Posted on May 5th, 2014 | Categories: Authentic Leadership , Uncategorized
By John P. Schreitmueller
I’ve been coaching and counseling executives for over 20 years. Before that, I was a corporate executive. And before that, I was a military officer. I don’t profess to have seen it all. But I have seen a lot.
There have been many failures in leadership recently. There are too many to list, and I don’t care to get in to a political debate. One issue I find particularly distasteful, and one that plays the blame game to the hilt, is the “War on Women” sold to us from political agitators, and media players willing to buy in to such a lousy story. A result, among several, is many men feel there is really an unannounced “War on Men.” Both are toxic. Both are tragic. In either event, everyone loses, because, after all, the world is comprised of only women and men. The reality of our life equation is this: men and women need each other. We are uniquely equipped to help each other, complement each other, and honor each other. When we do less, we fail.
A common denominator that runs throughout our counseling and coaching with executives, business owners and professionals is blame. When the chips are down, the blame game begins. Blame is something we learn how to do because, in the words of Andy Stanley, Pastor of The Buckhead Church in Atlanta, GA, “Blame is what we use to smuggle our (unresolved and negative) issues into the future.” Such is the case with the so-called gender wars. They are, in reality, poisonous stories we buy, and a virulent species of excuses we make for carrying our own unresolved issues into the future.
Given the contemporary landscape of issues facing women and men who own businesses, run enterprises and are charged with leading others, the last thing on earth anyone needs is the belief that men and women are somehow at “war.” Now, this perception has been perpetuated by many factors and through turbulent history that is often skewed for political, marketing and media advantage. Why buy in to such garbage? What positive outcomes can possibly result from such flawed underlying beliefs?
Authentic leadership requires of us, as men and women, to seize the precious present for possibilities of success, not failure. If we go in to work each day believing the men or women around us are against us because someone in Washington or someone in the media said they are, we are sunk. These “wars” are all about blame: blame for issues unresolved in our individual pasts, and to which we place blame on others out of fear of acknowledging those pieces of our past we ourselves rightfully own.
Next time you find yourself willing to accept, even for a moment, that men and women are somehow locked in an ongoing conflict, look deep inside. Is that what you are really about? Are you really willing to go that far? The war, ladies and gentlemen, is out there. Not between us. Look out for each other. Take the best that is there, and learn how to maneuver around that which is not optimal in others, regardless of gender. And the next time you hear a story about the “War on Women,” or the “War on Men,” de-select such negative, poisonous energy. Change stations. Flip the page. Turn it off. You need your energy for so many other things. Go out and lead, and lead authentically.
John P. Schreitmueller, PCC, ECP-BC, is CEO of Resolute Consulting Group LLC. His Atlanta-based practice specializes in guiding executives, business owners and professionals in achievement of their full, authentic potentials.
Copyright 2014 by Resolute Consulting Group LLC.