Strategies for Women Leading Men, by Lisa Whittle

Part 9 in series: Women of Faith in Leadership

When women offer truth from the wellspring of their own life experience, it resonates…  regardless of their gender!

by Lisa Whittle

Becoming the first ever solo-female author under the acclaimed George Barna literary imprint intimidated me. Can I influence men? Can I play in the boy’s field? I had all these thoughts when I was offered a contract for this new writing project.

Happy businesswoman with colleagues in the background - Photo courtesy of ©, Image #10361595
Photo courtesy of ©


Until this time, my “tribe” consisted mainly of women. Although I am a strong woman, I was not sure I could adapt my leadership style in order to connect with men. Thankfully, I have.
In the intervening months, I have learned four tactics:
1. Understand men’s need for brevity. I learned very quickly in working with men that I would need to find a way to say a lot in a few words. (You might think that being married, I would have already known this.) But the reality is that females tend to be wordy. Men cut to the chase. If I was going to be successful in influencing men, I needed to respect their need for brevity.
2. Connect to a universal need. While we do not share gender, we do share many other human needs. We both search for significance. We both have a need to define ourselves outside of our roles. We both desire to be loved and appreciated. Connecting to a universal need is an important aspect of influence—with both genders. But it is especially as it relates to women influencing men.
3. Don’t apologize for your growing influence.  More than ever, women are becoming influencers in less traditional venues. The church is even using women in a vibrant, new way. It is an exciting opportunity for women to use their unique voice to share truth. Men who embrace this will benefit, just as the women who embrace it will. But first, women have to own their growing influence, without apologizing for it.
4. Show them truth from your life. Regardless of their gender, when women offer truth from the wellspring of their own life experience, it resonates. Truth is truth. Therefore, being more intentional about sharing our life experiences is a way to expand our influence and connect in a meaningful way.
Women have been influencing men for years, in society as well as in the home. But it is my conviction that in the coming years, I believe this will only grow. The key for women is to learn how best to translate that influence to reach both women and men.
When that happens, everyone wins.
Question: What have you learned about how women can best influence men?


Author, blogger, speaker and Compassion International advocate, Lisa Whittle

Author, blogger and speaker Lisa Whittle is an innovative thinker and a bold leader with great insights into male-female issues in leadership. Her first solo book Behind Those Eyes: What’s Really Going on Inside the Souls of Women (Thomas Nelson) is available on Amazon.  Lisa’s new book, {W}hole was released by Barna Books last September

Lisa’s post originally appeared in the blog Intentional Leadership curated by Michael Hyatt. (Used by permission.)


Next post in series:  She Who Is: Elizabeth Johnson and the Language of Leadership

See also, How I Changed My Mind About Women in Leadership, by Scot McKnight