If you want to get a job done, get a woman to do it
by Jeffrey Morgan
Have you ever sat in a meeting and asked yourself, “How the hell did this guy get an executive job?” I often asked this question too. Way too many times. Over the course of the last 30 years, I have come to one conclusion: if you want a job done right, get a woman to do it.
Let me qualify this just a tad. I have worked with numerous amazing executives and managers, both males and females. However, there are far too many overconfident, swaggering peacocks blundering around the business world. They slap too many backs at the golf course and the Lion’s Club while devoting minimal time and thought to their business operations. It’s the same whether we’re talking about the public or the private sector.
The engineering field sometimes amazes me. How can a walnut-sized processor operate an ego the size of Antarctica? I am certain you know the kind of person I am talking about. The probability that any individual is good at his or her job is only about 20 percent, but many managers and executives are successful at faking it for years or even decades.
Are Women Less Entitled?
In general, I found women are easier to work with. They don’t have the baggage and sense of entitlement that men often bring to the job. They often work harder and are more interested in details. They’re cautious and thoughtful.
Women are more likely to have knowledge, skills, and abilities because they have to work their way up, whereas men have often been dropped right into management positions out of university because they have “management skills,” which is a dubious concept, in my humble opinion.
In my opinion, management isn’t a primary skill – but it’s a great secondary one. Working for a “big-picture guy” is always a challenge. Working for a thoughtful woman is a more rewarding experience, which is how I found my wife.
Even in middle management and supervisory ranks, the male conceit is an impediment to projects that involve systemic changes. Men get their backs up right away and start presenting obstacles. Sometimes, an idea or suggestion is taken as a personal attack. “I was wrong” is an admission few men can make, especially among executives and senior managers. I don’t know if this male quality is a genetic or a social construct, but it is real.
Poisoning Your Enemy
While it has been said that poison is a woman’s weapon, I’ve certainly been poisoned and stabbed in the back much more often by men. They’re so used to getting their way that they don’t know how to compromise through debate and discussion. Women are more likely to contemplate and reflect rather than declare war, or even worse, the type of secret guerrilla warfare operation in which men often engage. Women negotiate, but men dig a trench.
Golf Course Promotions
Men have a sense of privilege. They think their career is supposed to go a certain way because they belong to the right clubs and golf with the right people, even if they may have no neural activity. Most women only work harder.
Through a genetic accident, I lack both the “Sports” and “Joiner” genes, so I am naturally skeptical of such activities, especially golf. The golf course seems to be where some business decisions are made and where some incompetent guys get their promotions.
I suspect many CXOs make software purchasing decisions somewhere between the first and nineteenth holes. “Joe says TBQ makes the best ERP. Make it happen and don’t bother me with the details. Let me know when it’s done – you can text me at the golf course!” Maybe this explains why $40 million implementation cost overruns are so prevalent.
Most women approach complex business problems with open meetings, where they solicit a variety of viewpoints and try to understand the entire scope of the situation. They will agonize over details while a man in the same position will often make a snap decision without a second thought. That kind of hubris always frightens me.
These may all seem like a sweeping generalization, but that is what I do for a living. Next time you want a job done right; just get a woman to do it! If you want to pick a fight over what I’ve said, feel free to e-mail me or take a look at my blog on Information Technology Governance.
About the Author
Jeffrey Morgan, President of e-volve Information Technology Services has been providing independent consulting, business, and technology services since 1993. He has worked in nearly every business sector and specializes in services for county-municipal governments and small-medium businesses. Jeff writes extensively on Management, HR, and Technology issues and is the author of Information Technology Governance for Executives and Enterprise Software Procurement.