe the world would be a better place if men thought more like women – a belief shared regardless of age, income, nation. Indeed, Millenials – young men & women - agreed strongly. This generation is much more interested in human connection/community – adaptable, flexible, ethical behaviour and diversity – and as a result they are also more hopeful about the future. Defining Masculine and Feminine Traits (ref Athena Doctrine links at the end of this paper) To define masculine and feminine traits the authors did 2 separate studies 1. ½ the people were asked to classify human behavioural traits as Masculine, Feminine or neither. There was very strong consistency across countries. 2. the other half got the same list of words without attribution of gender and asked to rate their importance to certain virtues: leadership, success, morality & happiness Then they statistically compared the samples and saw that across age, gender, and culture people around the world feel that feminine traits correlate more strongly with making the world a better place!! Across the 4 virtues the results were as follows: LEADERSHIP Qualities of the ideal modern leader (many are considered feminine)  A person who is patient, flexible, intuitive, reasonable, passionate, empathetic, selfless, loyal…  Across the globe, people want a more expressive style of leader:  Someone who shares their feelings and emotions openly & honestly.  They want to connect with those in power more personally  They want leaders who will break a gridlock through reason not ideology  A long-term thinker who plans for a sustainable future (not posturing for expediency)  Leaders who are cause driven (not self focussed)  Leaders that are flexible, that listen, build consensus  Decisiveness and resilience (considered more masculine traits) are important but the data highlighted the definition of “winning” is changing o it’s becoming about a more inclusive construct than a zero-sum game! o collaboration & sharing credit are considered more effective than aggression & control SUCCESS, MORALITY, HAPPINESS Over 80% said relationships and respect of others count more than money. 50%+ agreed nice people are more apt to thrive today than people who are aggressive and controlling. People favoured collaboration, kindness and empathy. Morality is strongly associated with feminine traits – loyalty, reason, empathy, selflessness - reflecting society’s outrage over the greed, corruption, self-interest of our times. The same virtues – patience, loyalty, reason and flexibility and shift away from affluence – are defined strongly when people considered happiness. Knowledge/influence are replacing traditionally masculine symbols driven by power and esteem.
  7. 7. The Age of Athena Presentation, August 2013 ©Sina Wendt-Moore 2013, All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission. None of the highly masculine traits – being aggressive, rugged, dominant, arrogant - were amongst the most highly valued… Being decisive and confident (masculine traits) did register as important but were at the bottom of the rankings. What is this feminine Leadership? The type of feminine leadership Gezerma & D’Antonio describe is not squishy or soft…. It is wise and quietly strong. The keys to its success as the world sees it are -  Connectedness o Ability to form and maintain human networks  Humility o An approach to life that allows for listening, learning from others and sharing credit  Candour o A willingness to speak openly and honestly  Patience o A recognition that some solutions emerge slowly  Empathy  A sensitivity to others that promotes understanding  Trustworthiness o A track record and strength of character that inspire confidence  Openness o Being receptive to all people and concepts  Flexibility o The ability to adapt when circumstances require it  Vulnerability o The courage to be human and make mistakes  Balance o A well rounded sense of purpose All these reflect a strength of character that is admirable and noble, and they all require true integrity and confidence. To be vulnerable and connect to others we also must be courageous. Gezerma and d’Antonio felt these qualities resembled the Greek Goddess – Athena. Venerated for her intelligence, skills, civilizing influence and fairness, Athena was a goddess of industry, arts, crafts. She gave the Greeks the olive tree that sustained their economy and culture. When conflicts arose she responded with clever tactics and strategy (unlike her brother Ares who acted in violence). If Athena is the personification of the qualities that suit our times, the ideals she represents can be considered a kind of doctrine guiding us towards effective leadership and success in our work, communities and lives. And although predominantly a feminine set of skills, traits and attitudes - it is a model available and essential for men who hope to thrive in an era of constant change. SO WHAT?? What are the implications for the future of women, business and society? The authors travelled the world and found the change is already underway and the Athena Doctrine is at work in government, business and Not for Profit (NFP) community sectors. From their visits around the world they observed  Athena businesses make profits while creating lasting mutually beneficial relationships with customers, communities  Athena governments serve all constituencies  Athena nonprofits find self-sustaining ways to do good  More developed/established countries are more neutral in their thinking – embracing more feminine values, whereas emerging economies are still more masculine in their orientation.
