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Now who should be the boss?

18 April 2012, 08:29

By “boss” I am referring to our top leaderships posts such as President, Prime Minister and Chief Executive.

My humble opinion is founded on evidence garnered over 45 years working experience and interaction involving organizations in four regional countries and top management of US$multi billion entities in the  UK, the US, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

I have no hesitation in saying; in insisting, that “the boss” should be a woman.

For starters, who are we kidding? Surely it is blindingly obvious that anything that can grow another human being in its stomach, produce it perfectly formed, and survive, is clearly biologically superior to the male species?

As regards intellect I don’t think there is any dispute that this is now a non issue. Women are, at least, just as smart as men. No one is arguing to the contrary.

That leaves us with the “soft”, but critically important, issue of emotional intelligence.

I had two female bosses during the early part of my career, in the 60s, even though, at that time, women in leadership roles were as scarce as hens' teeth. Later I worked with males and females at the highest level of my sector, both as colleagues and subordinates.

If I am to rate the females at say 100%, I would rate the males at between 55% and 70%, i.e., that the fairer sex is at least 25% better at functional leadership than us males. In my respectful view their superiority as bosses is as high as that.

So why and what is the difference?

To simplify something that could occupy a book, the central difference appears to be that of ego, not the brash overpowering “bully boy” insistence of being top dog, but an ever present insistence on acceptance and dominance. Howsoever subtle, this insistence is always there, as one side of coin whose other side is the acting out insecurity.

Typically the “new” male boss is “suspicious” of existing top management. Stratagems are employed to determine “loyalty”. Loyalty means a kind of personal reverence for the boss, not a fierce commitment to functional integrity.

Perhaps the worst failing is that the “new” male boss actually imagines that his competence is “overarching”, encompassing all aspects of the entity’s functional areas. This attitude has unfortunate consequences for those who actually “know more than the boss” as regards their operational spheres. If such knowledge is ever displayed, especially in the presence of the now sycophantic “sheep” that surround the boss, that functionary is a gonner. The “glue” that holds this group together is the boss’s testosterone.

The 3rd Reich and its “Heil Hitler” mode is the quintessential example of what I mean.
So a culture of "agree, disagree, agree to disagree ... in a climate of mutual respect" is not embraced by the male boss. Women don't feel threatened by any form of discourse. Resolving things conversationally is as natural to them as breathing.

Put simply, and colloquially, the male boss needs to have the biggest balls in the house, even if he got the job in terms of a now very common strategy that has only a nodding acquaintance with actual merit. This kind of boss is the worst, and I suspect, explains why we have so many terrible failures, especially as regards public sector entities.

Not content with office dominance, he also needs to be a “big fish” in the sea outside, so that he can be a “man among men” and establish “his legacy”. Stratagems include “capacity building” as a priority, which is a euphemism for “empire building”, leading to bloated bureaucracies. “Lean, mean” modeling is anathema. “Branding” (attention seeking) assumes precedence over “communicating”, which latter precious commodity women are far more concerned with.

All of the above ultimately affects the operational culture and mode of the relevant entity. With a man the climate has a “combative” chill. Under a woman it has an “engaging” aroma. Male dominance inhibits human creativity, something women are naturally adept at.  

If I had my way I would ensure that on the day that the boss takes up his post, he undergoes IQ and aptitude tests in direct competition with all staff, and the results posted on the entity’s notice board. This “chastening” experience will be good for us males, in particular, and force us to accept a few things about ourselves and the people we lead.

The goal will change from “dominance” by the boss to acceptance that "others must lead" in their functional areas.

As said, the above is a summary of a huge topic that, to my mind has a very simple answer. A woman should be the boss.

Having said that, I must confess that the two best bosses I have ever met comprised one male and one female. The former was the CEO of a company called First Colony in the US. The latter was an Irish nun, Sister Mare Nugent,  who was our headmistress in 1960. The lady was light years ahead of her time, introducing sex education and social skills at our school, concepts that the whole world was still decades away from even conceiving.

In closing I must proffer some good advice to newly wedded husbands, based on 35 years of happiness in marriage. It is simple. If you want to be happily married, let the wife “be the boss”. To insist otherwise is to invite a long unhappy life of frustration because you simply can’t win this one. Women are incredibly resourceful and they will muster the children, other family members, the pets … everyone and everything onto their side. Supper won't taste so good ... worst still your boudoir experiences will deteriorate …the magic that only a woman can give will be replaced by "make quick, I wanna watch Desperate Housewives"

If you let her be the boss, you will loved by her and all others in the family. You will also be thoroughly spoilt, to the extent of being bathed by her in wonderfully prepared scented water …even when she is not talking to you.

Of cause I could be wrong. 
I doubt it. 
Just look at how buggerred up this male dominated world is.


Now why didn't Obama let Hilary take over the mess?

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