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Currently, I am a Fellow for the Entrepreneurship for Good Program (Future of Audio Entertainment Challenge) at The DO School. I am a media professional, social entrepreneur and storyteller who experiments with media and art to document life, and I have worked with nonprofits, governments and campaigns internationally. I have an M.Sc. in Social & Cultural Anthropology from the London School of Economics & Political Science.
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is the author of Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? (And How to Fix It) and in this episode, he sheds light on the issues that are lacking in top leadership—and it’s not really about gender.
Chamorro-Premuzic argues that the prevailing advice on leadership promotes the idea that leaders must be competitive, overconfident, shrewd and to some extent narcissistic to attain these positions. But what happens once these types of leaders are in those vital roles? The influence can be seen in an unhappy workforce and loss in revenue and productivity. By choosing leaders with these characteristics or lauding these "masculine traits," we are overlooking those that would have made qualified and impactful leaders, particularly, those with feminine qualities, and that does not necessarily mean women.
After decades of selecting people on the basis of their kick-ass aggressiveness, greed, selfishness and determination, what we need is not for women to lean in like incompetent men, but for women and men to come who are capable of questioning themselves, capable of empathy, capable of some degree of self-doubt and who understand that they might not be the center of the universe. And all those traits are inherently feminine.
In fact, he states that the idea is not to increase the number of women in leadership roles, but in an age of automation and AI, to look for talent that has the needed soft skills that cannot be outsourced: "So broadly you want leaders who are smart, who have technical expertise and who are rewarding to deal with, likeable and able to connect with others and who have people skills."
Generally, the data has found women to have these traits of "humility, integrity and competence," but if we seek talent that encompasses the above qualities, he believes we will automatically achieve a gender balance in leadership roles, increase diversity and most importantly, choose leaders that can make a difference.