My Wife is STILL Right!
In 1997, I wrote a proposal for a business book titled, "My Wife is Right". Can you guess what it said women are right about? Everything. Yes, everything.
Whether it be leadership, decisions, or investments, I argued that in a post industrial society that was focused on relationships (whether online or off) - that women would emerge as better leaders, managers and investors than men.
You can imagine the look on publisher's faces when I proposed this book. They thought that I was crazy. Further, they retorted when my agent took me to all the major publishers in 1997 with the proposal that no one would ever read a book about women being right in business. Since 1997, I've told this story many times, but it's worth repeating because now more than ever, I believe that companies and their leaders are ready to accept my original thesis. To restate it in more detail for first time readers:
In a world that transitioned from the industrial age to the information age more than 50 years ago and is not transitioning again to a relationship age, we are about to witness a profound changes in businesses – including who is going to lead, how they are going to lead and the processes and technologies they use to lead. More importantly, this new age of social networks – where social is as important as working - new types of people -- individuals who care about others, more than they do themselves, who care about collaborating more than competing who want to serve rather than be served and who understand how to moderate and facilitate, not just direct and control and new types of technologies – social rather than transactional – will transform everything we think about as re define what business and social mean. As part of that transition, I am happy to report that I am now long alone in thinking my wife is right about the future of business. Other major periodicals and research support my thesis of 12 years ago including:
The Wall Street Journal – Women are better investors According to a recent WSJ article, "Finance professors Brad Barber and Terrance Odean have found that women's risk-adjusted returns beat those of men by an average of about one percentage point annually. In short, women trade less frequently, hold less volatile portfolios and expect lower returns than men do." The full article is definitely worth reading as it outlines some fundamental differences in personality traits of men versus women, particularly how women respond *emotionally* to situations. In today's unpredictable economy, women have the advantage as they instinctively seek stability in a volatile market.
BusinessWeek - Women are more proficient entrepreneurs According to a Business Week article, opportunities for female business-owners are more abundant than ever before. Companies like Zolch, which have female execs at the reign, are showing tremendous growth. As Zolch CEO Nicole Loftus says, "The resources are actually more plentiful and it's much cheaper to start a business now than a decade ago." The article adds that this year, Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, "a salvo against wage discrimination against working women." With new cultural attitudes and support systems in place, barriers against women in the business world will only continue to deteriorate in the coming years.
Time Magazine – Women are better managers In the May 25th issues of Time, titled "the end of work as (we) know it." One of the 10 rules of success is that women will rule the future ranks of management. It is based on some recent research as well as an upcoming book called Womanics. The article states that over the next 10 years 8% of women in the workforce will grow, compared to only 5% of men.
I am glad that 12 years ago I suggested that My Wife is Right about how businesses should be managed and run and how investors should invest to produce results that customers, employees and savers all relish. The only thing I am sad about is that it took 12 years for my original thesis to take hold. The good newshoweveris that social networking both in the B2B and B2C world are playing a major role in bringing my original to bear. The result for us all - a more balanced and social world where work and play, personal and business, social and financial will be joined in a more seamless and successful way for us all.