25 October 2011

Leadership In Practice: Can we create balance?

Sue Congram, The Space Between

Imagine how much more effective you could be if you were able to draw on a greater breadth of capabilities that exist in you and in others around you. At our meeting on 25 October 2011, we looked at how some missing segments of leadership in practice could make a significant difference to the way we work.

We were delighted to be joined by Sue Congram, leader of the Leaderful Women Project. She approached the session from a perspective that the foundations of organisations are made up of masculinised ways of thinking and working, a situation that has brought success to many for centuries – until now. The question is, what are the consequences of this in today’s complex world? What would it mean to make shifts to include ‘feminine’ ways of working?

These are questions Sue explored with us, all the time bearing in mind that the issue is not so much about men and women, it is about masculine and feminine practices. A short presentation provided some understanding of ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’, where:

  • feminine ways of working include relationship building, holistic thinking, inclusivity, collaboration, enabling; and
  • masculine ways include discernment, structure, decisiveness, competitiveness, and vision.

These are practices that both men and women can and do work by – but the latter continues to dominate and feminine practices continue to be undervalued. Studies show how most people are not confident in upholding feminine values in the face of a powerful masculine presence – it appears that we hold back, often using language that is diminishing of what is most needed.

Sue lead us in many stimulating and energy-filled conversations.

Our Speaker

Sue Congram CPsychol. leads the Leaderful Women Project and leadership development in The Space Between. Working collaboratively with corporations and professionals, she is actively developing and delivering new understanding of management and leadership practices. An experienced business development psychologist, Sue is studying the complex nature of leadership through PhD research and is co-leading an international research project with Ashridge Business School, exploring cultural roots of leadership practice in developing economies. Sue also teaches management and leadership psychology in Scandinavia, Greece and the UK. She has published five books and numerous papers and chapters on diversity, strategy, coaching and psychology.


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