  8. 8. The Age of Athena Presentation, August 2013 ©Sina Wendt-Moore 2013, All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.  Countries with higher levels of feminine thinking/behaviour also have a higher per capita GDP & higher quality of life Around the world there are many examples of more feminine styles of leadership in action. Much of the NFP sector is feminine in style and focus, and profit isn’t the only measure of success. NFP leaders are typically responsive to human needs, inclusive decision-making, and are creative. We are witnessing this century the rapid rise of the fourth sector – social enterprise - and the fact that GenY & Millenials – men and women leading this emerging sector are demonstrating a much more feminine response to using enterprise to solve wicked problems faced in our world. It is widely agreed that the feminine voice is also the voice of democracy & equality – 2011 UN Assembly – Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff - predicts a century of women that will bring peace and prosperity. 65% of people around the world believe that more female leadership in government would prompt a rise in trust, fairness, and a decline in wars and scandal. And many studies around the world show that as women gain in education, employment, wealth, take leadership – the whole world benefits! CONCLUSIONS in the Age Of Athena We live in a world that is increasingly social, interdependent and transparent. A world in which feminine values are transcendent: cooperation, communication, nurturing, inclusiveness, flexibility, collaboration and caring. A world where the most promising innovators of our time depend on feminine traits and values to make their lives and world better. Gezerma & D’Antonio suggest this is the new operating system of the 21 st century What does this mean for the men? Well it is not the ‘end of men’ – far from it! The research suggests a balancing that vastly increases the capacity of both men and women to solve problems and create a good life. This is not a male vs female issue – it’s about ‘both and’. 81% of people say that men and women need both masculine and feminine traits to thrive in today’s world!! - Men vs Women is not a zero sum game. Men can be as caring as women, and women can be as analytical and assertive as men. Our gender is who we are, not what we can be. We must all see feminine values not as belonging to one gender but as a new form of innovation for today’s world. For centuries our worlds have been dominated by a masculine way of thinking – in the research, men and women challenge the incumbent masculine structures and ways of men, traditional structures, practices, conventions…. And demand a more feminine response. This is about restoring a balance that is fit for purpose in the 21 st century! Embracing feminine qualities is a competitive advantage. The Athena Doctrine is about wise, courageous, humane and cooperative leadership. The essence of modern leadership is feminine. As you reflect on your own leadership style and ask yourself who benefits/who is excluded? How much of this feminine leadership is embedded in your leadership practice? How much are you willing to adapt? The authors encourage us to take confidence in the emerging Athena leadership. Some key components of Athena leadership 1. nurture and empathise – relate to the worlds in which you live and work 2. put others before self 3. promote a positive culture (millennials want their values reflected in their work) 4. inclusive decision making – open/transparent 5. be patient – see and plan for the future… 6. empathy is a catalyst for innovation/growth 7. praise don’t criticize (strengths based ) 8. winning is plural – collaboration/agreement/consensus
  9. 9. The Age of Athena Presentation, August 2013 ©Sina Wendt-Moore 2013, All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission. 9. build cohesion and get things done 10. Fairness prevails 11. Vulnerability is strength 12. Influence not affluence 13. Selflessness – share, build networks, 14. Always learning – agile and adaptive The good news is that the next generation (James Martin’s transition generation) will determine the fate of our planet! This generation is poised to live up to the Athena Doctrine. They are less rigid in their definitions of masculine/feminine and appreciate the full range of human strengths/talents. Social Enterprise business models are about operating business for profit that contributes directly to social good. Social entrepreneurs build their personal values, purpose into their businesses. This is the Athena Doctrine in action. Social enterprise is a new kind of economic engine that serves the need of all stakeholders. A change is also being driven in traditional commercial spheres and industries as businesses seek to engage in a more purposeful way with their customers and stakeholders who a demanding they take a more Athena-like approach to their service, production and impact on broader society. LEADERSHIP NEW ZEALAND - THE NEW LEADERSHIP CULTURE – THE AGE OF ATHENA! After reading this book it reinforced even more for me that the work we are doing at Leadership New Zealand is critical and the values we celebrate and endorse absolutely support this more feminine perspective of leadership. A leadership that is about building and sustaining relationships of influence across the diversity of leaders, sectors, communities. Leadership New Zealand is having some exciting conversations with the younger generation of leaders – helping to build the bridge between generations of leaders to have those challenging conversations about how we lead TOGETHER given the very different lenses we see the world – different value sets, visions and goals. WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP & INTERGENERATIONAL LEADERSHIP Intergenerational leadership is the huge opportunity for building women’s leadership. One of the biggest challenges and conversely the biggest opportunities that I see – especially across my work focussed on developing women’s leadership – is figuring out how across the diversity of the people we live and work with, we can be more inclusive, collaborative, and co-create a leadership future based on the feminine values and traits espoused in the Athena Doctrine? Many of our oldest (women’s) institutions are facing real challenges of legacy, continuity and sustainability because of intergenerational challenges. If we want to build women’s leadership we must focussed on changing the more traditional – and ironically masculine - leadership cultures, hierarchies, systems that constrain, limit and put off a new generation of young women leaders from engaging. Older women across these movements need to review their leadership values, practices, structures, their place and look to what they are doing in bringing the next generation of leaders through. Younger women in their 20’s and 30’s are not future leaders – they are leading today! Many are choosing to work outside traditional work/organisational structures because these places/spaces are not relevant to their needs and values – they are innovating, creating amazing impactful initiatives that are literally changing the world. Others who are still living and working within existing systems do not thrive and are excluded from embracing leadership by the barriers of different mindsets about what leadership needs to look like, by the different value sets that exist, by older women who have pre-set and outdated ideas about what it takes to be a leader! I am observing this happen across many different cultural and ethnic contexts – diverse communities with traditional, patriarchal, hierarchical leadership models that are struggling with modern context of leadership and the role of young people within it.
