|The good Lord Sugar Huffingtonpost.com|
|Medieval Turkish sultans killed their brothers to prevent claims to power|
It's not that men can't fire people. A new CEO will often remove people in the first months of their term - often to secure their power base and bring in their own cohort of tried and tested acolytes.
Women on the other hand almost never fire for political gain - tending to favour starting with what they have and experimenting with trying to get the right people in the right roles. But when all routes are exhausted and it is clear under performance is the cause of the problem, they will be comfortable and confident in moving towards exiting someone. Why the difference between the genders?
Many women get stressed by a lack of structure and clarity in the workplace, and so they will consistently strive to remove ambiguous, inefficient structures. I think this is a major difference between men and women and isn't just true in the workplace. When my children were small, they would leave their toys scattered around the living room. I could not relax for the evening and enjoy a meal and a glass of wine until the room was tidy. My husband was quite untroubled by the mess, hungry after a busy day, food and a civilised conversation were the priority and he was easily able to completely ignore the chaos around us.
|Mars vs Venus|
When women leaders unpick performance problems in the workplace, our approach inevitably leads to shining a light onto the core issue lurking underneath the stack of complex dual reporting. Almost always this is someone who just doesn't fit, usually due to poor people skills. Nine times out of ten these are the same types of people and they're always tough to get rid of because they usually have some core skill that the organization really values but they're tough to work with so they are very hard to fit into teams and projects.
Organisations desperately need women's forensic, dogged approach to problem solving. Most of us are ready to tackle issues, however awkward, with the goal of a functional happy workplace inspiring us to carry on. Just as we like clean homes and happy children, we want contented staff who are clear about what's expected of them and are properly supported to do their very best in well-organised, clearly run groups.
Because men don't prioritise the same things, and most leaders are men, organisations don't prioritise these skills but they should. It's yet another area where women's natural preferences really do make for better leaders.
|Regrets? I had a few.. theguardian.co.uk|
Identifying your successor isn't easy because it is like facing your own mortality. But as with death and taxes, anyone competent knows that they will in time need to identify a new role for themselves. We don't like thinking about moving on from jobs we enjoy and are good at. But encouraging people to do this is the key. Regular conversations with your direct reports about what they want to do next and sharing your own thoughts on your next steps from time to time is healthy and creates liquidity in top jobs which is a key criteria for growth. Rather thank just box ticking, a credible succession strategy is one of the attributes of a truly strong organisation.