Leadership Nuggets For Young Female Leaders.

I spend most of my Social Media time on Twitter(note; I didn’t say my time. I said my Social Media time. I’m trying to make a very important point here buana… Yeah, my ex-girlfriend taught me something about managing the time I spend on Social Media. Bleh! It’s a whole ‘boring-mom thing’ and strategy to increase my value I guess, but god, don’t I think that has come in handy in helping me cure my procrastination?)
(Snaps fingers)Focus buddy!
So while doing my Twitter rounds recently, I stumbled upon a tweet that goes like, ‘A family without a mother misses love. A family without a father misses strength.’ So I get intensely introspective as usual and eventually decide to pull out my draft pad and do a piece on women leadership and soo.. uuum yah! Here I am.

You probably may be asking yourself why I decided to talk about leadership, make a big issue out of a simple tweet that speaks about family and parenting. See it takes leadership to start a family and make it withstand the test of time. Some sages even claim that you can never understand half of life till you have a family of your own. Fair enough. So in actuality, all of us have leadership in us waiting to happen. Leaders are not born. Leaders are made. In fleeting language, leadership simply means taking on responsibility, not just your own, but of other people’s welfare also. Now, it takes more than just that to offer yourself up to shoulder the responsibility of society: A company, the government, the opposition, an NGO, a movement or any other societal entity that has the potential of altering people’s lives in a way.

Well, there are people who go into it for their own personal glory, popularity and power. Often times, the people that follow them are just collateral to them. They are not in the business of serving. The hallmark of true servant leadership is the burden. Leadership, in whatever area, is a calling. A calling to act on a burden that is pressing you and your people. Leaders find it hard to live with the reality of co-existing with a nuisance that is pressing them and the world around them. Like a pebble in your shoe on a long trek and it’s blistering you and wearing you down. What would you rather do?
The only way they can find comfort is by rising to action and in the process mobilise the right people to team up with. In other literature pieces they are reffered to as Visionaries. That right there is how we form a cause or a vision to believe in or alternatively choose to associate with a good one that is already developed and underway.

Wangarĩ Muta Maathai with then US Senator Barack Obama. 2006.

Again… You may be asking yourself why wouldn’t I just talk about leadership in general. Why women? Why particularly young women?

For starters, I am a young person who is very passionate about constructing young people. A fresh breed of game-changers who are vibrant because they’ve got the energy(that goes without saying). Also, the world has evolved over the centuries to this digital age and so has humanity evolved to exist in and chart the world as it is now… and who understands the digital world/age better than its young people? By young folks I mean the embattled Millennials and The Gen-Zs.
But youngins, we need two things first: We need to learn the right values of patience, humility, the work ethic et cetera, and secondly we need to have the courage to think outside the confines of the older folks to crack modern solutions and ideas for the modern problems. NO! Actually three. Thirdly, we have to put our noses to the grindstone and get the training we need and the right skill set. We are not begging for our place, we are not demanding… We are Negotiating. But if we have to take the demanding option then so be it.

Again… Focus buddy.

Leadership comes naturally for men, a natural instinct as they are the bearers of the vision of the family they are to bring up. Also, by virtue of nature they are designed to take charge of the society. By this I mean lead, protect, provide and so forth. I’m not implying that women can’t be burdened by a pain that society is facing. I’m not implying that women cannot be bearers of vision for society. We, as humans have rewritten the social-construct, coined ‘Equality’ which acknowledges that women can effect change quite as good.
We’ve had a good number of female game-changers in the world of leadership in recent history. For instance: Eleanor Roosevelt- First Lady cum First Chair of The UN Human Rights Commission 1945, Wangarĩ Maathai- a Kenyan social, environmental, and political activist and the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, J.K. Rowling of the legendary Harry Porter book series, Current US Vice President Kamala Harris(who is the first female VP of the United States) and a whole other lot that I’d bore you with. You probably hate History.
But this come with a fair share of its challenges. For example, Joanne Rowling had to abbreviate her first name which is obviously feminine when coining her pen name. This so boys wouldn’t reject her Harry Porter book series on grounds that it was written by a girl. ‘Hide it’ in other words. In leadership, the good news is that you can navigate through gender hinderances quite well if you picked the nuggets that are the reason you are savouring this article I guess.

Eleanor Roosevelt.

While giving his speech during the inauguration of Kenya’s current and first female Chief Justice Martha Koome, Former Chief Justice David Maraga reminded the Judiciary of the importance of female leadership and why and how it compliments that of men. Note, not stand against it. Something about both genders being inherently different which means that women have qualities that are different from those of men… or men lack in those if you’d rather.

When women decide to or rather, are called to go the path of leadership , they stand to lead both men and women: You know, unless you are leading a Maendeleo ya wanawake forum or a chamaa exclusively for women. From my interactions with young women in leadership, I’ve heard a good number of them complain about leading men. About just how men won’t follow them then they throw in the victim clause, “they look down on me ’cause I’m a woman.” Listen Susan, where complaining and victim-playing starts, leadership ends there. When you run out of ideas and tactics, your crowd stops believing in you and it scatters. But knowledge is hidden in books and articles and the good thing is that you know how to seek it, like you are doing right now. Your mind is like a computer software and you have to constantly keep on upgrading it. Re-Inventing yourself.

