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The similarities between male and female leaders are surprising. Extensive researches indicate that the differences in leadership styles of men and women tend to outweigh the similarities. However, there are still some similarities in the leadership styles adopted by men and women when they take up the leadership roles.
People seeking careers in certain areas tend to have a lot in common, and so are people who seek management or leadership roles, regardless of their genders. Men and women in the same positions perform similar functions and exhibit similar kinds of leadership styles and effectiveness (Phillips and Gully, 2012). In All cases, managers use the powers vested in their offices to make decisions and drive the company towards the intended direction. There also a lot of similarities in motivational dynamics, managerial philosophies, participatory practices, managerial styles and interpersonal competences.
The gender of a person significantly determines the leadership style he or she chooses to adopt. Women tend to be developing leadership values and characteristics that are entirely different from the traditional aggressive, controlling, and competitive leadership style adopted by men. A woman’s central involvement in juggling careers, raising children and managing housework gives them the capability for prioritization that most men lack. In addition, the male dominances in the society over women helped the latter develop psychological qualities which are extremely valuable in leadership. These psychological qualities have a vast range and include relationship, motivation, encouragement and support. Men, on the other hand, lack these psychological qualities due to lack of exposure (Robbins, 2009).
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Women tend to be more transformative than their male counterparts in their leadership positions. Women tend to emphasize more on teamwork and are people oriented, while men are inclined to be authoritative and paternalistic in their leadership. Women tend to lead through the “modeling the way”, and “encouraging the heart” through continuous positive feedback to their subordinates. Women rate higher in individual consideration than their male counterparts. This enables them to develop unique and individualized relationships with the subordinates, which are critical in transformative leadership styles.
Men still dominate the management and leadership positions either because of the traditional belief that men are supposed to be the leaders, or because of certain inborn or inherent qualities. Men are risk takers, and it is said that the riskier the venture, the greater the rewards. In addition, men make decisions remarkably fast, whether agreeable or not, but in cases where time is of the essence, as it is the case in many organizations, then men win. Women, on the other hand, prefer taking time to make decisions and think through all the scenarios and possible solutions. This allows them to make perfect decisions, though taking a lot of time.
Men have the controlling and authoritative qualities, which make them instill fear and discipline among the subordinates. In addition, men tend to be better than women in developing strategic perspectives (Robbins, 2009). They develop their careers exceptionally fast because they are always seeking challenges elsewhere. Women, on the other hand, have a lower rate of career development since they concentrate so much on the current position and do their best.
Men continue to dominate the world’s key management positions, but our analysis shows that women would make better leaders (Robbins, 2009). Their experience in handling many issues enables them to make priorities in organizations. However, they cannot be successful on their own, since they need men to speed decision making process. Men, on the other hand, need women partners to tone down their aggressiveness and individualism, and embrace the spirit of teamwork. For this reason, we cannot decisively conclude that one gender make the best leaders. There is the need to incorporate both genders in management so that the strengths of one gender compliment the weaknesses of the other.