Leadership and the Sexes: Using Gender Science to Create Success in Business

Reading is fun. But not every book is really worth reading it – especially when it comes to business books. Therefore I already started the “Book of the Week” Series, where I share comprehensive abstracts on my favourite books.

Now I want to start another series called: “Business Books” – featuring information on books in a more compact way. Today I would like to present you “Leadership and the Sexes: Using Gender Science to Create Success in Business”, by Michael Gurian (2008).

Gender differences are apparent in all facets of life, and work settings are no exception. Some companies ignore these differences, breeding miscommunication and misunderstanding. Other companies work to become gender intelligent and create an environment of mutual understanding which capitalizes on the unique styles and skills of each gender. By doing so, these organizations not only improve employee satisfaction and corporate culture, but also the bottom-line.

In Leadership and the Sexes, Michael Gurian and Barbara Annis use brain-based science and five “GenderTools” to enhance readers’ gender intelligence and authentic leadership skills. An appropriate mix of theory and practical applications, this book is ideal for leaders seeking to maximize their organization’s competitive advantage by building lasting partnerships between men and women. Over the past several decades, research tools (e.g., PET and MRI scans) have revealed several differences in the ways that men’s and women’s brains operate.

For example, because women’s brains tend to link emotional activity between two parts of their brain, they tend to process emotional events more quickly than men. In addition, men tend to focus on a task without distraction better than women because they have more “gray matter” in the brain that localizes neurological functioning. The burning question in many organizations is whether or not women need to become more like men in order to get ahead in a competitive corporate environment. Although this was necessary in previous generations, corporations today need to realize that they can reap more benefits by deepening their understanding of differences in the ways that men and women lead and promoting both men and women leaders in ways that capitalizes on their strengths and increases the bottom-line. Both men and women need to consider the unique strengths and contributions of the other gender, while simultaneously recognizing whether or not they may be misinterpreting gender-specific behavior.


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