It’s March the 8th and the International Women’s day. Thus I felt the need, as many others, to share my views and opinions to honor the women of our time as well as those from the past (and even those in the future). Yes, that’s right – honor them. If you read the title of the blog post, felt some rage build up, cracking your knuckles as you got ready to read this post and write a response to my generally chauvinistic views, then I salute you. The world needs more people like you, as it shows you care about twisted views towards women which still exist to a great extent.
If you smiled when you saw the title and clicked to see someone finally agree to your opinions about women, then sorry – that’s just not what you’re going to get. To be honest, your ego will likely take a pretty big hit if you read on, so I’d suggest you just stop here.
Now, where were we…
Right, so for what I wanted to write about, exactly what my title says; why a woman can never be a businessman. The title might suggest I am saying “why a woman can never be at a man’s level in business,” when what I actually mean is “women will always be one step ahead of men in business, simply because their (women’s) way of thinking and connecting dots are far superior to ours (men).” I’ll elaborate on this in the summary, so feel free to skip down there right away.
In other words, I would like to take today to write about some of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from female influencers so far into adulthood. So here we go…
3 Things Women Have Taught Me
Having done sports growing up, worked as an instructor in the Air Force, gone to college in America with more sports, worked in New York, San Francisco and London, I can assure you that female authorities have crossed my path many times. Just as with male authorities, some were great, some I didn’t like and some I hated until I realized, years later, that they were actually quite right…
If you’ve ever been part of a minority, picked on in school, felt frozen out of society, then you’ll know what I am about to talk about. Because I have personally never seen anyone tougher than the women I am honored to know (and those I do not), who have gone through bootcamp, followed by years in the military, without a penis.
Having been an Air Force instructor, despite only being in the Air Force for 2 years, I’ve seen most of what it had to offer; grown men fall to their knees, cry, completely lose it in anger, beg, give up and just disappearing completely from their own mind. A lot of this applied to me as well when I was a student at the officers academy. Yet, I have never seen this in women. Not once… I’ve had arguments with other guys my size about not wanting to carry a small metal canister to boil water in (150 grams in weight, I’d think), on top of the 50 kg (110 lbs) we already had. Never seen this quarrel come up between women.
This doesn’t even begin the cover the open, and even weirdly accepted, harassment including jokes, patronizing and the constant “oh look, she’s trying, how cute.” No, I saw women power through this every year, despite often being only 1 or 2 in a troop of 24. It’s as if they managed to harness the negative energy and use it to get them through the day. Because they kicked ass day in and day out, and though I am no longer there, I can assure you they continue to do so.
Over to a completely different area. The regular working environment in the private sector. Though much more accepting to women overall, the men vs women attitude generally comes down to individual company culture. When I worked in NYC I was working in a company which wasn’t openly undermining women in any way, but when you took a look at their executives you’d see a 100% male population.
Personally, I am the type of guy used to get upset, raise my voice and march into someone’s office if I felt I was being treated unfairly. However, as you can imagine, this never really yielded any positive results. That was until I met a handful of women who seemed to share the most amazing sense of patience. They all spoke about being patient in the same way, without ever having met one another. Their lessons had all been learned the hard way. Trying to stand up to someone, and similar to the Air Force example, instead of being taken seriously, receiving a “it’s so cute when they get angry” (or similar).
Their patience and silence in crucial moment was surely more intimidating than any decibel my voice could ever reach. Playing it cool also had a clear impact on their authority; keeping the cards close to their chest was terrifying to those around. They could no longer be “read” and “predicted.” If you were getting away with something, it was because the women let you get away with it, and you knew it. You also knew that if you stepped too far off the line of acceptance, playing too close to the edge, there would be a woman there who had taken your **** for way too long, ready to push you over.
(But you know what, even then, they wouldn’t, because by that time, the women had already won and everyone knew it. How’s THAT for patience.)
During my time in a business environment, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered petty competitions basically revolving around measuring… you get the point. It’s something that happened years ago, but is still going on. Kind of like the two neighboring families who fought for generations until no one really knew why. It’s because men carry grudges. They carry them with them at all times, not because something was hurtful, but because even a grudge becomes a competition in a man’s head! “I can’t believe he did that to me. How can I do him one up back?”
Some of the most successful female leaders I’ve met have not only taught me, but shown me how much more powerful it is to forgive. Forgive, right and left. Forgive anything from a petty comment to the worst time someone screwed you over. But you do not forget.
Women are absolute masters of this and because of men’s caveman, competitive instinct, it’s something which just doesn’t fall natural for us, and it severely weakens us in any arena!
I am not writing this post to attack men. I’d be attacking myself, and I don’t like attacking myself! Do I think all men are sexist chauvinists who catcalls on a daily basis? of course not. Do I think men can never be as successful as women in business? no, of course they can.
What I am saying is, ladies, that after having worked around the world in business settings, I thank and salute you because you will never be a businessman, in the typical sense of the word. Because “businessman” is currently used interchangeably and it simply does not do the beautiful women of our world justice. Women and their natural instincts are simply superior to the instincts of a man. I’d even bet some of the most successful male entrepreneurs who have ever lived would agree with me when I say, we would all be much better off if we learned a thing or two from our female counterpart. So for this day, I’d like my contribution to be a small advocacy of making the term “Business” as synonymous to businesswomen as it is for businessmen.
Before I end this post, despite the length, I have to honor the two women who have had the greatest impact on my life to date, my mother, Nina and beautiful girlfriend, Tonia. Without you I would have been living under a bridge somewhere! Not just today, but every day I live I dedicate to you with love and care! Thank you!
Would love to hear your thoughts and comments. Am I way off? Should I tone it down? Or am I not being harsh enough?
Let me know! And don’t forget to #BeBoldForChange