Attention male readers: Let's take a long look at this ``Mommy
Track'' brouhaha. Pound through the line, where the rubber meets
the road and put a full-court press on the issue.
Career flexibility is fine for second-class corporate citizens.
But it won't land gals in the Fortune Business Hall of Fame next to
Cyrus McCormick, or get them on the Fortune Toughest Bosses list
(which most of us officially cluck at, while secretly admiring these
But, look out, boys. This may be the old Statue of Liberty
play, the fake out of the century. I secretly suspect that we are
dancing our last tango. None of the girls may sign our dance cards
by the early 21st century.
Consider this column during the last year. I have been
cataloging management's survival requirements for the 1990s: (1) the
destruction of hierarchy, replaced with boundary-less, ambiguous
networks of organizations; (2) empowerment, ownership, information
- and power-sharing - in order to induce constant, fast-paced
improvement by everyone on the payroll; (3) team-centered
organizations, without cop-supervisors or functional specialists -
where teammates manage relationships inside and outside the group
and take wholesale responsibility for quality of product and work
life; (4) adversarialism giving way to partnership with vendors,
middlemen and customers; (5) life-long learning and development for
every employee, starting with the receptionist; (6) an emphasis on
life-long relationships with customers; (7) ``soft'' intangibles
and service-added attributes dominating every product; and (8)
constant change and fluidity as the norm and chief basis for
Do you get it yet, fellas? Does this list have a hidden message
for us? Try this: These eight, spanking-new survival traits for
firms of any shape read like a portfolio of women's inclinations and
Dr. Beverly A. Forbes, a lecturer in the School of Education at
Seattle University and founder of SYNTHESIS - A Women's Leadership
Program, recently presented the paper ``Theory F - Its Implications
for Leadership Development'' at the Third Annual Leadership
Development Workshop in Seattle. At one point she listed elements
of the ``Theory F Style'' and contrasted them with ``a more
masculine way'' of doing things.
For example, ``men's psychological make-up emphasizes individual
ego ... intimacy and affiliation are more difficult for men.''
Strike one for managing in the 1990s.
Next, ``Women have been conditioned to put the needs of others
first. They value relationships and connections ... ''
``Women form commitments differently than men. …