Why we don’t like Trump OR Hillary


Why we don’t like Trump or Hillary

We got to see it again as we suffered through 90
minutes watching the debates the other night. The post-debate commentary echoed what we were all thinking and feeling –  neither candidate hit it out of the park for us. 

The bottom line is:

They aren’t the Leaders we are looking for.

Our world is increasingly social, interdependent and transparent. Change is constant.

The leaders I see are dealing with teams that span the globe. Conference calls, zoom and google hangout are part of every day. They are constantly dealing with disruptive change. Their companies are bought and sold. New cultures are thrust upon them. The younger ones believe that they simply need to get through the latest crisis or management edict. Since I’ve been around a while, I know better. Once this crisis has passed, there will surely be another right behind it.

In this world, what we require of our leaders is not what it used to be. Perhaps that’s why we are so disappointed. Neither candidate exhibits the traits that we are looking for. According to John Gerzema of the Athena Doctrine a global survey of 32,000 people, 7 of the 10 attributes most related to leadership are considered to be feminine. [1] The days of command and control don’t work anymore. The picture in our heads (or more specifically our subconscious) shows a strong, male figure as a leader, one who is decisive, aggressive and uncompromising. And even Hillary has had to adopt male leadership traits to be where she is today. But is this what we need in 2016?

What about the skills of persuasion, relationship building, focus on process vs. outcome, and collaboration? These don’t pop into our heads as readily when we think ‘Leader’, but maybe they should. Carol Turner in an article in Forbes believes that we need more of a balance: 

“Both masculine and feminine approaches have strengths and limitations. When an organization is dominated by either masculine or feminine approaches, there is a risk that the downsides of that approach will emerge. With a balance of masculine and feminine approaches, the organization gets more of the strengths and less of the downsides of each.”[2]

Yes, a balance, that’s what we’re after!

Hey Donald and Hillary, can we see more of that?

[1] The top 10 were: Feminine: Expressive, Plans for Future, Reasonable, Flexible, Loyal, Patient, Collaborative, Intuitive. Masculine: Resilient, Analytical, Independent

[2] A Balance of Both Masculine and Feminine Strengths: The Bottom-Line Benefit

What might make the world a better place?

In light of the contiwhy-business-needs-feminine-leadershipnuing, disturbing events from across the world, this is a timely question to pose –   A good time to review results from a 2013 survey* of 64,000 people from 13 countries who were asked this very question.

The results:

The world would be a better place if men thought more like WOMEN.

What does this mean?

32,000 people were asked to classify 200 traits as to whether they were masculine, feminine or neutral. An additional 32,000 people were asked to rate those same traits according to importance to leadership, success, morality, and happiness today.

They consistently picked what they considered “feminine traits” or values such as selflessness, empathy, collaboration, flexibility, and patience as the most important.


The co-authors of the study explained these findings:

“The world is increasingly social, interdependent and transparent”, says John Gerzema , “and in this world feminine values are ascendant.” Success in today’s world requires highly adaptable approaches that are “ethical, sensitive, flexible and even kind,” says fellow co-author Michael D’Antonio.

Maybe it’s time to rethink our assumptions of what it takes to be a leader, or successful, or happy or moral. Are the traits that we currently seem to value and expect bring success (ex. Aggressiveness, Analytical skills, Independence) really what is needed at this time in the world?

What if…Our thinking is antiquated?

What if…We are all operating on a mindset that supports an old environment, but not where we are NOW?

What if…We simply expanded our thinking and considered new possibilities, like placing a higher value on feminine traits?

Maybe, just maybe, the world truly would be a better place.

This study finding nicely summarizes the results:



*from the book The Athena Doctrine.  Purchase HERE




Joanne Vitali is a professional certified coach and workshop leader who specializes working with women with technical or multiple degrees – affectionately called Geek Girls. Contact her to speak at your upcoming event or for a complimentary exploratory session.  

Women’s Wisdom Circle – An Invitation

Come experience the power of meeting with women in Circle AND demystify your life purpose. From my survey work, I am learning that many of you are unsupported, as well as looking for something more from your life. There’s nothing like connecting with the energy and wisdom of a group of women who are gathered together for each other’s good.

Everyone today seems to be searching for “their Purpose.” But that’s BIG. Scary. Daunting. We’ll make it easy for you and, in four sessions, show you how to get started.

