Male Privilege and Female Leadership

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So I curate a Leadership Blog at a graduate school

This means sometimes I write for it myself, and sometimes I find great guest writers who write for us or allow us to repost previously posted articles.

I scope out the inter webs for insightful and practical articles for anyone in a leadership position…from a small group leader, to a parent, to an influential thinker and writer, to a minister, to a business owner. Anyone who influences someone else is in a position of leadership.

[BTW-send me your links of leadership articles or pitch me your ideas. I’d love to have new voices posted at the Deeper Leader blog!]

There’s a lot of information out there, but there’s a big blind spot too.

I’ve noticed something. Not too many male leaders list women authors, leaders, and thinkers in their blogrolls or refer to them in posts. You don’t see that women influence them. What about Christian male leaders? It seems twice as bad.

Michael Hyatt’s “Intentional Leadership” blog is a favorite of mine. I LOVE it. But have you noticed that not one video on his homepage sidebar features a female leader? Does he even realize the omission? Should he maybe be more intentional on this part….I think yes!

(and so should I! I need to question who I read and why. I have a blind spot too.)

Let’s mind the gap.

As I prepare articles to begin announcing our 1st annual Women in Ministry: Conversations with Leaderships forum (June 12) I realize the glut. It’s massive.

So, what’s up?

• Is it that men don’t give it much thought? (an innocent blind spot that is likely borne of “male privilege“?)

• Is there a hidden bias or disregard for female leaders, and even among female leaders themselves?

and do men feel less manly if they read women authors? Any of that going on?

• Do men think, “Sure, I support women, but women leaders speak mainly to women and not to me”?

Let’s ask some hard and honest questions while at the same time not blaming, dividing and separating from each other. Let’s move the conversation forward!

I, for one, am going to assume the best from my male writers and friends. I’m going to put my trust and hope in the idea that if we bring the imbalance to greater attention and awareness maybe we can chip away at the disparity and both genders will be richer for it!

• What about you?

Are the top ten blogs or books you read written by a balance of men and women? If, so why or why not?

Are you taking the time to learn from someone else’s purview?

• How do we do better at offering others the chance to hear insights from the whole breath of the human species? 

• What can we do about the blind spot?

LINK UP & Join Forces?

If you’d like to participate in the conversation, write an article and leave the link in the comments section. I’ll put the word out about your post too!

Andi Cumbo is tackling this and a few others. Will update soon!

New Beginnings!

Today, I’m synching up with the Deeper Leader blog over the question:



What new beginnings will there be for you or your team?

Well! I just started my second 9 week class in my Masters of Arts in Christian Leadership. (It’s sort of like a power-packed Christian MBA)

This weekend we met for class (the rest of the learning happens online).

The time was packed with insights and new material, all of which will be so helpful not just with getting to know my fellow-learners, but in every environment I am leading in and will lead in.

The course centers on leadership theories and involves a lot of searching and self-awareness, learning of one’s strengths, temperaments, and personal leadership styles. Sometimes this is encouraging, but other times the process reveals blind spots, wounds, and flaws. 

I’ve realized that a wounded but healed leader is the easiest for me to trust.

The insights we gain from knowing ourself and others better works like getting bionic limbs just before we climb a mountain. Things that were confusing, personalities that seemed perplexing, and the power for gifts and talents laser into focus.

Here are a few of the books I’m learning from that I’ve really been enjoying. (Two Big thumbs up!)

Another test I took for the course has to do with using a social and emotional competency inventory tool (ESCI). Social and emotional intelligence is too rare a commodity in bosses, in case you haven’t heard. :)

Plus, I did the Myers-Briggs Test. (I’m an EN(F/T)P, almost split F&T)
Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs test?  (If so, what are your letters?)

Have you taken the Strength Finder test (it comes with the book)?

I highly recommend it! You will be blessed and so will those you influence!


Depth in Leadership is “Special Sauce”?

Probably the first thing people think of with “Depth” in Leadership is experience and know-how. Good stuff….but I think there’s an undervalued “Special Sauce” to Leadership …more on that in a minute.

