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Leadership is Feminine

For most women, when we are invited to study leadership the teachers, scholars, authorities and models are primarily… men. We are indoctrinated from the time we are born that men are the leaders and that natural male characteristics are the strengths you must also possess to be a good leader. Powerful. Strong. Authoritative. Direct. Assertive. Decisive. These and so many more are attributes that are typically associated with the male model of a leader. And so, for the better part of the last one hundred years as women have made their way into the fold, in a variety of leadership roles, we have learned and studied to walk the way of a men to achieve success. Women dismiss their own knowing because we’ve been so indoctrinated in male leadership models. We dismiss what we know for what others tell us to be and how to be seen. There is another way to lead. To be in alignment. To not feel like an imposter. It’s time for the reimagining of leadership. That’s not to disparage any of the progress that has come before us. Progress is progress. For those of us who stand in the footsteps of the women who came before us we are here because of their courage, bravery and resilience. I wonder instead if women equally looked to the characteristics they learned from their mothers for leadership. I wonder if we were taught to lean on different qualities to drive success. I wonder what might happen then? The traditional qualities of mothering are communication, nurturing, listening, strength, support, grace, and yes… love. What if to be the best leader you can be as a woman, you integrated the best of both? This is how women will stand with integrity in their role as leaders. As women, we can be assertive, direct, powerful, and authoritative but we need not only rely on those attributes for success. After 25 years of watching and studying leaders, I can tell you that for sure many traditional male attributes are effective in the short run, but they typically only serve a few. Whereas, when leadership is feminine. When the leader possesses the strengths of femininity and grace the results are for all. This podcast is my like my gentle request and invitation to my fellow female leaders that we reclaim the world leadership as one that is a feminine definition. That we continue to work with all of our allies to build organizations and systems that include more support, collaboration, grace and communication. And that we do so not because we are uncomfortable with the more traditional male-dominating models, but because we truly do know that leadership is a feminine strength and attribute. And the world needs more of us leading. Now more than ever.
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Feb 26, 2024

In this episode of Leadership is Feminine, Kris Plachy challenges the notion of open door policies and their effectiveness in leadership. With her signature wisdom, Kris dives into why simply declaring an open door policy isn't enough to make team members feel truly comfortable approaching you. She emphasizes the importance of being intentional and prescriptive in creating opportunities for engagement with your team.

Kris illustrates the concept by likening an open door policy to inviting someone into your home and how you can best make someone feel welcomed. She urges leaders to provide specific avenues for communication, such as scheduled one-on-one meetings, team lunches, or virtual office hours. Emphasizing the need for proactive engagement, Kris encourages leaders to initiate interactions, particularly with team members they might not know well.

The episode emphasizes that the responsibility of creating a welcoming and approachable environment falls on the leader. Kris discusses the need for leaders to set boundaries and expectations while still being accessible and engaging. She highlights the importance of making team members feel comfortable and valued, ultimately shaping a healthy and productive workplace culture.

There's a mantra that says ‘You first’. And I really think that's true for leaders. You have to go first. You have to initiate what engagement looks like.

Key Takeaways From This Episode

  1. Open Door Policy Misconceptions: Exploring the reasons why open door policies may not be effective

  2. Creating Welcoming and Effective Communication Structures: Specific examples of ways to engage with team members

  3. Communication Strategies Leaders Can Use With Team Members: Suggestions for remote or virtual team engagement

  4. Encouraging Leaders to Take the Initiative In Engagement: Taking a look at how leaders can be more approachable

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