October 23, 2014

An Open Letter To The Men on InPower Women

Hey Guys,

Welcome to InPower Women! If you landed here, you may be wondering how you got here and why you were intrigued enough to click through to this post. Welcome to gender-partnership!

InPower Women is a site primarily for women, where we support each other in activating The Woman Effect in ourselves and step up to carry our weight as leaders in making the world a better place. As you probably know from loving women in your life and helping women in your work, many of us need to reorient ourselves to the idea of “power,” which we all know makes the world work and yet is abused far too often. We women have a lot of stories – real and imagined – about power that we have to sort through to really claim our full authentic leadership abilities in the world, and this is a place we do it.

Reclaiming Power Isn’t Just For Women

Here’s the trick, though, and one of the reasons you may be reading this. You guys have stories about power too! Just like a lot of women carry the stories of daughter, mom, victim, abuser, bitch you guys carry stories of son, dad, victim, abuser and a$$+ole – all of which can mess with our power individually and in relationship at home and at the office. If you got here through one of the posts talking about personal power, it may be because you were exploring this for yourself. Feel free to explore – and we hope what you find serves you well! All our professional development resources can be just as helpful to men as women and we welcome you to take a look.

We also know that many of you are strong and staunch advocates for women in business. You are our mentors, sponsors, peers, colleagues, staff and good professional friends. And for that we honor and thank you. When you help us in these ways you’re helping us on many levels at once. We enjoy these relationships and want you to keep doing it (and bring more guys into the fold if you can!)

Extending A Hand In Partnership

At InPower Women we consider the partnership women have with men – in pairs, in workgroups, organizations, family groups and society – to be one of the most critical elements of our ability to succeed as individuals and as a species. We know that in declaring our independence women have thrown off a lot of anger – justified and not – and brewed up some bad feelings about “women’s issues”. But here at InPower Women, we’re moving beyond that and inviting you to join us.

Lest you think this is because we don’t know there are still injustices being done to women, just as there are to men, or that we’re just being all mushy about how we love you guys, let me explain the specific intention behind our invitation. We’re all whole beings, but here on this site we’re focused on our professional and business success. We’re doing a lot of research to understand women, business and power and we call women’s impact on business leadership The Woman Effect, highlighting how women leaders in leadership teams help create healthier businesses.

The research behind The Woman Effect says that when we’re acting in true partnership – neither women or men in “token” roles (defined as less than 30% of a group) – we as a group act smarter! We lead stronger and healthier organizations! And I’ll throw in my personal favorite – we have a richer and deeper conversation. We promote The Woman Effect, but we know it’s not just about women – it’s really about the personal work-life partnerships and business partnerships that – when it works – works so well.

So even though this site is speaking especially to women and addressing some of our particular challenges with power in a professional context, it’s in service to this partnership. We know we’re your equals and we’re learning to let go of some of the stories that no longer serve us so we can be full participants in activating The Woman Effect in the businesses we run together.

Exploring and Leading Together

There is another reason you might be reading this post. Our research is also teaching us that when it comes to leadership styles, we all carry little bits of each other’s strengths in us. Men can be caring, compassionate and collaborative just as women can be authoritative, focused and decisive. We all have our own unique little mix of these characteristics, of course, but here at InPower women, as my good friend Leslie says, we’re beginning to think that the distinctions between “feminine” and “masculine” leadership styles are becoming less and less important in running good businesses. This might also be the reason you came here. Maybe you found something in a leadership or corporate culture post that drew you in.  That’s great! Use it to full advantage and pass it on to help others (women and men).

We invite you to leave your thoughts in comments and generate that rich and interesting conversation we so enjoy in “real life”. We do write posts about men and we encourage you to read and comment on them especially. If you see anything you feel is not contributing helpfully to the partnership, tell us about it! This is how we will both grow and explore this new partnership together. We also invite you to blog for us. You may not realize how helpful it is to see ourselves through the eyes of others, and especially “the men we work with.” Feel free to stick around as much as you like. You won’t lose your Man Card and you’ll get big Gratitude Points for adding to the conversation!

Whether you hang out or not, thanks for stopping by and leaving some of your good energy here. We appreciate it and look forward to a strong and healthy partnership with you wherever “we” encounter “you” in the world.

 

Dana Theus (172 Posts)

Dana is a values-based consultant, coach and advocate for women's leadership strategies that produce business results. In launching InPower Women, a Forbes Top 100 web site for women, she found her message of “In”Powerment resonating strongly with professional women. Her articles are also featured and syndicated today on several sites including The Huffington Post, The National Journal's Next America, Smartbrief on Leadership, and Switch & Shift, she's gained a warm reception as a motivational speaker to women’s groups helping women understand what the research says about how to gain more power instantaneously [Watch her TEDx Talk for an example.] Dana is a regular host for Executive Leader's Radio, the #1 business talk show in the mid-atlantic states. Read her full bio. Follow Dana:  LinkedIn Google+  Twitter RSS


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Comments

  1. Wayne Harrison says:

    Hi everyone
    Just got to this today and am very interested. I have always felt that women, in general, are superior to us men.

    From my days in school, which by the way, were in the 50’s and early 60’s, (long time ago) I was always impressed
    with the young ladies versus the boys. The girls seemed to mature so much quicker and were more serious about
    most things so much more than the boys.

    I’m a grandpa now, and I still see men of my age still acting like “kids” when they should be thinking more of being a “role” model than a jokester.

    Oh well, these are a few of my thoughts.

    • Hi Wayne. Thanks for leaving your thoughts. I have two sons who impress the heck out of me all the time. Men and women, girls and boys, we’re all capable if such nobility and such sillyness. It’s the joy of being human. I’m so glad you’re there as a role model!

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