Why We Need More (Women) Leaders – Nancy Dearman

Beautiful Latina Woman Smiling

There’s been a lot of talk this past year about why more women don’t become leaders. About what our society needs to change to produce more female leaders. There’s even been some discussion about why women are better leaders than men in some arenas.

Often overlooked is this basic reality: what the world needs is more leaders, of whatever gender or any other characteristic. We need more leaders at every level in every kind of organization — businesses, government, schools, neighborhood and professional associations, unions, religious entities, and charitable institutions.

With change, crisis, and complexity coming at us faster and faster from all directions, we dare not depend on just a few to lead us and we dare not eliminate any group of people from the opportunity to lead others to a better future.

John Kotter defines leadership as “creating a vision of the future and strategies for producing the changes needed to achieve that vision; aligning people around the vision; and motivating them to overcome barriers and produce the changes needed to achieve the vision.”

How many people acting in these ways does the world need?

Millions.

And they need to come from everywhere.

In today’s organizations, we need to unlock the leadership potential within so those who want to lead, get to. From the senior information technology official who knows that her department can be a better partner for the business, to the first-shift line worker really irritated that her shift can’t seem to match the productivity of the third shift, we have seen that under the right circumstances, leaders will step forward to make a difference.

What are the right circumstances?

A culture where the vision for the future is clearly understood throughout the organization. A culture where people are invited to step forward to help advance the vision in small and big ways. A culture where good-faith efforts that don’t work out are seen as bigger barriers to tackle, or a reason to re-examine the goals, rather than as a failure that must be punished. A culture where transparency is the norm, barriers to progress are shared, and people are asked to help knock down those barriers. A culture where wins, both large and small, are widely celebrated. A leadership culture, where one seldom hears the phrases, “That’s not your job,” or “That’s not my job.”

Read Full Article via Why We Need More (Women) Leaders – Nancy Dearman – Harvard Business Review.

More than a quarter century in business Jim Woods successful clients speaks to his solid reputation for groundbreaking work and targeted results in the areas of leadership training, organizational development, executive development, executive coaching and front-line employee development.  Learn more. 

Thank you for sharing this article. Jim 

About

Jim Woods is president of The Jim Woods Group. A management consulting firm. Go here to see his work www.jimwoodsgroup.com. He advises and speaks to organizations large and small on how to increase top line growth in times of uncertainty and complexity. Some of his speaking and consulting clients include: U.S. Army, MITRE Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Whirlpool, and 3M. See more at his website www.jimwoodsgroup.com.

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