Well, I understand their failure in effectively being able to drive men to action because one, I’m a man… and two, I have existed severally before in systems that had a woman at the helm. With some, I had absolutely no problem following them and we’ve kept a good friendship since. Some others, I had a giant problem taking the damn orders actually. Yeah! You read that right. Trust me, it had nothing to do with my firm belief in patriarchy. It just comes packaged in as a natural instinct in all masculine men out there. I’ll let you in on why.

US Vice President Kama Harris with President Joe Biden.

As much as many women loathe it, the male ego is very important. See, you just rolled your eyes! And that right there is exactly the reason why you cannot lead men. Because you hate it, you always try to bend it- and every time you fail terribly at doing so, frustration mounts on you. I don’t even think it was called male ego before Feminism was invented because it’s just Testosterone. Feminists have branded it toxic masculinity, ego, male supremacy and other activist terminologies to write their narrative of pulling it down in their quest to effeminate the society.
But the male ego is important because a man has to protect his pride, his frame. It’s what makes a man an Alpha or a Sigma male. If he holds it dear, then he can protect those who look up to him, he can provide for them and anything else that is expected of a man. He can take care of his business without colliding with or bothering people. With these, he is able to gain respect in men’s world which is every man’s desire. It’s like the innate source of motivation in manhood. It’s like a light within us and when you attempt to put it off, we gon’ have a problem sis. The reflex is really a natural instinct and nothing personal.

Or maybe I should have named this article, ‘Toxic masculinity demistified’ instead.

But really, women are natural nurturers. That’s why they are the bearers of the womb, I presume. When they get into leadership they are expected to lead with love, charm and feminine connection. Win both men and women with ‘the love of a mother.’ Men lead with strength and logic because that’s how they are built up. That’s their game. You cannot beat them at that. Woman, you cannot beat a man at being a man. Be how you were built to be and see it’s magic. Equality is not Same.

More nuggets.

Men have this inner voice calling and a sense of entitlement that they should lead and are actually expected to lead by society. So they are not wrong in their thinking because it’s inscribed in their sub-conscious or perhaps even in their DNA anyway. But we’ve decided to be a little bit modest and modern and accept this new social-construct called Equality.
So sis, you are sitting at the helm and none of us has tried to un-sit you, don’t try to make us feel less manly or try use your authority to shrink our frames. Be modest. Unlike women, men are not born. Men have to create themselves and that takes ‘sweat, blood and tears.’ The men you are leading or are leading alongside, have worked hard on themselves to become the men you see so grow some emotional intelligence. Intimidating masculine energy coming from a fellow man is constructive and motivates a man to upgrade. But that coming from a woman is not intimidating, it’s an insult.

Another thing you can take from me for sure is that men hate masculine women. Women who try to be men are disgusting. Yep! You’ve been telling yourself that you intimidate men but that gospel changes today. I come bearing the true gospel: If it’s in relationships, you are a turn-off. If it’s in social circles, you are annoying and disgusting. And you can take that to the bank.

The only masculinity that is toxic is the one found in women.

J.K. Rowling – British Author.

There is a charm that feminine leaders have that compels people to action. They are able to lead men while still making them feel respected for who they are as a gender and the responsibility that they have outside that situation of your leadership. I guess it’s because they understand the concept of dominance-submission from their core.
On the other hand, a masculine woman is unpleasant even to her fellow women. Arguably, being manly while still fighting masculinity is the foundation upon which the whole radical feminism ideology is built upon. Eradicating the powerful masculine voice while yearning and trying hard to live that masculine voice. They are well aware or perhaps it’s spontaneous and happens sub-consciously but either way, radical feminists are the most bitter and frustrated living things I have ever met.

I haven’t talked about leading your fellow women because I guess understanding the needs of your own gender shouldn’t be a problem for you. Also I’m not a woman so why subject myself to speaking like a layman?

Look what I got here… a parting shot prepared for you…

So y’all women have like 50,000 different senses so I guess y’all can get really good at emotional intelligence. Put into consideration their masculinity and how much people in their lives want to see them safeguard that at all costs and show some regard as you lead this ego-driven gender. I don’t think you will have that much trouble leading men and also existing in spaces of male leaders. In short, embrace your femininity. It’s not weakness, it’s beautiful.
Feminine Leadership traits include: Empathy, Tolerance, Long – Term Vision, Vulnerability, Sustainability and Intuition. It’s true that for things to get done, ego walls have to come down but for you, that has to be with good grace. Men can only submit to women in situations of sheer desperation. But even then, they are a time bomb waiting to detonate as situations culminate to better for them. Lead with wisdom.

One last management nugget and this goes out to every leader out there. Man or woman, young or old: When you treat people with profound respect and dignity, they won’t mind doing even the most mundane of tasks like cleaning the toilet when you ask them to. That’s a hyperbole but you follow, right?

This is because they feel appreciated for who they are and what they offer, so they are delighted to serve. A lot of times managers fail at their job because they seek to declare who the ‘god’ of that arena is. With that they create a cocktail of fear and hate, a complete disconnect between you and your crowd. Getting the job at hand done is cool but getting the very best out of your team is even better.

Sitawachosha na mengi. Mbarikiwe.


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