Does this title put you off a bit? I know it did me. But the more I talk about this with women, the more it makes me think, “do I know the best path?” and “Am I in need of more viewpoints?” Frankly, I think various viewpoints are idea and asking men if a logical and often helpful approach to building your plan.
I’m not alone.
“Ask a man for advice” was one of the many tips offered to women leaders and women in tech from male leaders about how they could succeed in business.
Go out of your way to engage with male leaders, and ask for guidance on specific topics. Don’t be wishy-washy in what you want to know. Male leaders love to be asked to give advice. It boosts their feeling of power. Many men still don’t naturally reach out to females in business, so we need to take the lead.
This advice comes from Dan Blacharski’s Entrepreneur.com article, What Male and Female Leaders Can Learn From Each Other. Dan is the author of the book “Born in the Cloud Marketing: Transformative Strategies for the Next Generation of Cloud-Based Businesses.” Inside he writes about Matthew McCreight, senior partner at Schaffer Consulting who was asked to speak at a women in leadership conference. In preparation, he conducted a survey to gather his talking points.
From the article, we learn the responses to this question: “What would you say are some of the more noteworthy leadership practices you have learned from effective male leaders?”:
- Power. Enjoy being the boss, and don’t be afraid to make decisions. Men are very good at enjoying the power. Some women can be almost embarrassed to admit they like to be in charge and to have power.
- Don’t wait to be asked. Volunteer to take the lead on an assignment.
The best male leaders I have witnessed don’t fit the stereotype. They emanate empathy, something you would perhaps not expect.
There’s a theme here in the information that Dan presents. Men are ready to grab the brass ring and do it takes to let people know what they know and where they want to go.
- Speak up
- Take the lead
- Exhibit strength
- Present a powerful stance
- Ask for what they want
While it’s always good to surround yourself with strong women in leadership, there’s also a lot we can learn when we ask a man for advice:
- Ask men how you are viewed within the organization – what are your strengths
- What suggestions do they have for how you can get to the next level
- If they were you, what projects would they take on
- Where can you strengthen your position?
- Who should you get to know?
- What groups, organizations, non-profits, boards should you be involved with?
Ask. Listen. Act.
JJ DiGeronimo — the president of Tech Savvy Women — is a speaker, author, and thought leader for women in tech and girls and STEM. Through her work, JJ empowers professional women and consults with senior executives on strategies to retain and attract women in technology to increase thought and leadership diversity within organizations.
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