Updated: Jan 9
2020 marks the start of a new decade. New perspectives arise. New advantages are reported over the last decade regarding the empowerment of women. However, are we truly listening to men and women together as to what is really happening and what is desired by each party?
Who is charge? Will men ever relinquish the reigns as we register that the majority of corporations are run by men? (there are only around 30 female CEOs in the top Fortune 500 companies in the US)
Are we closing the gap and making the most of women's current achievements? As more and more women advance to the top of business, and appointed to previous ‘men only’ positions, we may be cracking the gender equality code; however are most men ready to open their hearts and minds to 50-50 working with women to co-run the business world?
Is it possible to create greater synergy with men and women leading business together? Or will nothing change until the old guard passes away?
Observing the last three decades, I believe women are ready, the change is happening, the numbers shifting. Yet the transformation still falters and is slow. Why is the obvious synergy lacking when we have all the parts available and an increasing number of stories of 'women firsts'? Maybe women are not hearing what men want and what their resistance is all about?
It’s “The Synergy Paradox”
What are we talking about?
A good place to begin might to provide the reader with the definition of the word synergy which should then, by default, provide greater understanding of its use in the title of this paper.
syn·er·gy (noun) the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.
Okay. Now that we know what it means, perhaps we can get a better idea of what that implies regarding what is – or is not - going on in the world today. The continuing debates and arguments erupting over “not enough women in the boardroom” is exacerbated by the simultaneous desire that women exhibit relative to climbing the corporate ladder to the heights their qualifications can – and should – take them. This has generated the need for a synergistic conversation that is long overdue and that must now be shared.
It is paramount that we bring fresh, new perspectives to the table which includes both an ability and a willingness to look at the future with new eyes and to listen deeply … not just hear … in order to gain greater understanding but to bring about systemic change. The significance of such a conversation speaks to both the growth requirements of business as well as meeting imperatives in a social context. The main landscape of the territories we have played on for decades, centuries even has been profit focused, operationally focused and market centered. The Business Roundtable signing in New York 2019 , for the first time, acknowledged that PEOPLE are as important as PROFITS a significant step towards looking at business differently. https://www.businessroundtable.org/business-roundtable-redefines-the-purpose-of-a-corporation-to-promote-an-economy-that-serves-all-americans
At this juncture, we have the potential to create - through the full integration of both men’s and women’s respective talents and especially in co-leadership of a globe that is half male and half female in it's demographic spread across generations – the foundation for a robust, responsive and well-balanced economy through the meaningful use of ALL of the talent that is now bubbling up on both sides of the male = female equation. It may not be the whole solution however it is a key part of the change we need in business today. Maybe a new equation will help men to understand the current waste of talent in Executive/Boardroom levels.
WOMEN “:=” MEN
With the arrival of a new decade, we have the opportunity to finally get things right. In 2020 we can show the world that we can all achieve perfect vision! The symbol ":=" is defined to read "equal by definition", and is used to define letters or symbols used to refer to commonly occurring objects. Statements involving the symbol ":=" are always assumed to be true. The truth is, there has never been two more commonly recurring objects than a man and a woman.
Men and women have complementary attributes and talents that are very natural to them, making it not only possible to initiate a synergistic approach to problem solving through meaningful collaboration, but an opportunity to develop an optimal approach in terms of exploring life issues collectively. Equal does not mean same.
It seems we do not hear each other easily. Sometimes it works, depending on the diversity of the men and women players engaged, their understanding their true natural value, engaging from an authentic base line of being themselves and women not trying to emulate or emasculate men, or men controlling women at work according to their rules.
Nerves have become raw over the period of #metoo and pressure from empowerment groups to appoint women because of quotas or mandates.
What is lost in translation everyday is through lack of a basic awareness of our valuable differences and the need for recognition of the new landscapes of business today that need both masculine and feminine, male and female influences.
THE PAST IS PAST
With this on the horizon, we persist in disputing gender diversity and gender sex-related issues; our differences and similarities; abusive struggles and tender passions; our biological and emotional make-up. The mix is potent. Life and business is at a new personal/professional intersection in our digital connected, educated, developed and developing empowered world. Business growth is essential, global market shifts threaten the western world, and income and personal freedom, women's rights and equality for all have influenced the battleground of the sexes. This merger of business and life has largely been influenced by 3 factors; 1)technology and our now digital world, 2)entrepreneurial mindset and the growth of new enterprises and new industries, 3) the advance and empowerment of women in business and to be in those top roles alongside men.