Image - Version 2You will have the opportunity to work with not only me, but my partner, Connie Rose, who is a member of my personal Wisdom Circle. She’s warm, smart and challenging in a very loving, supportive way. Together we will help you uncover your unique brilliance and create a plan to move forward.

This is the first Circle experience that Connie and I will be offering. We plan many future Circles, each with a different emphasis.

Join us!

Life Purpose Circle Details

IMG_0542Explore, grow and get support from the energy of other women, using the powerful tools and facilitation skills of two experienced coaches.

Dates:  4 sessions, Wednesday Nov. 12, 19, Dec. 10 and 17th
Time:  7 – 830 pm
Location:  Joanne’s home, Downingtown, PA
Price:  $200 for 4 sessions OR $300 for you and a friend (50% off one spot)
NOTE:  If daytime or phone are better options for you, please let me know as additional sessions might be added.

Oprah’s to blame…

imagesDo you know what your passion is?  Are you living your best life?  Do you worry that you’re not?  If so, you’re not alone.

I’ve been talking to a lot of women lately to gather data for my women’s survey.  It’s been great fun (there’s still time to participate.  Click here to set up an appointment ). But what’s not been fun is hearing a few things that could be a disconcerting trend and I wanted to share them with you.

What I’m often hearing expressed is an underlying angst, discontentment, a lack of fulfillment, a searching for more.  Some of you express guilt for feeling this way, since you have a ‘good’ job and stable life – “I’ve got no reason to feel this way.”  Many are unable to put their finger on the exact cause or possible solution.  When asked for words to describe it, you say “I just don’t know.  Something’s missing.”

I can understand how we’ve come to this point.  There’s been quite a push from well meaning people to get us to live more consciously and with purpose.  Unfortunately, I don’t think we all know how to get the answers that we seek.

Having worked with hundreds of people on helping them clarify who they are, I can tell you that the ‘answer’ that you are seeking is different than it has been portrayed in the media.  It’s much simpler, humbler and even quiet.  Your purpose is not some all encompassing, single thing that can be lived out only one way.  There is not ONE, big answer to what your purpose is. And, your purpose does not have to move mountains.

We are all beautiful, unique, complex mosaics. We are mixes of talents, personal values, experiences and passions.  Our purpose in life is expressed through all of these things combined.

Let me give you an example from a woman I just met this week at the launch of Ellevate Philadelphia.  She’s currently a banker, but worked previously in the non-profit arena.  She said that she has realized that her purpose is…drum roll please!…. To put money in the hands of those who need it.  Ok, did you feel the earth move?  NO.  Is there only one way that she could possibly fulfill this purpose?  NO.  First, she did this through her non-profit fund raising work. In her current position, she is able to approve loans for needy, startup businesses.  Did you expect something more earth shattering, lofty, zen-like? Probably.  The reality is that this is what a purpose looks like.

Here’s another example:  My purpose is to keep learning tools that I can share with other people to improve and ease our earthly existence.  It’s all about learning and sharing for me.

What’s yours?

Courage – We all need some

life-shrinks-or-expands-in-proporion-to-ones-courageI’ve realized lately how important courage is.  Without it, we sit around, supposedly happy in our comfort zone.  Only it’s not so comfortable, is it?  We wonder why we feel unfulfilled.  Our jealousy is easily aroused when we see other people doing what we want or having what we don’t have.  We feel increasingly bored, irritated, frustrated.

In a nutshell, life sucks.  Yes, I said sucks.  Courageous of me, huh?

Being able to take action toward something that is important to us, even though we are scared out of our minds is what makes life fun.  It’s what brings excitement, the risk, the thrill, the possibility of a new achievement.  Woo Hoo.  The past physics major in me screams for an equation:  FUN = FEAR.

Well, maybe not completely equal, but we must realize the pluses of fear,  that we need to experience fear for us to feel alive.  I can’t tell you how tiresome I find people who refuse to take a chance, play it safe, never leap.  It’s a waste of life.

That’s why I  coach.  My thrills come from always doing the new thing and helping my clients do their new thing.  As a coach, I help people play a bigger game, a more fun game, a more exciting game.  I am the provider of courage.

What game are you playing?  Is it big enough?  If you’re not at least a  little scared, the answer is  No.  We need to talk.  Don’t let your life shrink.