I have always enjoyed historical biographies about female warriors. What strikes me most was their ability to attack fast and unwavering in a campaign using intuition over tactics to know when and where the enemy was most vulnerable. They took no prisoners and did not even stop to pick up wounded until the battle was won. They were in many ways merciless in getting the task finished.
As Erika Christensen is quoted, “When a woman makes up her mind, she gets what she wants.”
After the battle was won, most of them switched styles to one of nurturing and forgiveness.
A classic and perhaps best known Amazon Queen who reflects this spiraling energetic style was Myrina, who raised an army of thirty thousand foot-soldiers and three thousand cavalries to start her conquests. When conquering the city of Cernê, Myrina was as ruthless as her Greek counterparts, ordering all males from puberty upward to be killed and enslaving women and children.
Some people of a neighboring city were so freaked out that they automatically surrendered their land to the Amazons.
Victorious, she switched styles. Myrina established a friendship with them and founded a city to bear her name in place of the city razed, and in it, she settled both the captives and any native who so desired.
This 180 degrees switching of style befuddles many a man in a close relationship with a woman. Many were the time when I felt like a spinning dervish trying to keep up with Lyn’s feistiness one minute and a loving mood the next. It is one of the things I now miss the most, but my head doesn’t spin on my shoulders like a cartoon character anymore.
These are not sexist comments or gender discussions, and generalization is dangerous. But it is fun to contemplate different energetic styles. These are studies and observations of energy because we all have male and female energies, but we tend to rely on one over the other. Male energy is linear and methodical, which plays out as a ‘tick the next box’ mentality in business. Female energy is said to be spinning and fast, which in business shows itself as rapid adaptability to the same changing circumstances.
For instance, when an issue shows up for the first time, men are more likely to call a meeting to discuss it, whereas women are more likely to fix it immediately.
What fascinates me today is that I now see this spinning energy at play more and more in the business world. It doesn’t take much study to learn that the world’s dominant energy is transitioning from the slow and methodical male to this fast, paced, spinning female one.
More and more, I find myself opposite female leaders, and I have to be prepared to change my approach. They all know the solution before I have even described the issue. Lyn used to roll her eyes with impatience as she waited for me to verbalize something at home that she already knew I was going to raise and for which she had already found a fix.
I find that negotiations are no longer ego battles across a table but a ready-made and fair solution that satisfies once conflicting interests. Even before I click the video meeting link prepared to discuss it, the solution is on the other side of the monitor.
Meetings are getting shorter and shorter. One CEO gives me exactly twenty minutes, and she is watching the clock on her computer. She cuts it off on time… every time. It is so efficient and impressive I have adopted the approach in my oncology company.
Everyone likes it.Say hi. Get to the point. Get off.
I’ve noticed too that events, technology, milestones, operating procedures are all changing at a faster pace. Most times, they are switching 180 degrees from the rules and regulations that have existed for decades. The female leaders at my vendors have a much easier time adapting than the male ones.
In business, we still often need warrior-style fighting skills, which for me includes a strategy for negotiations and contract development, forecasting of supplies to support a launch, and recruitment of contract sales teams who need leadership and direction. It is no surprise that several studies have shown that women make better business warriors than men.
Forbes in 2016 said it like this:
Today’s corporate world may be male-dominated, but companies should take note: Hiring women is good for business. It’s not just about equality; it’s a business case with measurable success. Companies with more women on board tend to outperform companies with more men on board. According to a report by Catalyst, businesses with the most females had, on average, 42% greater return on sales, 53% better return on equity, and 66% greater return on invested capital.
Female energy gets the job done because it is fast-paced and spinning. So why do we not have more women CEOs?
The change is underway.In 2019 only 33 of Fortune 500 companies had a female CEO. In 2020 there were 38. In 2021 so far, there are 41. That is not exactly a trend, but it is a hint at a change.
Worse still is the lack of black female CEOs. In 2019 there was but one, and she was then only an interim position, Mary Winston at Bed Bath & Beyond. In 2021 there are two; Roz Brewer of No. 16 Walgreen’s Boot Alliance and Thasunda Brown Duckett of No. 79 TIAA. And another executive is making history at the helm of the highest-ranking business ever run by a female CEO Karen Lynch of No. 4 CVS Health.
Things are changing, and the pace of change will only increase. Being totally biased because I have been lucky enough to have been inspired by many powerful women, I am thirsty for change.
I don’t, however, want to get left behind, so I am changing my leadership and negotiation styles, trusting my intuition. The best compliment I have heard recently… although it was intended as a criticism… was thrown my way by a frustrated female vendor who said: “You seem to spin with your ideas and decisions all the time these days.”
Maybe I am catching on.Cheers,