This last factor is the least obvious as a PLUS POINT for men, as for many it feels it may push them out of the game. This is the paradox, it's the solutions to many issues and yet not taken on board literally because too many men at the very top of global business corporations hold the roles in a locked system. The synergy of men and women leading together is the major key in manifesting great bonuses in business and resolving the battleground scenario about profit v people. The situation is shifting more in entrepreneurial arenas and industries. However this topic is so mixed up with the biases, stereotypes and resistances set up to control the gender status quo of the last centuries, that limitations placed on 'gender matters' over centuries has made it almost taboo to say it's as simple as balancing the numbers. Today's arguments cover a wide range of gender matters that get lost in translation. Surely the core issue is "why are men and women not naturally drawn into co-working leadership roles (almost like parenting roles)?" The balance of women at work is occurring in the main body of businesses today and often with more women than men employed in the main workforce (up to 74% female some cases led by all male leadership). It is in leadership we need to shift the awareness and the reality of today's lifestyle and business requirements merger.
Our innate abilities to understand and to lovingly and intelligently grow a good balance of male and female leaders together needs to be discussed regarding future possibilities. Each player makes a contribution to life and business that is now needed to sustain a changing global economy. At a local, national and international level, the combination of men and women of varying types engaging in the main reasons for economic sustainability and growth, lifestyle and wealth, may be the answer to drive the best results. There are new territories to co-lead - changes not merely due to the digital technological shifts but social media and millennial market pressures, consumers being mainly female, products desired and global trade resources impacting us all.
Throughout all of these changes, there is a growing demand to supply lifestyle needs and meaning to life at work that have nor existed in previous generations. Feelings and emotions count, for men and women alike, and the beauty of life honored and cossetted within the desire to thrive. Simon Sinek talks of 'waiting until the old guard dies' as he inspires younger generations to be infinite in their mindset, his book The Infinite Game, shares the approach to business. I admire his work and agree with the approach to be people focused, flexible, accountable, open minded, self-expressive, sharing and creative. This is a Corporate Heart approach to business, where people matter, and enthusiasm is a core value of the operation success. If we allow toxic cultures to stay, we risk increased anger, frustrations, ill-health and dying economies as well as people. I don't want to wait for the old guard to die off....
Should we not aim to shift things faster (being 70 myself)? Surely we can find the wise leaders, like me, who see the shift needed and are willing to champion the systemic change we need to match the best men and women for the roles together?
What else is life about? Whether in happy times or through painful experiences, our relationships with one another always rise to the surface. Engaging with each other at work matters, it impacts the rest of our lives too...Whether it is women attending a simple get-together, men meeting their contemporaries at a sports bar, or a mixed group of men and women congregating for whatever reasons - whether in a work environment or a social setting - we create the world we live in. When we observe the current situation in corporate global economies, men are the majority rulers, leaders, shareholders and controllers of our world. I want men to continue leading however with a wise inclusive style that gives equal value to women as co-leaders. In this I am focused on the equity, the balance and the co-creation of a future that we all can own, be responsible and influence from today.
Whatever role we are playing, we are fundamentally social humans, unique at birth yet born into a socialized setting via our unique situations.
While each of us is a human beings with a biology defined by our chromosomes at birth, we gain greater definition as we grow, choose a career path and accede to social responsibilities.
You may be in business at one level or another. You live and socialize in various communities. You relate, identify, interact and assent or dissent with one other regularly. Regardless of your sexual identity … heterosexual, homosexual, transsexual, bisexual, pansexual or other … your genetics are the result of the countless combinations borne by the eggs and sperm from our unique list of donors … our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, our great, great-grandparents and so on. Your behavior patterns are learned but your natural instincts and innate talents are born with you. What and who we become as we mature is the culmination of our life experiences, as well as the decisions and choices we make. It is also of our own making as enlightened humans who can make choices as life evolves and influences are absorbed.
Whether male or female biologically, there is a range of masculine and feminine traits natural at birth that add to your personality and this dynamicpositioning can influence the way you both perceive and act in your life. I have studied this in thousands of clients over 30 years and observe the base patterns we inherit at birth. The boundaries of stereotypes has clouded our natural gifts.
