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9. PERSPECTIVE: VISION MELDS WITH REALITY

Female leaders have bifocal vision. They are able to view and consider various aspects of organisational process and function at the same time. They have acute, wide ranging, fish eye vision of their organisations while at the same time being able to relate to particular issues at specific locations within the ambit of their leadership coverage. They are able to be above (on the balcony) and within (ion the dance floor) of the establishments they are leading at the same time. The depth and breadth of their perspective is quite outstanding.

Men on the other hand, seems to have capacity to be within one organisational dimension. Or another but non able veto cope with more than one perspective (need) at the same time. This causes them to overlook particular needs, meaning (because of this oversight) trouble can bounce back at some time and often not too far into the future.

Their abilities type women as being competent leaders, in a way that sometimes eludes men.

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9. OVERALL PLANNING AND ORGANISATION

Women in leadership roles, in my experience, are meticulous planners and organisers. Everything requiring detailed planning is met and very little, if anything, is left to chance. The casual and somewhat cavalier attitude that some men have toward forward planning is not a characteristic of female leaders. The attitude of ‘she’ll be right” that exists among some men in leadership and management position, is not a characteristic of their female counterparts.

From experience, I believe women to be excellent when it comes to including others within the organisation in long term planning. Participation is encouraged and those willing to share ideas, acknowledged and applauded.

Female leaders are great when it comes to engaging others in activities that lead to the synergistic planning of long term goals and outcomes.

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8. WOMEN HAVE EMPATHY

Women are known to be task oriented. As leaders, they are keen that those in charge of carrying out functions within organisations, fulfil their responsibilities. They are not given to accepting limp excuses for why tasks have not been completed. In terms of expectation, they cannot easily be bought off by questionable reasons given for non performance. Women who are leaders expect those working within organisations will have the same levels of focus as they themselves manifest.

However, female leaders are sensitive and if there are3 issues confronting employees, these will be taken into account. While expectations are not diluted time constraints may be relaxed, allowing an extra period for task completion. If leave needs to be offered for personal, priority reasons, female leaders are often known to extend the empathy necessary to accomodate the situations being confronted by subordinates.

Awareness of needs and sensitivity to situations of genuine need are hallmarks of outstanding female leaders.

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7. WOMEN HAVE AWARENESS

Women who lead have a 100% awareness of what is going on within and around their organisations.

Their sixth sense, womanly intuition, enables them to know what is happening within the school, company or enterprise. They have a sense that keeps every aspect of their domain within their mind’s eye. Men’s awareness is less broad, less perceptive and far less acute.

Knowing their places of work so intimately enables female leaders monitor the performance of their teams. They are not nosy and intrusive, simply aware. I believe Gail Kelly, Westpac’s CEO demonstrates these leadership principles. so too, do many women who are involved within leadership teams. What blessings they bring to their workplaces.

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6. SHORT TERM PLANNING AND TIMETABLING

Women are adept at timetabling and planning; they are meticulous plan followers. I believe they are far better at meeting deadlines than men who are in charge of organisations. Over the years I was blessed to work with ladies as members of leadership teams and had cause to thank many of them over the years for keeping me focussed and on track. Our leadership ‘mix’ always included men and women and without female contribution we would have been less effective leadership teams. Many was the time I had cause to thank the female cohort for reminding me of and insisting on the follow through of timelined obligations.

One of my smartest moves was to delegate (both task and decision making responsibilities) to ladies who were members of our leadership groups. They ensured that we managed in an ‘on time and on task way’. For mine, they come up trumps.

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5. SUMMARISERS AND SYNTHESISERS

It is common for women to be demeaned by men, who have them as garrulous and gossiping. This is entirely unfair and equally, incorrect. Both men and women are want to wax lyrical in social situations but when it comes to business and organisational propriety, women are far from idle chatterers. They are quick and adept at taking on board information about issues, summarising succinctly and drawing out the main points conversations confirm as needing attention. In my opinion, they do this better than men.

The capacity of ladies to synthesise and extrapolate to directions it would be wise to follow is well established. It is a fact that women have this capacity. To listen but then quickly work through to a point of where the organisation, based on information to dater, can go forward with confidence makes them people who contribute magnificently to organisations

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4. CUTTING TO THE CHASE

Women cut to the chase and don’t dither around the edges of issues. When confronted by tasks, they quickly align the best and most efficient way to get from task start to goal accomplishment. They do accept advice but are able to synthesise and sift valid suggestion from what might be extraneous. Women are less bogged down when it comes to dealing issues than many men. They are definitive in approach and get things done. While appreciating the contributions of those who approach shared tasks positively, they are not in the business of treating foolishness lightly. While valuing the contributions of some men within my operational sphere over the years, I knew that if something needed to be done quickly, efficiently, accurately and conclusively, it was best to delegate management and decision making to a woman.

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3. FOCUS

From working with many women over the life of my teaching career I can vouchsafe for their clear goal orientation and crystal-like focus. Ladies, far more than men can divine a path that leads through from aims and objectives to goal outcomes. While there are always exceptions, I felt that women with whom I worked were less likely to be sidetracked by diversions than men. Their approach and priorities establishment helped me, in terms of reminding about the fact I needed to keep on time and on task. Oven many years, I was blessed to have some outstanding female members of the leadership groups which developed at my schools.

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WOMEN HAVE 360 DEGREE VISION

Another quality vested in women and often lacking in men, is a capacity for 360 degree vision. The expression ‘eyes in the back of their heads’ fits because of the totality of awareness with which ladies are blessed. After a staff meeting involving 40 or 50 people, I always felt it wise to ask the women members of my leadership team for their feedback because the meeting elements I missed (body language, eye expression, non-verbal contact between people) they picked up. This enabled us to appreciate the meeting more fulsomely than would have been possible for me alone, or in conversation with another male. This is just another quality with which women are blessed and which men can fail to recognise.

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WOMEN ARE AWARE OF THEIR SURROUNDS

Women are all seeing, all knowing and able to join in fifteen conversations at once. I mean this in a totally appreciative and complimentary context. The broad based awareness women have of their surrounding environment makes them the superior gender when it comes to awareness. They have, in my opinion, a panoramic appreciation of what is going on around them. Ladies read body language and more empathetically understand reactions of others than do men. Not only can they contribute to a conversation in which they are participating; they also gain appreciation of the tenet of surrounding dialogue. These finely honed environmental skills add to their situational awareness. As a male leader, I was always wise in seeking feedback from female staff leaders on matters we were dealing, for this helped inform in a way that was beyond my own interpretative capacities