Hey Guys… We Need Your Help!

This post is specifically for the guys.  We need your help!

The wonderful Sherry Surratt and I are writing a book for women leaders.  I know that doesn’t sound like  it’s for you, but stay with me…

One of the chapters in the book is about leading men.  We want to coach and equip women to be better leaders when they need to provide leadership to you.  Even if you’ve never been led by a woman per the organizational chart, odds are that you have been a part of a project, team or committee that a woman was responsible for.

While I hope you’ve had some great experiences being led by women, odds are you’ve had some bad ones too.

So don’t hold back!*

Tell me what you wish women knew about leading men well.

Okay GO!

*Cross Point guys.  Feel free to unload too.  I’ll do my best to not take it personal. 🙂  (That’s probably the first lesson I need to write about isn’t it?)

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  • Cmherin April 9, 2012  

    The biggest thing for me is for a woman to not play up (or down) the fact that she is a woman. Man or woman it is best when a leader leads with confidence and an open mind towards people, someone who fits the characteristics of a great leader without any pretense of gender.

    • Jenni Catron April 9, 2012  

      So good @cmherin. Thank you! I agree.

  • Jt April 9, 2012  

    Sometimes it’s intimidating being lead by women because it’s difficult for me to challenge them in an issue. As a leader, generally my bosses ask me to challenge them if it will benefit the organization. However, in my experiences being under the leadership of a woman, the typical outcome of differences usually leads to her decisions over mine regardless if my suggestions and/or ideas seemed to be the right move. (this is from a previous job) One thing I would want women leaders to know is that we are not trying to undermine you.

    • Jenni Catron April 9, 2012  

      JT, that’s really helpful. Thank you!

  • Dave Anderson April 9, 2012  

    In one of the best jobs I ever had, I worked for a woman. One of her goals in our company was arguably to  shatter glass ceilings.   And she was very effective in her job.  I made it my job to see that she succeeded in hers.  I think any employee that adopts this objective will be successful regardless of who is leading them.  Anyway, the one thing she did better than any manager I ever had was she fought for her team publicly.  We knew she was a champion of what we did.  She bragged on us to other managers.  She kept us informed of everything that was going on in the company.  She empowered us as employees to ask questions and hold people accountable to decisions.  She opened doors of opportunity most managers would have left closed.  She knew when we soared that she soared with us.  She had our back.  She wanted us to succeed.  And if there was a disagreement, it was handled privately.  I never felt like I was “working for a woman” in the 7 years I worked for her.  I felt like she had my interest & passion at heart and helped me figure out how to use them to make the organization better.  She helped me find my place on the team.  Her gender never mattered to me because she never made a big deal about it.  But now that I think about it, I wanted to see her succeed partly because she was a woman and I hated the good old boy culture too!  And the more success she had, the more I benefited!

    • Jenni Catron April 9, 2012  

      Dave, I love that story. It’s so encouraging to hear a good one!

  • Travis April 9, 2012  

    I would hold the same standards for a female manager that I would for a male manager – things like not wasting my time (too many meetings), needing to know that you are in my corner, doing everything you can to help me win, respecting me, my time, and my effort, and not using fear as a management tool. 

    If I am being honest with myself, and I often do my best to avoid that, I would prefer to be managed by a man. Reasons for that would include wanting to report to someone who is like minded and understands what motivates me. That can certainly be done by a woman; however, it may not be quite as natural of a fit. 
    Long story short, I would be fine with a female manager. My preference mentioned above is nothing that cannot be overcome by a little thought and conversation on the front end to set expectations. 

    • Jenni Catron April 9, 2012  

      Good stuff Travis. Appreciate your honesty. I think we all would gravitate to what’s most comfortable – who best understands us. I’ve found that to have more to do with personality type than gender but that could be because I’ve been accused of thinking more like a guy sometimes. 🙂

  • @rodneyholt April 9, 2012  

    Simple advice: Be You, don’t try to lead or act like someone else. Also, communicate, communicate and communicate and please  be clear and concise.

  • Danny April 9, 2012  

    For me I would say one of my biggest influences for me in ministry overall was a woman.  She molded and shaped me in so many ways.  She lead with confidence and knew who she was and wasn’t afraid to call it as she saw it.  She always told me, “Be wise as a serpent and as harmless as a dove.”  I wouldn’t the man I am in ministry today if it wasn’t for this strong woman who lead me.

  • jason April 9, 2012  

    Lead by nurture and respect. Look at the qualities of  other leading men that you may know and help to instill that confidence into other men.  (Meekness)

    I’m sure there is a lot of argument to be made on this comment, but in the long run I’m convinced it would give the best results.

    • Jenni Catron April 10, 2012  

      I like that a lot Jason! Respect is huge but I think you also tapped into a unique element that women can bring – nurture. If we do that well, it can be a unique gift that we can bring to the team.

  • Rhonda Baker April 10, 2012  

    Jenni I’m already looking forward to reading this book. You’ve made such an impact on Women in Ministry and the Church already. I am praying you will continue to get the responses you need.

    • Jenni Catron April 10, 2012  

      Thank you so much Rhonda. I really appreciate your encouragement!

  • Samtodd28 April 11, 2012  

    Be authentic and really you. 

    One of the things that I really find distasteful when a woman finds herself in a leadership role over me and/or other men is that she changes the way she presents herself. Don’t dress up or wear a lot more makeup just because you’re in a leadership role. I have often seen ladies who come to work most days dressed casually with light makeup show up to the meeting she is leading dressed to the nines. If you dress to the nines everyday…great…show up to the meeting that way. If not…please don’t show up lead presenting yourself differently that you do each day at the office.