This is Leadership: When Leadership Goes Pink


…a female leader managing four female employees should be managing between thirty to sixty emotions, averaging forty-five emotions on a daily basis

The month of October reminds the world of the Global Customer Service Week. In all of it, business owners, business managers and employees are all reminded to put the customer in the middle of every business. It’s the sure way to go. The catchphrase has always been: ‘no customer no business’.

Beyond this, the WHO – World Health Organisation – is also leading the world, as it does every month of October, in the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign month to increase consciousness in early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of breast cancer. As an author and a lecturer of leadership, it feels right to share knowledge on ‘when Leadership Goes Pink’ in the Breast Cancer Awareness month.

The New Africa Leadership Institute (former Eagle Knowledge Institute – EKI) will be dedicating a month to share with readers what Women in Leadership as a subject brings to the 21st Century Leadership dynamics discourse. In the coming weeks (scratching my head and rolling my eyes to the left and back to the right), we will be sharing tips, tools and techniques on Women in Leadership.

Yes, I mean, Women in Leadership! Let’s just call it the Pink Leadership Series (PLS) for the next four to six weeks. We’ll look at what women bring to the table as far as 21st Century Leadership dialogue is concerned. To dive deep into the matter, we first have to appreciate the perspectives of women, their leadership journey, the leadership dimensions, and more importantly, their leadership styles.

About 24 months ago, I saw a short ad on Standard Chartered Bank, where the financial institution made a profound statement that by year end 2020, women in Senior Management roles will rise to 30 percent as part of their strategic inclusion expedition.

Listening to Simon Cooper, Corporate, Commercial and Institutional Banking Chief Executive at StanChart on ‘Bloomberg Markets: Asia’ (October 15, 2020), he opened up on diversity and inclusion as he skewed to Women in Leadership. Although many of us hold on to certain standpoints when it comes to women in leadership, we cannot change the direction of the wind.

In the next write-ups, I will demonstrate the Glass Ceiling effect in 21st century structured workplaces and will subsequently provide interpretations to the concept of the glass-cliff to confirm or disconfirm whether the 21st century  leadership dialogue still suggests to say that women see themselves as minorities in structured organisations or not.

In one of my knowledge-sharing sessions (KSS) in 2018, an honest man asked a very honest question. Richard! Yes, I leered. Don’t you think women already have the power? To the point, he said: women are ‘powerful’. To be honest to the honest man, I’m still searching for answers as I write.

My viewpoint, which has always been prejudiced by my point of view, is that leadership is not about power. Leadership is always about influence (Maxwell, 2013). To set the tone for subsequent conversations in the Pink Leadership Series, it must be known that men exhibit between five to eight direct emotions on a daily basis and women parade six to twelve direct emotions on a daily basis (Ahenkorah 2018) at workplaces.

So, a female leader managing four female employees should be managing 30 to 60 emotions, averaging 45 emotions on a daily basis. When you understand emotional intelligence, you’ll know that you don’t manage people at work. You manage emotions. Emotions are expressive tools at the workplace. If you use it well, you’ll surely enjoy your relationship with your colleagues.

Ambitious corporate women, in particular, are currently embarking on deep reflection exercises to understand their being. They use emotions positively to influence teams, and also avoid negative emotions so to shred negative energies (Hughes et al 2015). Research summarises that there are no significant information, statistically, in the differences in leadership styles of men and women although there may be some common inclinations in the area of behaviours. In the not too distant future, the world will come to terms with Pink Leadership and when Leadership Goes Pink.

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