Female and male leadership in balance

Much can be said about leadership and its qualities. What often emerges is the importance of using both typically male and female qualities. In this day and age, appeals are made to personal leadership. In my view, rational and intuitive thinking and action form the basis for this. Taking charge of work and life while remaining true to yourself. Knowing which male and female qualities contribute to and integrate good personal leadership is essential.

When it comes to leadership, only the masculine characteristics such as decisive, dominant or risky behavior are not enough. Research by Harry Garretsen and Jana Stoker (University of Groningen) shows that people want to see the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics among their leaders. A combination of the feminine characteristics such as empathic, warm and sympathetic and the masculine are appreciated.

For a long time, we have attached too much importance to masculine characteristics for men. In the meantime, a different picture has been added; that of a man in contact with his intuitive qualities. Yet contact with your feeling is only one aspect of the adult male personality. By referring the more feminine qualities only to the domain of women, part of a man’s potential remains untapped. Developing both your masculine and feminine qualities leads to a more mature male personality.

Masculine through the feminine
The game between the masculine and feminine takes place within yourself. Emma Jung described the importance of the development of the Anima (the feminine in the man) and the Animus (the masculine in the woman).

The more you repress or condemn the feminine or masculine in yourself, the further away you become from yourself. By developing your Anima, your authentic masculinity increases. Paradoxically, this makes you more masculine. This development makes you more connected, allowing you to express your feelings and to indicate strongly what you stand for.

Celebrate the difference
Too great an emphasis on equality leads to ignoring the difference. Men and women are equal, but different: the personality structure and collective patterns of men differ from those of women. Recently, the American Psychology Association (APA) has issued new guidelines for counseling male clients. I think this is a good development: recognizing difference brings more balance than a frenetic effort to solve the difference.

Intuitive qualities
In my guidance I meet men who struggle with the more intuitive sides of their personality. Or men who have difficulty setting strong limits. This time requires men to move in a balanced way between reason and feeling. In my opinion, that is exactly what the world needs: men who speak out and who are in contact with their intuitive qualities.