Our experience shows that some fundamental shifts happen when when you move into a board of directors. A board of directors is where you cease to have a hierarchy. You cease to have subordination. It is different from the executive perspective of things because all board members are legally and theoretically equal.
That is one fundamental shift that oftentimes, when one progresses in their career from an executive position especially to a board membership position, that changes, and naturally, one needs to adapt. Therefore, we need to be able to lift your head up from day to day operational details, which we as human beings are normally very prone to focus on, and to take a more wide ranging view. This is typically an uncomfortable process that needs resolve, determination, and practice.
Being in a group where you lack hierarchy and you lack authority to sort things out, you have to consider being more uncomfortable. Oftentimes there are no obvious answers of what to be done. So, the board dynamics have to be a lot more collaborative.
As you include more women in your leadership, the whole aspect of the organization starts to be more inclusive. This is always very good, and it's very good on when when you want to create feelings of and cultures of collaboration, which is more and more important the more complex business becomes.
How you bring people together is always a very important question when we talk to board leaders. We want to foster cooperation and collaboration in board leadership.
We typically find that women will be a bit more conscious of the people around them. The human side of relationships and stakeholders is increasingly important in a world in which we're talking more and more about stakeholder leadership versus just 1 single stakeholder - the shareholder.
So there's this better understanding of what the impacts of what we're talking about are going to be on the people around us. It's a bit more of a human feeling element. There is also a bit more of a collaborative aspects of behavior and understanding.
A board of directors' position is still a position of very, very sensitive power. For all intents and purposes, the responsibilities and rights that come with being on a board of directors are something that is extremely relevant to shareholders. Normally, you also have very relevant controlling shareholders. People need a certain level of reassurance before they bring someone or they provide someone with that amount of power.
One of the things that is curious and it comes across in a lot of studies is that typically women are better at building external networks than internal networks in their companies. This is something that hinders their internal promotion and their internal progress in their career.
Men are the opposite. Men will typically build very nice internal networks that will be better than the external networks that they built. But what a lot of studies show is that internal career progression is going to be hindered if I can't build a good internal network, especially if that network has no women leaders.
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