Balance in Leadership
Image by Lena https://www.flickr.com/photos/ontask/39332836465
Today is the Spring Equinox when, in the Northern Hemisphere, we are reminded of that exquisite balance of day and night, light and dark, the inner and the outer world. Today the focus is on the creative, life-giving energy of spring, a time to sow new seeds, new projects, new beginnings.
In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the Autumn Equinox, again a day of perfect balance, but now, with the focus on the harvest, on reaping what is sown in the spring.
Balance. It’s one of those ideals we women leaders continually seek to maintain in our lives. Without it, we are unable to step fully into our power and flow. Yet, striking a balance between our commitments and responsibilities at work and at home, within the home, within our teams is not always easy. In part because there is
A gross imbalance in our world:
Masculine and feminine energies are unhealthy and wildly out of whack
The yin yang symbol that graces this post expresses that perfect balance of the healthy masculine and feminine. Each of us, whether male and female or identifying as male or female, possesses both masculine and feminine energies. When in balance, these energies are bursting with creativity and life-force. When out of balance, as they are in our world today, they create strife, conflict and are largely responsible for the many crises we currently face: wars, global warming, climate change, exploitation, poverty, disease. In short, a world wildly out of kilter.
What has led us to this world out of kilter?
A dominator society — a social system based on dominance rather than partnership. When one gender — in the case of our patriarchy — dominates the other, there can be no balance. Instead, we have a situation where the masculine has distorted itself to maintain a fear-based control of the world, and the feminine has been duly beaten into submission and servitude.
To be a woman leader in a society where the feminine has traditionally been suppressed is challenging. It means challenging the status quo. Addressing the unconscious — and sometimes conscious — biases that are a daily, or at least regular occurrence. It means having to prove your worth and your leadership potential before being considered for promotion to the next level. It means having to withstand criticism more of who you are than of what you do.
And it needs to change. You, as a woman of influence in your organisation, are in a position to make some changes. Doing so on your own will be fraught, which is why it is so important that women come together, united in a common cause. That common cause:
A new societal paradigm, where the feminine is valued and respected as much as the masculine. Where both those energies are balanced, healthy, and allowed to flourish. It will mean you step fully into and own your power. Let go of all those beliefs and admonitions from childhood about being a good little girl, doing what you’re told, obeying masculine authority, setting everyone else’s needs ahead of your own, etc., etc. It means letting go of that notion that the feminine is weak. Quite the contrary. It is far more powerful than the masculine, because it arises from within, from who you are in your fullness. Masculine power today is vested in external control and therefore fear based and shaky.
What would it mean to you, to your leadership, if we lived in a society where partnership, rather than dominance, was the norm? What could you accomplish if you knew you had the full support of your male and female colleagues? If all of you were committed to collaborating, cooperating to achieve shared goals? It may sound like utopia. It’s not. But it is a long way off unless and until we begin to dismantle the toxic environments that patriarchy has created.
Surely it’s time, now, on this day of perfect balance, to redress this one repressive lack of balance in our world. What one thing might you do, today, this week, to restore the balance in your own life, and from there, bring some balance to the world around you? Your family, your team, your community..