Women just get it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had this thought after working with a leadership team around the shifting of power happening in the world today.
Historically power has been tightly held by a few, typically men, at the top. But the game has new rules. Today that power is starting to be distributed amongst the people. From individual companies and institutions to states and countries, at all levels of society we’re moving from traditional hierarchical power structures to more flexible fluid empowering networks.
While this transformation is not happening overnight, and in some cases being fought tooth and nail, every single one of us can feel the tide turning. It is quite literally, turning the system upside down.
This disruptive transformation requires leaders to rethink how they approach the art and responsibility of leadership. How they approach engaging and moving people to action. It requires individuals to start to think in terms of “Connect and Collaborate” instead of “Command and Control”.
Unfortunately many of these ideas feel radical to leaders that have grown accustom to leading from the top of the hierarchy in a “when I say jump, you say how high” environment. I can often feel the unease and tension in the room as leaders contemplate their place and approach in this new world. Many simply dig in their heels, deny and deflect.
But do you know who always seem to innately understand this power shift and the strategies needed to capitalize on it; women.
Women leaders are often the first to stand up and say we should be empowering our people in new ways. We should be finding ways to bring more democracy to the process. We should find ways to seek first to understand and then to be understood.
The problem, as you’ll see in the fantastic info-graphic below from fellow futurist Jacob Morgan, women are woefully under-represented in leadership today. The numbers below are tough to swallow but the truth is, if we’re going to create the kinds of organizations that will win in this new world of work, we need strong women to bring their touch to leadership. It’s up to all of us to find ways to inspire, empower, encourage, and support the women in our lives to unleash their full potential on the world. We need them. More than ever.