Book review: Becoming Athena

Emma De Vita reviews the new book by American entrepreneur Martha Mayhood Mertz

Off the shelf
Off the shelf

"Women lead. We may not always get credit for it, or paid for it, or thanked for it, but in more ways and places than at any other time in human history, women lead."

These are the words of the American entrepreneur Martha Mayhood Mertz, author of Becoming Athena: Eight Principles of Enlightened Leadership.

Becoming AthenaWhen it comes to gender, management brains are divided - and it's not just women versus men. There are those who argue that men and women have their own strengths and weaknesses (along Mars and Venus lines), and those who believe that managerial adroitness isn't divvied up along gender lines.

Historically, argues Mertz, men led and women followed, but great leadership now naturally tends towards what are considered to be "women's ways".

These are such things as collaboration, rather than solo heroics, learning constantly and not assuming you know everything. Mertz uses this as a basis for her eight principles of the Athena Leadership Model, which include such revelations as "live authentically" and "build relationships". If you're a bloke, embrace your inner woman if you want to be a leader. If you're a woman, job done.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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