Dr Lianne Taylor is a Chartered psychologist, author and researcher. Her business Rootbind uses psychology, entrepreneurship and organizational research in understanding business issues.
Lianne’s research interest is the interplay between differences in cognition which affect decision-making, and the impact that has on business growth. This blog reflects her positivity that now is the time to showcase women, their multiple roles as leaders and their significant contribution to change through the Impact Women’s Network.
It is a time of global shifts. Brexit and the election of Trump demonstrated that people’s voices are having an impact all around the world as they vote for change. A Rubik’s Cube of ideas and words demonstrate that unconventional views can have a significant impact. Impact Women’s Network (IWN) captures the zeitgeist by showing the impact of women in the workplace and provides a different type of platform for women who are changing lives and business. This is an exciting time to be a female leader because there are several different types of leadership being currently defined. The state of flux we face today means that individual differences are being desired and minority voices amplified. Dominant masculine models of leadership are changing and merging with distinctly individual, Eastern, feminine qualities which include collaboration, intuition and empathy – though not exclusively.
The possibilities are endless whether petitioning for a cause, leading from the front in an organization or building a business. IWN aims to ’flood’ the ether with definitions and examples of female leadership that are mainly still currently absent in mainstream media and research. Women have been leading, inventing and creating with impact throughout the generations, but with little or zero recognition because of dominant patriarchal perspectives. IWN is building a community around each other to drive women’s success with creativity, critical thinking, communication and interaction. Being highly skilled in a successful business or professional career is a given, but good leaders are defined by identifying one’s own driving force and understanding people. Members in the Network are taking advantage of the reality that today there is a reduced rulebook (yes there are still rules and always will be) in how to be a great leader which is not gender specific. It is time for our collective voice to be stronger, purposefully working with each other and our male colleagues and partners. Women are being uplifted and the timing for a network like IWN has never been better.
The need and willingness today to accept different leadership styles reflects the many theories around situation leadership which is context specific and accepted in business and management teaching. Alternative forms, beyond command-and-control approaches are being supplemented by Sun Tzu’s ‘Art of War’ in which we can integrate our unique selves into work and the strategies we adopt. This is visible across the IWN network in which women are transferring their influencing, negotiating and strategic skills to drive their careers forward through unique collaborations and diverse partnerships. In some cases, individuals are “simmering”, and using the network to have dynamic conversations regarding their next steps.
Gender patterns exist because preconceptions make the world easier to navigate neurologically, thus freeing up space for more innovative thinking. At IWN there is powerful debate which allows these thinking patterns to be deconstructed where necessary and new ones formed. It is not about being the toughest or hardest to achieve goals, but the smartest using individual and dual decision-making styles to win clients and promotions. The Network consists of individuals with their own type of power being recognized, are connecting with a broader number of stakeholders, becoming board members and using their reputations to build their brand.
IWN was born out of the desire to increase the visibility of incredible women who are making an impact and changing communities and industries, influencing policy makers along the way. People are transforming their lives, affiliating with organizations like IWN that reflect and augment their need to balance work and family life in an unprecedented way. IWN is aligned with millennials when it comes to striving towards this balance, opting for fewer binary choices and ‘taking the whole person into work’. Using social networking, workshops and key note speakers, the Network champions business activities and individual successes in combined efforts to amplify successful female stories. Join us at @ImpactWN www.impactwomensnetwork.com