Women Rule The Hero’s Journey in Paris By Peter de Kuster www.theherojourney.com In this journey through Paris we acknowledge that a new world is emerging. But we retain also here our male – inspired, male – dominated hierarchies. Our story, and our way of thinking continues to be male – inspired. We recognize women’s rights. But we ignore women’s strengths. We value “toughness”. But we fail to see that woman’s story of toughness is far more “steely” than men’s. We preach the value of a new kind of enterprise. But we neglect those who are perhaps most fit to lead it. Namely: hiring women. “Paris is a Woman”
I imagine a new epoch in which we all (men as well as women) honor, reward, and take advantage of women’s extraordinary strenghts. An entrepeneurial story that views women as much of the answer not only to the “talent challenge”, but also to the “leadership” challenge. A world in which this Hero’s Journey story in Paris is Totally Unnecessary. We will always have Paris ……. Women!! There is a Great War for Talent. Great Talent is in short supply. And the supply will get even shorter… as the Age of Creativity accelerates. And accelerate it will. So can we afford to ignore half (or slightly more than half) of our store of potential Heroes?
Well…. NO. If we are serious about the pivotal role that talent plays in the New Economy… then the connection in our minds between between “talent” and “leadership” and “women” must become automatic. Female heroes outshine their male counterparts in past and present of Paris. Joan of D’Arc: Female heroes outshine their male counterparts La Difference My core argument is really quite simple: 1. Talent is ever more important 2. Our stock of male leaders fails to match the needs of times. 3. Women are a woefully neglected source of talent (especially leadership talent). 4. Women and men are different: La Difference 5. Women’s strengths match the leadership needs of the New Economy – to a startling (and significant degree). 6. Ergo, women must play a huge part in the “talent” challenge.
It’s a Women’s World Men and women are different when it comes to their stories of the world. Perceiving the world and acting on it. 8 Femmes: La Difference Simply put, then. There is a set of attributes, more commonly found in women than in men, that match the requirements of the new world of The Hero’s Journey Experiences. Here is my short list of such attributes: • Women practice improvisation skills with much greater ease than men. • Women are more self determined and more trust sensitive than men. • Women appreciate and depend upon their intuition more than men do. • Women, unlike men, focus naturally more on empowerment (rather than on power”) • Women understand and develop relationships with greater facility than men. One difference in particular throws a spotlight on why the New Economy favors women. Namely: Women are far less “rank – conscious” than men.
Guys like rules. They like commanding and controlling. They like “knowing their place). They like hierarchical structures and the certainties associated herewith. Such structures exist not just because of organizational needs, but rather because hierarchy and male thinking go hand in glove and because men
have always (until now) dominated organisations. But all of that is changing. The “organizational needs” of new enterprise are increasingly consonant with the female side of La Difference. Women love to talk. Men talk silently to themselves. Women multitrack Women are indirect. Men are direct. Women talk emotively, men are literal. Men listen like statues. Boys like things, girls like people. Boys compete, girls cooperate. Men hate to be wrong. Men hide their emotions. The Pointe? All Men Out? Okay, enough Big Stories. What’s the practical, actionable upshot of all this for your company? How about this one: Fire all male salespeople I’m only kidding. More or less.
Consider: “Take this Quick Quiz. Who manages more things at once? Who puts more effort into their appearance? Who usually takes care of the details? Who finds it easier to meet new people? Who asks more questions in a conversation? Who’s a better listener? Who has more interest in communication skills? Who is more inclined to get involved? Who encourages harmony and agreement? Who has better intuition? Who works with longer “to do” lists? Who enjoys a recap of the day’s events? Who’s better at keeping in touch with others?” (The answer to each of these questions is … as you’re not suprised to learn: WOMEN). Now obviously I don’t counsel firing all male salespeople. But I do advise you to think about what makes a great sales force. What qualities go into … not just making the sale but making and maintaining the kind of ongoing relationships that yield ongoing business?
Toward a Talent Revolution Elevating women into the positions where they deserve to be… and where they will add real bottom line value isn’t easy. Winning the War for Women: Sometimes It Takes a Revolution. Was Is Competition Cooperation Rules Relationships Unitasking Multitasking Issuing orders Asking questions Rigid claims Subtle cues Yes, sir Thank you Conquest Communication Management Empowerment Command and control Connect & cajole Information: need to know Information: want to share Women in “support” roles Women in sales and leader positions