Business-Corporate, frontpage


Using Gender Science To Create Success In Business.


Men and women lead differently. Most business people, from front line employees to CEOs, sense this at some level, but can’t quite articulate the differences without falling into the trap of creating male and female stereotypes. In their new book, LEADERSHIP AND THE SEXES Using Gender Science To Create Success In Business (Jossey-Bass, August 2008) gender experts Michael Gurian and Barbara Annis show what the latest scientific studies reveal about male/female brain differences, and explain how these differences impact the ways that men and women negotiate, communicate, lead, and run meetings.

In the first part of LEADERSHIP AND THE SEXES, Gurian and Annis explore the science of gender. They explain, for example, that studies based on MRI, PET, and SPECT scans have been able to pinpoint the different ways that male and female brains function, emphasizing that neither way is superior to the other. Differences include:

*In women’s brains, there are more active sensorial and emotive centers, and better linkage of these centers to language centers; men’s senses don’t generally work as well as women’s. Men don’t process as much emotion, and men don’t tend to link as much complex emotion or sensorial detail to words.

*In men’s brains, the cerebellum tends to be larger than in the female brain. The cerebellum is the center for action and physical movement. Thus, men tend to communicate more non-verbally, with more emphasis on movement and physicality than women’s emphasis on words.

*Men’s brains enter a ‘rest state,’ a zone out state, more easily than women’s. This happens many times per day naturally for men – comparatively, women’s brains do not shut off in this way except in sleep. Men’s brains also enter a rest state when quantities of words become overwhelming during communication.

*Men’s brains circulate more testosterone than women’s, as compared to women’s greater neural emphasis on oxytocin. Testosterone is a competition/aggression chemical. Oxytocin is a bonding chemical. Quite often during communication, men will try to compete while women try to bond.

LEADERSHIP AND THE SEXES then teaches readers how to use this scientific gender intelligence for business success. Based on their hands-on work at dozens of companies during the past two decades, the authors present tactics and tools to improve negotiation, communication, and conflict resolution skills with both genders. They also focus on best practices for retaining, motivating, and working with women. For example, respect women for who they are. Do not expect them to be more like men. The authors also discuss men’s issues, clarifying men’s strengths and leadership styles. Men, for example, are usually bigger risk-takers than women and tend not to hold long-term grudges. They are also constantly testing and being competitive – which is both good and bad – and often runs counter to the way that women prefer to behave.

The final part of LEADERSHIP AND THE SEXES focuses on gender-intelligent mentoring and coaching with specific steps for creating effective programs. The authors warn that men and women need more than same-sex mentors. Cross-gender mentoring is also essential. “The mentoring programs of the future will move in the direction of providing both women and men to mentor both women and men. . . . As you are mentored and mentor others, you are participating in a profoundly important part of being a man or a woman,” the authors write.

Based on in-depth scientific research as well as Gurian’s and Annis’ own consulting work, and filled with powerful examples from today’s business world, LEADERSHIP AND THE SEXES offers a road map to revolutionize the way that companies deal with their work forces from top to bottom. As Dave Roth, former Vice President of Engineering, Packet Engines and Vivato Systems says, “Michael Gurian and Barbara Annis provide a scientific approach that breaks down traditional barriers and enables management to implement gender based leadership rationally. This is an exciting book.”


MICHAEL GURIAN is a New York Times best-selling author of twenty eight books, including The Wonder of Boys, The Wonder of Girls, and What Could He Be Thinking? He has been featured multiple times in nearly all the major media, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, Time, The Today Show, Good Morning America, National Public Radio, The 700 Club, and many others.