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Integrated Leadership (42)

Integrated Leadership: Asking the Right Questions

The Integrated Leadership model embraces and leverages the strengths of both male and female leaders. As mentioned in my last post, Integrated Leadership: Building on the Benefits, recent research revealed that its not brain differences that are behind the diverse approaches each gender takes when it comes to thinking, communications, and problem-solving.

Instead, such differences may be based on social experiences and other factors that women and men experience. Regardless of why there may be gender-based nuances in problem-solving approaches and decision-making/communication styles, when organizations adopt a more gender-balanced approach to leading others, there is a significant, positive effect: better business outcomes.

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Integrated Leadership: Building on the Benefits

There are many reasons to foster an Integrated Leadership culture—one that values, leverages, and blends the strengths of both women and men—in your organization. Gender-balanced leadership perspectives can lead to a wide range of benefits at the organizational, team, and individual levels.

The latest research published at the end of 2015 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences tells us that men and women are not always different when it comes to thinking, communications, and problem-solving. However, studies have found that the diversity of strategies and approaches often seen between men and women go beyond gender and genetics.

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Building a Business Case for Integrated Leadership

In my last post, “Why We Need Integrated Leadership”, I discussed several reasons why companies need to begin moving toward a more balanced, integrated approach to leadership. I explained how in our ever more complex and connected world, organizations no longer have the luxury of failing to tap into the full capacity of their leadership team. We need all voices on deck to create a unified and integrated group of leaders who can leverage each other’s unique strengths, while integrating both the practical and creative insights of different perspectives.

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Why We Need Integrated Leadership

Not long ago, the CEO of a well-known IT company told me over coffee about losing a woman on his executive team who got hired away by another firm. The CEO (let’s call him Dan) explained that this female executive had been the “voice of the customer” for the leadership team, and had recently told the group that their key customer was unhappy—yet no one had listened to her. In fact, a fellow executive team member suggested that her assessment was off-base, as the company’s sales figures for the previous quarter were in good shape. But he was wrong and she was right: not only did the company experience a regrettable loss of their key client, but this important customer ending up taking their business to a competitor.

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When It Comes to Women’s Leadership, Talk Continues But Action Remains Stalled

It was a familiar scene in Davos Switzerland, where the World Economic Forum took place in January: many men around the table and relatively few women. (Women represented only 18 percent of total delegates.)

What was a bit different, though, was the focus on the increasingly urgent need to achieve gender parity in organizations worldwide. CNBC reported that not only was the corporate gender gap among the top three hot topics discussed by the delegation, but the subject was also recognized as one of the most tweetable, generating 10,000 tweets during the conference.

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