  10. 10. The Age of Athena Presentation, August 2013 ©Sina Wendt-Moore 2013, All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission. Older leaders need to acknowledge that to face a very new future we do not have all the wisdom that is needed in today’s world, and must draw on the new wisdom of these younger leaders as well as women leaders from across all walks of life. If women can figure out how to work more collaboratively across the diversity of generations, and across the full diversity of all women’s communities and society then taking that practice and driving change into our mainstream male-dominated, mono-cultural, traditional structures and institutions and disrupting those with new design options has got to be easier?! It's so important women from across the full diversity of society... across class, culture, and generations... move into leadership, so those who make decisions, lead change do so with the ability to view the world through different lenses and mindsets, and they challenge themselves to step outside their normal way of seeing and being... our society is not white, middle class, middle aged, monocultural and male! CONCLUSION If we truly want to improve the social and economic wellbeing of peoples in Aotearoa, to enable our children to have the future they deserve, to enable and empower them to be successful we must work across society, across communities and sectors and lead in a different way. We need to re-imagine a world in which a new leadership culture exists. We need to rethink and reshape leadership, and especially what women’s leadership looks like in a contemporary setting. And we must do this in a much more integrated and inclusive way. We can look to the Athena Doctrine and the values espoused for new ways to lead, design programmes of action, involve younger women in leadership roles, and build their capacity and leadership through mentoring and sponsorship. It is people – men and women - that build systems, create structures, develop cultures within organisations – it will take people – men and women with the strength of conviction, courage to be disruptive enough to challenge and status quo and build new cultures and systems – to create a different leadership culture that serves the needs of all people and society in the 21 st century and beyond. The leader for the future is someone who is able to view the world through different lenses and mindsets, who challenges themselves to step outside their normal way of seeing, who can create and connect across the va – the sacred space in between people. These leaders are storytellers and meaning makers who lead with compassion. This new leadership is about leading with integrity, identity and intentionality – balancing heart and head, creativity, spirit and soul, with intelligent collaborative design, drive and focus. I am motivated by an endless sense of what is possible, am more courageous, and an active architect of my life choices. As I enter the next 40 years of my life, I’m working very hard to engender a confidence, optimism, courage and self-belief in the leaders I mentor, the groups and organisations I work with and the communities that I belong to. To be a disruptive force! The 21 st century is the defining age of our times. The challenge to you as you face a world of infinite possibilities is to think about how you will re-imagine your worlds, the worlds you live and work in. To consider and reflect on what your legacy will be…how will you make a difference, create new and better futures, for yourselves, your families, our communities and the planet? Whatever you decide to do, I hope that you lead courageously; you accept and express who you really are….. - That you liberate your passions and convictions, - That you engage authentically with the world - That you create greater integration between your lives and your work - That you weave your own story - more sustaining and meaningful story - That through transforming yourselves, you change the world. I wish you every success with your talanoa over the weekend! Sina Wendt-Moore
  11. 11. The Age of Athena Presentation, August 2013 ©Sina Wendt-Moore 2013, All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission. References: you can get good insights into The Athena Doctrine + key data by going to these links Short overview of key findings and The Athena Doctrine in action around the world. A presentation by John Gezerma about the research John Gezerma talks about The Athena Doctrine Postscript I welcome comments and am happy to talk about any of the ideas raised in this paper. I’m happy for this paper to be shared, disseminated, but if you wish to reproduce any parts of it I’d appreciate you seeking my permission first. My contact details are as follows: FURTHER READING: August 31, 2013 After I wrote this paper I came across these interesting articles – related to this topic that you might like to read.! Talks about the glass ceiling being more of a values filter – that doesn’t just exclude women, but anyone who doesn’t look like those in formal power/at the top. Why do so many incompetent men become leaders? Despite the title it is not a beat up of men, rather it highlights the tendency for us to confuse confidence with competence and we must be aware of how differently we perceive / measure that in men and women. The male author of this blog shows how the gender bias towards masculine traits of aggressiveness, overconfidence being connected somehow to better leadership, actually leads to more incompetent men being promoted into leadership. Perhaps the answer to the gender issue is not about encouraging women to ‘lean in’ and adopt the very masculine characteristics that we know lead to incompetent leadership, but for us to start measuring/valuing competence against the more successful/effective feminine traits and behaviours. HBR Women Rising: the Unseen Barriers Research shows, the authors write, that the subtle “second generation” gender bias still present in organizations and in society disrupts the learning cycle at the heart of becoming a leader. Women must establish credibility in a culture that is deeply conflicted about whether, when, and how they should exercise authority. Practices that equate leadership with behaviors considered more common in men suggest that women are simply not cut out to be leaders. Furthermore, the human tendency to gravitate to people who are like oneself leads powerful men to sponsor and advocate for other men when leadership opportunities arise.