This research compares the findings from the coaching conversations
with 120 women we coached in a year with those for a parallel sample of
120 men from the 330 men we coached in a similar period.
We noted that a large proportion of both men and
women leaders wanted help with establishing a personal leadership style
that feels authentic to them, particularly when it is not the same style
that prevails in their organisation (46% of the women; 58% of the
men). In fact, in the private sector, it was men’s top issue. It
was also an issue under recognised by their senior sponsors.
Previously, we had put women’s emphasis on this down to lack of suitable
role models. But men, particularly younger male leaders, are adopting a
different style of leadership from the previous generation’s approach
and may also not have sufficient role models.
And this way, generally a more consensual and relationship based
style, with values and approach that recognises all the roles – business
and personal that leaders have, is a style that comes naturally to many
So, for Chief Executives, getting it right for senior women will help to get it right for senior men of the future too.
Other findings include the fact that many women are still being
labelled over-aggressive and that, at this point in time, more women
still feel less confident and look for support across a wider range of
issues. Despite this, fewer are supported by coaching in their
aspirations to be on the executive.
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