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Personality traits most often associated with women translate to top strategies for business success, says leadership consultant John Gerzema. 

Candor 

“The masculine command-and-control model is becoming increasingly out of place in our very social, interdependent, and transparent world,” says Gerzema. “The job of a leader is not to be a dictator but a facilitator, and to listen to lots of voices. Leaders and managers who possess that kind of openness and candor have the ability to lift people up so that everyone’s voice can be heard. It ultimately improves decision-making because the best ideas are brought to bear.”

 

Vulnerability 

“Today, you can’t read a business article without hearing about how people learn from failure. There’d be more progress if we were better at admitting what we don’t know in the first place. When you ask for help, people align themselves with your needs and come to your aid, which saves both time and money. You could argue that vulnerability is not only an effective leadership trait, but that it’s rooted in pragmatism.” 

 

Empathy 

“Empathy is innovation, and sensitivity to others is a huge catalyst for creativity. So many leaders envision markets, then go out and create needs. But people who really devote themselves to studying the human condition often uncover important underserved markets.” 

 

Connectedness

“Collaboration and consensus-building are really prized in a social economy. Be flexible. Be collaborative. In masculine societies, winning involves stepping on your competitors. But in a world that values connectedness, winning is plural. In working together, we might just get a bigger piece of the pie.”

 

John Gerzema is the co-author of The Athena Doctrine: How Women (And the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future

 

 

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