The Consultant's Desk

The Consultant's Desk
Poring over the details on your behalf

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

More About Women Leaders

Women and the Leadership Q (2001)
Shoya Zichy
ISBN 0071352163 - Hardcopy

Having read another book on women business leaders, it was a little disappointing to find The Leadership Q did nothing innovative in profiling and discussing the 38 women in this book.

What is good is that author Shoya Zichy was able to get interviews of 38 women leaders compared with the five who were profiled in the other book I read. Another thing that is good about it is that the women who are presented are about as diverse as you could imagine in terms of background, ethnicity, focuses and professions. Another commendable part of the book is the leadership test presented at the beginning of the book. Since the copy I used was from the library, I didn't dare take the test by marking the book. There was a thought about copying the pages in order to have my own, personal inventory. Maybe I'll do that another day.

The resources appendix is exquisite. I'd love to keep those pages as well and then develop some program to update the information.

But as I leafed through the profiles of each of the women, what I found was a flattering look at her individual style and a bit of her history. There was no unifying study of which personalities were very similar or alike, which demonstrate this type of trait described in the personality test compared with another, which style predominates among the 38 women studied.

Perhaps that was because the author realized that each personality is unique and cannot be easily compared with any other. Women leaders cannot be catalogued and categorized, just as men leaders cannot. Each has their own style and that style adapts with the audience and setting and circumstances that are present at any moment in time in addition to the action that demands to be taken (or withheld) in that instance. It just depends on what's going on at the moment that you encounter the person.

While this would have been a wonderful resource for my article about finding women management and executive candidates, it didn't supply the meat needed. While I wanted it to be useful for my webinar on finding women board members and senior management candidates, it proved to not be so. Why? Because there simply is nothing in it that tells you what to expect of a woman leader. Why? Because that depends on what the woman brings to the table in terms of past development and experience as well as the dominant parts of her personality.

So when you're looking for the model woman leader, first ask yourself what you need. Then start looking for candidates who display those attributes. You'll have developed a slate of winners.

Would I put this book on my bookshelf? No. But, as I said earlier, there are two sections I'd definitely like to have in PDF form for quick and easy reference.

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