… is a man.
Yes, women are powerful and fabulous! I am surrounded by and work with smart, funny, accomplished women of many ages. But for me and for many other women, sometimes a woman’s best friend is a man.
The women I am talking about get measurable bottom-line results and manage major projects without dropping any balls. These are women who strengthen and build relationships while engendering employee loyalty. Yet, sometimes in doing such an exceptional job they try to do it all and at a cost to themselves. The organization’s needs (masked as that next product launch, capturing market share, or whatever constitutes the “next new thing”) take precedence one more time and at the expense of these women’s mental, physical, or emotional well-being.
So why is it that a woman’s best friend is a man? As strategic and logical as women are, they can learn something from the many men who have a clear-headed practicality that is not caught in the stickiness of caring too much or trying to do it all. Men can parse a situation to its fundamentals. No frills, no fuss. Once the fundamentals of a situation are laid bare, then a leadership decision can be made. (I’m making a generalization here! There are many women—in fact most–who have a clear-headed practicality and that aren’t caught in caring too much or trying to do it all.)
So when you need that clarity and practicality, consider the men in your life. It won’t be all of them but it will surely be one or several of them.
What has to happen before you regularly avail yourself of someone who offers this? You must have the professional awareness to recognize any tendency to “do it all at a cost to yourself” and the maturity to tap external resources—colleague, mentor, or friend of any gender.
And if that external resource just happens to be a man, well… “Vive la difference!”
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