This Mother’s Day, I realized more than ever before where true leadership comes from. Of course, women are well suited for leadership and despite the negative reactions from the males in my management classeswhen I bring up the studies that show women outpacing men in those qualities that make for better leadership. Both male and female students are surprised, as many have thought that men are made for better leadership since there are currently more male CEOs. When I explain the skills needed for leadership where women do better, such as listening skills, motivating others and fostering communication, it begins to make sense to them (as if we needed much research to conclude that women are better listeners!). A number of studies were compiled by BusinessWeek and in one such study of 425 high-level executives, women won higher ratings on 42 of the 52 leadership skills measured.
Moms are influential in how leadership is developed, after all, by the time they enter my principles of management class students have had great training in leadership, much of it learned from their Moms.
A quiet revolution is taking place in medicine, spirit, work and family. Women, who have always been more in touch with healing, spirituality and the divine, have begun to take the lead and reject the poisons that crept into our diets in the last decades. Holistic healing through body movement and holistic therapies in conjunction with Western medicine is becoming more the norm than it ever was, and this revolution has been quietly led by women who want their families to live healthier, safer, longer and happier and more productive lives. I have observed a gathering of women, and the energy and power is obviously irrefutable.
It’s not that men aren’t or can’t be great leaders: many are. But in this age of Aquarius feminine qualities are needed for a world that offers great new opportunities, but has many challenges to overcome. It can’t be business as usual anymore. Much of what we learn and what we have to offer in leadership comes from the learning that we experienced in our homes, from the greatest teacher of them all: our mother.
About the author:
Fernando Pargas teaches management at James Madison University in Virginia. His specialties are international management, interpersonal skills and organizational behavior. He served on the US Chamber of Commerce International Policy Committee in Washington D.C. and the World Federation of Direct Selling. He was Vice President of International for Time Warner Inc., and Vice President of Production and Business Affairs for Time Life Music. Pargas is also the author of “Ending the Male Leadership Myth” and “Stopping Big Business and Politics from Bleeding America,” Published by Beckham Publications Group.