Businesses and companies take on the characteristics of the people that lead them. For better or worse there is a code ingrained in the inner workings of every business entity that’s defined by the attitude and character of the founders and management.
When a business or even a country moves on the pulse of a softer style of leadership, in what ways are operations and employees impacted and what makes them different from companies that take on a harder, more masculine approach? According to Bernhard Plecher, co-founder of German company Westhouse, the differences are immense through the discovery of his own experience.
After embarking on a journey that led to him transforming the core of his organization, Bernhard discovered the power of feminine values and their abilities to extract greatness from employees. Bernhard was also able to extract a greater benefit; he experienced the transition from being the stereotypical stressed out, sleep deprived businessman to a well rested leader who experiences joy and fulfillment in every moment of his work. He says, “every person wants to grow and it’s just not that you have to ask them to grow by putting pressure on them but believing in them more and giving space and then they feel the trust and confidence that you give them.”
Much can be learned from Westhouse’s leadership shift into a healthy, forward thinking workplace that puts freedom and personal growth at the center of goals and business objectives. Bernhard understood feminine values and he learned the following;
- Women have the ability to listen and support. This makes them the kinds of leaders that are tuned into the needs of employees. Support is given beyond the achievement of greater business goals but towards the personal advancement of the people that work under them.
- Women have greater access to their hearts and they use this access to lead with compassion, strength and the quest for a fulfillment that goes beyond money.
- Feminine leadership is less ego-driven, and it’s willing to share the spotlight. This makes big steps towards harmony in the workplace and sets the stage for teamwork and the fruits of a healthy, unified team of employees.
A feminine style of leadership is driven by the need for what Bernhard calls a “bigger harmony”, By instilling this important value into operations, Westhouse has excelled and achieved international success because of “a harmonization of qualities and energies.”