What do you see when you’re looking at me?
It’s a question I sometimes ask during my training workshops. The answers have been funny, poignant, and wildly off base. Someone once said I love hockey and another person said I love to iron. Hard no to both of those (even though, gasp, I’m Canadian and many Canadians do love their hockey).
Do you see the problem?
If so, what is it?
I posed this question to a group I’m mentoring when I did a workshop on change and visioning. Some could see the problem but most couldn’t. And then were shocked when they could.
How our media shares and shapes information has a profound impact on our perspective, including what we see as ‘normal, natural and right.’
So what’s the big deal with the list of leadership quotes? What’s the problem?
Only 14 of the quotes are by women. And of those 14, 3 are by the same woman, Eleanor Roosevelt.
That’s unacceptable and plain wrong.
By claiming these are the best leadership quotes of all time, the magazine is inherently saying:
- Women don’t rank as leaders
- Women’s voices don’t count
- Women’s forms of leadership aren’t as good as men’s
- Women don’t rank equally – instead of making up 50% of all time great leadership quotes, as per our population, 14% represents less than a third of that
All of which is, of course, ridiculous. Like an abstract ink blot, it doesn’t make any sense.
And more importantly and dangerously these types of projections can and do influence what we see and think of when we see a ‘leader.’
Perspectives are important. Teasing out where and when we’ve gone askew is critical, such as our underlying assumptions about what a good leader looks like, acts like and sounds like.
We can do better.
Let me ask you again. What do you see when you’re looking at me? Do you see a leader? I hope so.
Now go on and learn, laugh and lead.
- Check out this other gender influenced perspectives: A perspective on gender identity, 30 Feminist Lessons in 30 Years and this jaw dropping, perspective revealing photo below from Prudish. Flirty. Whore. Proper. Cheeky. Slut.
- Have some fun with this bizarre sleight of hand, a reverse image of a woman. Stare at it for 30 seconds and then look at the ceiling for a surprise.
- Make a difference with this incredible gender diversity tracking toolkit, available free from Nivi Sharma. Read about it here. Get the interactive worksheet here.
P.S. Curious to know more about your worldview and perspective? Check out my Life Lenses™ online assessment.