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When Women Lead Like Women

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People-Centered: Businesses and organizations often say they are people-centered because it sounds shallow to say anything else. But when you look at the day-to-day operation of those organizations, are people really at the center or is the task at hand the driving force?

A friend of mine worked at a large church that prided itself on being a ministry first and foremost. They said they believed all of their employees were family and should be treated as such. After hearing about her experiences there, you couldn't pay me to be part of a family like that! This church expected their employees to be essentially on-call all day every day, yet work for less money than a shift manager at McDonalds. When my friend had a family emergency and needed to be out of town for a few weeks, she was not only told there was no way she could take extra vacation time (she offered to take unpaid leave) but that she needed to stick around because the church had it's annual fall kick-off coming up and needed her help.

Women bring an instinctive sense of how to put people first to just about everything we do. That instinct can serve us well in leadership - as long as we don't squelch it with the false belief that tasks are more important.

Outward Focused: It's easy for an organization to become so myopic that it can no longer achieve what it set out to do. But women tend to look outward by nature. We have an innate understanding of what other people need and will work hard to make sure they get it. It's good old women's intuition at work! We don't lose track of what we're doing or why we're doing it because we are good at pushing the focus off of problems and seeking out solutions. Instead of getting stuck in the details - a sign of inward focus–we are able to see the big picture and find our way into the clear.

So there's my three cents on the issue. Tell me, what do you think women bring to leadership that's unique to who we are and how God wired us?

September12, 2008 at 6:52 PM

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