You may be raised to behave in certain ways based upon your obvious biological indicators at birth. What is just as obvious is this: Today there are those who feel their innate sense-of-self runs counter to a not-so-obvious biological identity and personality preferences. Parents dressed us in certain ways, nurtured, loved, teased and/or perhaps even abused us based upon a gender biology pattern. This is only one issue of the myriad social issues currently under discussion today with all cultures, within LBGTQ communities, within generations and all aspects of diversity. I have worked with clients across this spectrum and most industries and in 3 major continents of difference, the UK, Asia Pacific (Malaysia) and USA. People are people, men and women, of all types, make the world work.
My focus within all other diversity labels is "why is there still inequality of male and female leadership in our economic/social structures across the world"? My belief is that once we create the balance of masculine and feminine energy, the yin-yang of our human existence, we will creatively cope with all other issues. Women need to be women and not emulate men in order to gain the top roles. Men need to be men, and honor women's qualities in top roles. Both parties need to observe the benefits of diversity across gender, generation , sexual orientation, ethnicity and culture - especially honor the range within each gender biology, masculine-minded females like me, or a more feminine-minded female like my sisters. Likewise with men.
DO WE HAVE ENOUGH EVIDENCE?
Countless books have been written offering varying theories regard the similarities and – more particularly – the essential differences between the male and female of what we know as humans. They also delve into the way that men and women interact. We have learned that – according to some - men are from Mars (natural warriors, heroes, etc., etc., etc.), and women are from Venus (each a Goddess to be revered for their beauty and so on). We know too that left-brain activities are largely considered masculine by nature just as right-brain activities are deemed feminine. Our fascination with these subjects is well founded because they are rooted in the sex of the biological entity, which is core to our intimate existence of each other.
The initial aspect of who we are is based upon sex. “Is it a boy or girl?”, we ask one another when we learn of a new birth. As we - a new arrival on planet earth - grow and mature, we discover that we learn in different ways, we relate to family and friends in different ways, we decide whether we like or dislike outcomes and we find our relationships bound by the choices we make along the way. During our life journey we learn how our masculine and feminine energies and activities impact not just one, but all relationships. Books on the subject attempt to document fluctuations … the ebb and flow of dominion, one over the other … first male then female and back again; the mystical rules and codes that have intrigued philosophers, academics, scientists, and spiritual gurus alike. Knowledge resides in our conscious mind with lesser facts and trivia stored in our unconscious mind, proofs that can be tapped into instinctively. One’s DNA manifests itself in other ways too … our bone structure and our brain patterns can help decipher why we act, respond and relate in the ways we do.
#Who's in Charge? The #RealSynergy of Men and Women 2020 will be published by Best Selling Author. Dr Pauline Crawford-Omps "Magical Conversations Transforming Conflict into Collaboration" is out on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Magical-Conversations-Discover-Transforms-Collaboration/dp/0578436248
OUR GREATEST CHALLENGE
My study and work with clients is to enable good behavior to be the norm. Great communication, clarity of understanding, easy translation capability, mutual respect, motivated people, and excellence in performance. As corporations grow, this becomes the greatest contributing factor... people matter, lives matter, results matter.
Of course we must ask "what is good behavior between men and women"? We know when it is toxic, it offends, damages and kills people and profits.
How can we – intelligent, sensible and prudent men and women of the world - co-create a new, synergistic, optimal plan that is inclusive of all human resources whether involved in professional, domestic and personal pursuits?
How do we live, love, work, play, build, grow, nurture and protect one other as we attend to all needs in this world that has been left in our care?
First and foremost, we must get out of our own way before the world fractures and splinters into warring factions.
What we now need is to open ourselves up to all possibilities, not just those that we choose to recognize. Further, we need the understanding, compassion and honesty required to acknowledge and accept another’s differences; their consciousness, nature, essence and personality be it:
The simple paradox mentioned at the outset is this:
We know what synergy fusion is - men and women are made to work together - and we know that each of us has the power to act and interact synergistically. Maybe we have forgotten that this is natural value creation? Why don’t we act as if?
The riddle is within us. It’s within me. It’s within you. And the good news is: Each of you is my companion on this life’s magical journey.
By valuing similarities and differences, knowing where we are on the map and through #magicalconversations rooted in mutual trust, respect and above all … love … we can connect and collaborate … and isn’t that synergy?
Using the Corporate Heart International approach with #genderdynamicsmap, a #relationalcommunicationsystem and #magicalconversationsformula, all is possible when #menandwomenworkwithsynergy #RealSynergy2020
Book is THE POWER OF AUTHENTIC HARMONY