Remember Situational Leadership? Give Leaders a Break!

Can’t review the original research I cited in April 1st’s post about women’ brains being better suited for leadership because it apparently is in review by an academic journal. We will have to wait. But here is some other research about women as leaders. What do some of you everyday leaders out in the real world think? Maybe you’re not a CEO of a giant processing company, but you may still be a leader: of a medium sized business or not for profit organization, of your department, your team at work, of your extended family, your neighborhood, your church group, the library volunteers.

I’ve stopped taking all the mish-mosh too seriously. E.g. men writing about leaning out happily and letting women do it all and have it all or women writing with humor about should they set up “leaning in” play dates for the pre-schoolers. What about Marissa Mayer CEO of Yahoo’s anti feminist move to females (and males) that there’s no more working from home, meanwhile having her baby in the room next to her office? Here’s a quote from the NYTimes magazine on Easter Sunday. “”Furthermore, as she [Mayer] told PBS, she does not consider herself a feminist because she lacks “the militant drive” and the “chip on the shoulder that sometimes come with that.”

Do you have to be a feminist to be a good leader? Or do you have to NOT be a feminist to be a good leader or does it not matter? Ten years ago  we all were immersed in diversity training where we learn (or at least were taught) to value people who were different than we were. There isn’t a best way for all situations and no one can have it all. Stop the bickering, comparing, competing.

I’m not against or for any of these real or humorous ideas, but  I’m regressing to dejá vu all over again. Remember when situational leadership was in vogue? Depending on the team you’re working with, the project, the company, the leader’s personality, the stage of the project, different types of leadership, delivered at various points seemed to work well. Is that long gone along with early advice that  women need to wear skirted suits and an occasional necktie?

All leaders are problem-solvers and whether they’re men or women working with men or/and women they have to figure out the best approach to solve the big and small problems?  It may not be the solution that would work for us, or even that we would think of, but it doesn’t mean that it’s a bad solution. Give ‘em a break — men and women alike.

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