06 March 2006

Working with Smart Women

Here, quoted exactly as it was asked, is a question from one of My colleagues: "You read these marketing-to-women blogs and now you're reading some book about finances for women. Aren't you sure about yourself?"

For the sake of keeping this post short, I'll assume the question was asked partially in jest. But My colleague had a point: why am I doing these tasks?

At the practical level, as The Jenius has pointed out before, women are in the majority, and as a consultant, business developer and writer for mass audiences ("mass" being defined as "more than 10 readers"...) women have a profound influence on the kind and type of work I do.

At the emotional level, I simply enjoy working more with women than with men. Although I have several highly-esteemed male colleagues, My fastest and deepest business connections are still with women. It isn't a case of one gender being better than another, it's simply a case of their being different and feeling more comfortable with one style than with another.

But at a unified level, the question forced Me to think about more than just "bottom line" and "comfort level". And the answer is: The Jenius wants to make the biggest difference possible. More on that in a moment.

My personality is not given to doing detail work, dealing with minutiae and the nitty-gritty. It may hamper My ultimate level of success, but so be it; there are plenty of "micromanagers" who also fail to achieve success because they focus too much on the little things. My style tends to be one of launching flights of fancy and making them happen along the way, a description that I'm sure causes most women to twist their lips into a smirk. Or a snarl.

For in that sense, My mind is eminently masculine, or at least, more "guy" than "gal". The reason I like working with women is that they often balance this "imagination unchecked" tendency with their own, eminently practical side. Where I am more "gal" than "guy" is that I actively seek this input and make use of it, rather than just going ahead in solo flight, or asking for input only to ignore it because it didn't have testicles attached to it.

And to accomplish this, I can't have a "winning at all cost" mentality, which one would expect from a guy who says His epitaph should be "He HATED to lose." By recognizing weaknesses I have and looking to offset them with the strengths of others, compatible to Me, I can increase the probability of My ultimate success.

In addition, by working with and targeting women as part of my work and its goals, I can then be assured of reaching the largest possible group. Essentially, I work for the largest possible market in ways that boost My strengths and all-around enjoyment of that work. When you like what you do and work with good people, your impact is certainly going to be large.

And The Jenius wants it to be as large as possible.

So I will continue to read marketing-to-women blogs, books about finances for women, or about business issues from a woman's perspective and engaging in conversations and brainstorming sessions with women. Nothing against men, for I will continue to work with quite a few of them, but The Jenius is aiming for the majority.

We all will, eventually.

The Jenius Has Spoken.


Holly Buchanan said...

I'm reminded of a divorce lawyer who was a client of mine. He only had women as clients. At first, I thought he was crazy. Why would he narrow down his options like that? Why specialize in women?

Well - he's not so crazy. 70% of all divorces are filed by women. And many of these women did not like the competitive/methodical lawyers who did not listen to them or understand their unique needs.

This lawyer did. Last I heard he'd opened up an entire practice and was hiring more lawyers to help him with his booming business.

taking the time to try to understand women and their unique needs as your customer? Crazy? methinks you're on the right track, Gil

Anonymous said...

Gil - I knew when we met at WOMBAT in Orlando that you were one smart dude! Women often have a different approach towards business and management that fosters relationship building and in turn, leades to stronger team development.

For many women, our challenge now is to maintain the qualities that you so appreciate and pull in the strenghts that are historically "male." So what does that mean? That we continue to learn from each other and grow together. In a business environment that can only lead to a better product/service and marketing strategy that is relevant and adds value for our customers.

The companies that can pull that off will be the winners in this new, exciting consumer focused world.

Thanks for a great post.