Here’s the important and obligatory mention of the impetus for this post:

I’m contributing to this week’s new Deeper Leader Blog topic “How Do We Define ‘Depth’ in Leadership?”


The Deeper Leader SyncrhoBlog sponsored by Evangelical Seminary is running September 24-28th. (A new topic will be offered up for contributions once or twice per month. It’s a great place to read fresh ideas, get inspiration, learn some things, or join in anytime.)

Remember, you are invited and encouraged to add your voice to this dialogue too by commenting here, or over there, or linking up your related article if you write one. Go here for more details to get started. 

The Special Sauce

I’m not sure why I said it like that. I guess I’ve landed on something: The loudest leaders aren’t the best at it. Not usually.

Sure, the leaders who get the gigs and have the awesome bio paragraphs, big numbers and impressive sounding credentials seem the most successful. But, I’ve been most transformed and most influenced by the “nobodies”. The ones with quiet and stable wisdom.

I have a rather introverted spiritual director, for instance. She’s grandmotherly and loving. Though she’s formally trained and experienced she won’t be featured at the upcoming Catalyst conference, trust me. She won’t be recognized by “big shots”, nearly all of whom are men, by the way. Perhaps she doesn’t fit their paradigm for leadership experts.

It’s her consistency, character, and depth of understanding that make her easy to follow. I trust her. I listen to her wise words. I soak in her tidings.


In a world of big burger alpha leaders we can forget about the Special Sauce. The stuff that makes ordinary people worth trusting and following. It comes from battle-tried life experience, courage, and the willingness to care, help, and listen.

It’s funny too because popularity in leadership seems arbitrary. Dave Ramsey, for an example, is all about Leadership (as well as finance). He even coined a term for his leadership training called “Entreleadership”. He’s at the top of the pile with courses, podcasts, books, and resources out the wazoo. I’ll bet he helps a lot of people with all of it too. Yet, when I listen to him on his radio show, I’m not sure I’d like to spend a full evening with the man. Even though I think he’s aces with financial freedom advice, I don’t think he’s earned trust within me like my lowly mentor has done so easily. I’d have to spend time with him to figure that out for certain, of course.

Depth is best seen when when know someone. Their influence may be like a secret special sauce that goes unnoticed but changes everything.

That’s depth that makes a positive difference.

Are you a mature Leader? {Mary DeMuth on Being a ‘Deeper Leader’}

Are most leaders mature?

“whaa WHAH!”
(That’s the “nope” sound from Sesame Street in case you’re wondering.)

A deeper leader leads from a place of integrity and maturity.

I’m very happy to be partnering with Evangelical Seminary to bring greater awareness and dialogue to the topic of Leadership and Spiritual Formation. Their new (part distance/part in-person cohort learning method) under 2 year graduate studies program prioritizes spiritual maturity in leadership training, and in our culture, it’s sorely needed.

I’m looking into getting a second masters degree. That’s how good this program is.
Are spiritually mature leaders important to you?
If so, there is an excellent opportunity to associate with the leadership resources launching at ES, and participate in promoting and nurturing spiritually formed leaders through a new variety of approaches. First of all you can help spread the word by sharing the information and resources you find at ES, and through their social media outlets. Articles, events, forums, go-to resources, guest writers, and more is coming.
Also, a synchroblog is in the works for the 2nd September (soon!) on the topic. Learn more on the Evangelical Facebook page or their website this week and next. (I will also post updates here.)

You can join in and be a part of something BIG.

If you are a leader and have a tribe or a blog, you can submit articles for consideration for a featured guest post spot at the Deeper Leader blog sponsored by ES. (Use the contact form on the right to express your interest.) This will pair you with some amazing professions in the the field of leadership, spiritual formation (sometimes called discipleship), leadership studies at the graduate level, and help nurture a whole new generation of better equipped leaders.

The first featured guest writer in this new phase is unveiled today! It’s none other than prolific author, the “living uncaged” Mary DeMuth. Read her contribution on leadership here.

Mary DeMuth is Living Uncaged!