The Rise of the Feminine
by Dennis Roberts
“… spiritually the female will now have her turn to lead mankind into the New Light. And eventually, this female spiritual light will permeate the entire range of human experience from female leaders in business and religion to female leaders of state ... this female light will become so strong as to become obvious to all who live on this dear planet and will continue to grow for thousands of years.”
“The Serpent of Light” by Drunvalo Melchizedek
Is this uprising, women as a gender, or femininity as energy? If it is the former, then women who have won positions of power by amplifying their masculine may simply continue the masculine archetypal game. If, on the other hand, this is an uprising of feminine energy then it has the potential to change how the game of business is played, and to change the very game itself.
To explain masculine and feminine energy and how it inter-relates the ancient Chinese view was that all things co-existed in relationship with nature and everything studied formed part of a holistic perspective. No single element existed in isolation. There was perfect symmetry in the dualistic nature of night and day, water and fire, active and passive, masculine and feminine.
According to the Taoists all things had both yin and yang properties. The Yang associated with outward movement, activity, projection, brightness and excitement whilst the Yin was associated with inward, rest, darkness, passivity and nourishment.
How is business played under dominant masculine energy?
Business as we know it exhibits very strong masculine (Yang) energy. We see it as a bias for action, making things happen, goal setting, measuring results, hitting targets. Metaphors of war abound in both business and sport. The competition is fierce, targets are hit, takeovers are hostile, share is won/lost, customers are targeted, plans are executed, patches are carved up, products are launched, staff are boned.
The natural state of play is for masculine and feminine energies to co-exist in equilibrium. What Drunvalo was alluding to was the rising up of feminine energy to restore the equilibrium from hundreds of years of dominant masculine energy.
The Rise of the Feminine – what it means for business and leadership
If “The Art of War” was the masculine archetypal guide to strategy then “Blue Ocean Strategy” now illustrates how The Rise of the Feminine has permeated business schools. Rather than metaphors of war, the language is softer and centres around charting fresh territory, creating uncluttered niches, reinventing brands, collaborating rather than competing, seeking win/ win outcomes, delivering superior value, and engaging employees in meaningful work in which their creative minds find stimulation.
Decisions need to be made in real time. There is a distinction between authority and leadership. Leadership is an improvisational art. It is a verb, not a noun. Warren Bennis suggests “too many CEO’s are bosses not leaders.”
Traditional patriarchal models of positional leadership reinforce the power base of the very authority figures that created them. Leadership is not delegated, authority is delegated. Leadership is not about delegation, it is about empowerment.
The Rise of the Feminine has already transformed the game of business. And not where you might think. Like a veritable tsunami it is upon you without notice. It is an under-current, such is the way of the feminine. It is subtle, yet powerful beyond measure.
Whilst many look within the corridors of power in board rooms, executive teams of publicly listed companies, and political office, “The Rise of the Feminine” has transformed the micro business landscape right before our very eyes. The take-up rate of home based business, internet marketers, solo-preneurs and freelancers has been phenomenal.
These micro enterprises do not rely upon the power and authority structures endemic in large corporations. This is where the economic landscape is being rewritten.
It is inaccurate to say the old masculine patriarchal energy has been replaced by “The Rise of the Feminine” in micro business for it never existed in this space. This is how “The Rise of the Feminine” has changed, and is changing, forever the way we do business. The micro business landscape and the world wide web is a portal to a new way of BEING in business.
The key to long term sustainable change is in the integration of both masculine and feminine energy - “The Rise of the Feminine” coupled with The Rebirth of the Masculine. What we need is not a revolution from patriarch to matriarch but an evolution to new ways of business and leadership. A new model of heart based leadership which integrates BOTH masculine and feminine. This is the essence of Yin Yang – the masculine contains the feminine energy, and the feminine contains the masculine energy. They exist in unity not duality.
The biggest challenge facing women’s groups is how they engage, interact with, and emancipate the old masculine patriarchal energy. There is a wonderful opportunity to lead business into the new age from the heart.
This new age leadership, integrating both feminine and masculine, will come from outside the traditional power and authority structures and most likely will arise covertly from a minority voice.
This is leadership.
The feminine influence on leadership in business will evolve. It will arise from evolution not revolution. This is the way of the feminine. It is not a power play. It is covert, subtle and unassuming.
The decree of quotas may serve to increase the representation of women in positions of power and influence. It’s a nice ideal and an incremental step towards parity. As effective as they might be, quotas aren’t transformative. There is an old adage in selling, “Power buys from power".
Micro business is leading the change
Whilst large corporations need an authority structure to function, micro business does not. Because of their small size they provide a perfect opportunity for a more feminine model of leadership and entrepreneurship.
Talk with any home based business owner and learn how innovative, flexible, collaborative, street smart they are to survive, let alone thrive.
Most micro businesses have a different raison d’etre. They are created more for lifestyle reasons rather than wealth creation. You won’t find them raising private equity, floating on the stock exchange and trading share parcels. Micro business has a different agenda. They are more nimble, agile and quicker. If you look at how they operate and why they operate, and for whom they operate there is a very different game afoot and it is leading us into an exciting age of heart based leadership.
written by Dennis Roberts
(originally published, May, 2011)