Expert on practical emotional intelligence and author of 10 books on the subject, Chris Golis, said the core temperament desire found in all successful leaders is the desire to win –something that fewer women have then men.
“While gender diversity limits are being set, because men have a significantly higher desire to win than women, so there is no chance there will ever be equal number of women CEOs and leaders,” said Mr Golis.
“A good example of this difference is the 2015 study by Professor Robert Deaner, a psychologist at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, who studied 1,147 long distance runners competing in the 5,000 metres in the US National Collegiate Athletic Association”
"He chose this sport because it is equally popular among men and women and there is no disparity in prize money. The researchers found that men were far more competitive at all levels than female runners.
"Men and women differed by about half a standard deviation on competitiveness measures which is moderate to large but this kind of a difference still means that many of the female runners are more competitive than many of the male runners.'
“Successful leaders seek power and are steadfast, decisive and forceful. They are very good in arguments and very good with words – something not naturally found in many women,” said Mr Golis.
“The core emotional drive that all leaders must have, namely the desire to win, is based on the mental illness of paranoia.”
“This does not exclude females from becoming leaders but they do need this core emotional drive. Julia Gillard and Maggie Thatcher are two who come to mind.”
“My own view is that you become a leader in a large organisation due to three factors: nature, nurture and luck,” he said.
“Luck probably plays the most important part, but studies of identical twins suggest that nature is twice as important as nurture.”
“There are significant temperament differences between men and women. Most women have three common emotional drives:
• The desire to communicate – women seek to talk, particularly to each other.
• The desire for security – family and home are paramount.
• The desire to create – more women are interested in fashion and interior design.
Most men on the other hand are driven by three different desires:
• The desire to complete projects – men love to withdraw into caves and build things.
• The desire to win – men love to play and watch competitive sports and seek power.
• The desire for material success – men love their boys’ toys.
“It is the desire to win that separates leaders from the rest of us,” says Mr Golis.
Blanche d’Alpuget, wife and biographer of Bob Hawke, has called this fighting spirit the warrior instinct and maintains that all successful leaders have this drive in their personalities.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of Lean In, has said, “There will never be a truly equal world until women run half our countries and companies and men run half our homes.” Unfortunately nature is going to disappoint her.
About Chris Golis
Chris Golis is a graduate of Cambridge and the London Business School. After successful careers in IT and venture capital where he was the director of some 30 private and public companies and 5 venture capital funds, Chris is now pursuing a third career as professional speaker and workshop leader on practical emotional intelligence. He is the author of ten books on emotional intelligence available at