What is Feminine Leadership?
As an expert in Feminine Leadership, I’ve been asked what exactly Feminine Leadership means. Of course, on first glance it seems to mean women in leadership, which of course it can mean. But that is not the full meaning.
Feminine leadership is another one of the 21st century leadership models emerging out of the old, hierarchical, top-down, control leadership model. Just like service leadership, Indigenous leadership, team, collaborative or mission-oriented leadership, Feminine leadership focuses on a well-rounded, healthier approach to business and community.
According to Bill George’s article in the Harvard Business Review, “In the 21st century, the most successful leaders will focus on sustaining superior performance by aligning people around mission and values and empowering leaders at all levels, while concentrating on serving customers and collaborating throughout the organization.” (Bill George, Harvard Business Review)
Many innovative and service-oriented leaders are changing the leadership paradigm because the focus has moved from pleasing shareholders to making the customer or consumer happy. Feminine leaders are no different. They show up in the world with integrity, creativity, and a willingness to collaborate and communicate.
But even more importantly, Feminine leaders have emotional intelligence. They use their skills in emotional expression, communication and implementation to raise and diffuse any situation. Emotional intelligence is quickly becoming “twice as important than cognitive ability in terms of distinguishing competencies.” In Daniel Goleman’s book, Emotional Intelligence, he says there are four parts to his emotional intelligence model: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. This is where trailblazers in Feminine Leadership will stand out.
“It is time for Mother Earth, women, children, water, and all the qualities of the Feminine to be held in esteem once again.
— Andrea Menard
7 Qualities of a Feminine Leader
If we were to explore what a good Feminine Leader looks like. I’d say she or he has or displays these 7 qualities:
1. Feminine Leaders take responsibility for their feelings and emotional triggers.
2. They listen to their feelings and intuition for guidance on what is or is not working in any environment.
3. Feminine Leaders practise deep listening.
4. They no longer believe that consciously expressing their feelings at work, in a conference call, or in a boardroom is weak.
5. Feminine leaders believe in the interconnectedness of all things and that their choices affect everything else.
6. They have strong empathic abilities that keeps them connected and accountable to their fellow human beings.
7. Men and women who practise Feminine Leadership are efficient in recognizing when some choice is harmful to a person, a community or to Mother Earth. And they choose not to act upon that choice.
Where do we go from here?
Is Feminine leadership going to replace other acceptable forms of leadership? Not at all. It is here to help us rebalance our lives and our world. For too long Feminine qualities have been disallowed, diminished and demonized in all aspects of masculine-dominated systems and structures. Humanity cannot continue to live this way. We are seeing a surge in Feminine leaders because the world needs us.
According to my Cree and Anishnaabe Elders, humanity is entering the time of the “Rise of the Sacred Feminine.” This means, it is time for Mother Earth, women, children, water, and all the qualities of the Feminine to be held in esteem once again.
Maybe those men, women, and Two Spirits who display Feminine Leadership skills are following this Sacred call. However they come to emerge as leaders, the world will someday regard them as forerunners of a new paradigm.