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Success Comes From Giving Women What They Want

Some years ago, I learned one of the most valuable lessons of my life–that the best way to have a successful love relationship is to give the woman whatever she wants. The premise is simple but potent: a happy woman is at the heart of any successful relationship. For dubious and skeptical men, I have this one suggestion:  try it out as a sociological experiment and see if the results don’t amaze you in terms of not only getting back what you want, but wondrous female gifts beyond your fondest dreams.

I see now, however, that the terms of this knowledge have to be extended well beyond the realm of relationships and into business and politics. We see some of the Republican presidential candidates getting into trouble by not being willing to give women what they want, like control over their own bodies. And what triggered this essay was a news item I saw on Politico.com:

Carly Fiorina, National Republican Senatorial Committee Vice-Chairman, on Friday condemned Rush Limbaugh for calling law student Sandra Fluke a “slut.” Fiorina said, “That language is insulting, in my opinion. It’s incendiary…”

What I find amazing about this item is that Carly Fiorina is the first Republican of national prominence to come out so strongly against Limbaugh’s insensitive, bullying attack on an articulate and attractively smart young Georgetown law student. Arguably, Carly Fiorina is the most successful business person now in politics, as the former CEO of Hewlitt-Packard. While she did lose her Senate bid in California to incumbent Barbara Boxer, she is an upcoming political force to be reckoned with. And her putting Rush Limbaugh in his place as a small-minded blowhard won’t hurt her future aspirations.

More importantly, however, this got me to thinking about a number of reports I’ve seen in the past few years about women in business, especially in the upper realms of business. There is much information, including a research study at Harvard, that shows having women on corporate boards increases profitability and stock prices. But the most provocative part of this involves the idea–backed up by some solid statistical data–that suggests testosterone may be a negative factor when an overabundance of it is present in the boardroom. The bottom line is that the information suggests that higher levels of the male hormone lead to bad decision-making. Women on a board may be just the ameliorating factor needed to counter this negative effect. Of course, a lot more research is called for. However,  just the fact that time and again it has been demonstrated that giving woman more upper management status leads to more financial success should help change their under-representation on corporate boards.

And it goes well beyond this. Men, we can be more successful at whatever we do in the world if we focus on giving women what they want. Especially in whatever skills, services, information, or products we offer and expect or hope to receive money in exchange for. Women have more money than men, and tend to be more loyal customers.

In terms of having women as business colleagues, just the fact that they have not received the antiquated business model indoctrination most men get at an early age makes them more able and willing to think outside the box. I admit I am biased in this, having come to the conclusion at a very early age that women are not only equal to men in many endeavors, but often superior. And I’ve acted on this belief by usually choosing women literary agents, doctors, dentists, and coaches. All other things being equal, I would always prefer to partner with a woman in any project requiring innovation and rational decision-making. Not to mention how much better it makes the workplace look and smell. (Okay, I apologize for that one–I just couldn’t resist!)

Jerry

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