Behaviors of the Incumbent Leaders and Their Effects on the Rest of Us.

By Nicki Gilmour, Executive Coach and Organizational Psychologist

The CEO Genome Project states that there are four behaviors that show up for senior leaders to set them apart.

A Genome project on anything is fascinating to me as it of course only can replicate on what went before and I am interested in futurism in conjunction with historical trends. Why? because otherwise from day dot until the end of time, we are going to have to live in denial that the legacy masculine trait data is skewing the potential of women and ironically modern evolved man. Why no one has really dwelled on this is a bit of mystery to me, or is it a conscious or unconscious omission? If we only talk about how old testosterone straight white American men have led, how do we expect women or other men who naturally are or aspire to not fit the mould of the stereotype?

The effect of us bowing to the patriarchy is serious. Lewinian Theory ( the foundation of organizational psychology and systems thinking) suggests that behavior is a function of our personality and the environment we are operating in. In real life, just about all of us can point to a female leader who has assimilated to what I like to call “Jack Welsh in a skirt” mode and with disastrous results for her and most who have to be part of that team. Yet, to punish that individual is to misunderstand the systemic forces and rewards that are real and active as long as the masculine trait pattern of leadership is considered the only one, or the superior one.

I have zero interest in stereotyping men into one group. I think there are amazing men out there but they too are subject to systemic forces that make them behaviorally choose (albeit consciously) to be people that given other conditions, they might not be.

This work is the key to Diversity. Diversity is culture work, it is not Noah’s Ark and until companies truly view it this way, there are only strategies to provide not real change to achieve.

So, in the meantime, if you want to navigate your career optimally and authentically, consider working with a coach who can help you.

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