Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A Tough One: Are you Likable? Do You Have To Be?

Jennifer Warwick has written a terrific post, Like Me...Like Me Not.

It's a tough one for me to read. As she anticipates, there are people who are going to want to "rail against" the fact that "research shows that women gain influence in groups by being friendly, cooperative, confident, considerate, and non-confrontational", and I just might be one of those people.

Just yesterday a woman was trying to counsel me about the difference between "assertive" and "aggressive", a woman! And I was in no mood. I honestly felt like she had been brainwashed by going too many rounds up against the old "a man is a go-getter; a woman is a bitch" straw man.

The thing is that I think I am pretty considerate and nice. People often think I'm good at networking, and it's because I genuinely like most people, and like to keep in touch.

But there's something about feeling like the requirement is different for women than for men that sets my teeth on edge.

Jennifer's post is a good reminder to me to just step back, take a deep breath and...get. over. it.

So, read it.


Jennifer Warwick uses the word "jerks" in her article.

I am convinced that much of what Warwick says in her piece applies to men as well. Warwick indicates that many of her clients were temporarily rewarded by being Jerks, but that in the long-term it has become a liability.

This happens to most men as well. A tyrant creates his own field of enemies both within his organization and outside his own organization. Trying to run your organization as if you were an Alpha male in a pack of wild animals means that you have to constantly fight off those who want to take your place.

If you really want to succeed and create an organization which is loyal to you and which truly respects you, aggresiveness is not the answer.

See if your local library has a copy of the book (or if they can borrow it from another library for you) entitled, "The Power Principle: Influence With Honor" by Blaine Lee.

Some of the "Head Honchos" who endorsed this book include:
Philip J. Carroll, Shell Oil
Jack Little, Shell Exploration & Production Co.
Mac D. Heavener, Jr. ERA Realty
John Scully, Pepsi & Apple
Douglas R. Conant, Nabisco US
James E. Ferrell, Ferrellgas
Frances Hesselbein, Peter Drucker Foundation
Archie Dunham, Conoco

Other Endorsers include:
Stedman Graham
Mark Victor Hansen
Jack Linkletter
Candace Lightner
Steve Young
Larry King
Thanks James. For those of you who are interested, here's the link to the book on Amazon.

I tend to agree that ultimately men, as well as women, will fail, when their leadership style is tyrannical, dictatorial, or fear-based.

I also tend to think that it will take longer for a man with that leadership style to fail than a woman.

Purely gut feeling based on personal experience and observation though. No actual stats/surveys to back it up :)
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