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The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 17. Mai 2013

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'The promise of Gerzema and D'Antonio's vision is compelling. Time alone will tell what choices today's young men and women will make, and the extent to which corporate culture and structures will be transformed as a result' (Financial Times, May 2013)

'The authors show how feminine traits are ascending--and bringing success to people and organizations around the world. By nurturing, listening, collaborating and sharing, women and men are solving problems, finding profits, and redefining success in every realm' (Public Net, June 2013)

"Captivating... a fascinating case study of human nature, this book provides insight into future world leaders."
--Publishers Weekly
"With a wealth of data and even richer stories from around the world, The Athena Doctrine offers convincing proof that the future requires us to embrace traits and values traditionally linked to women. Leave it to two fathers of daughters to show us how men and women alike are using empathy and collaboration to solve problems big and small. If you care about leadership, creativity, and the world of tomorrow, you must read this book."
--Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief, The Huffington Post
"The Athena Doctrine is a powerful book. Extraordinary research. Great story telling. A message both timely and of monumental importance."
--Tom Peters, leadership guru and bestselling author, In Search of Excellence
"Goddess of both craft and wisdom, patron of Odysseus, and inspiration for legions of smart girls, Athena is an icon for our times. The Athena Doctrine offers a gender-neutral approach to embracing a set of values that underpin a new generation of innovation based on connection and creativity. It is an optimistic and energizing book."
--Anne-Marie Slaughter, professor of politics and international affairs, Princeton University; former director of policy planning, U.S. Department of State
"The Athena Doctrine offers more than ample evidence of the rebalance needed in global leadership. Painstakingly researched and documented, with interviews of amazing people all over the world, the ideas in this book will influence the leaders of tomorrow and, more importantly, make the case for more women leaders."
--Pat Mitchell, president and CEO, the Paley Center for Media; curator, TEDxWomen
"Rich in data and stories from around the world, this fresh analysis will certainly provoke healthy debate in the workplace and hopefully smash through a few glass ceilings."
--Tina Brown, Editor-in-Chief, Daily Beast and Newsweek
"...this is a book for everyone, and I have no doubt that your life and your work will be enriched by reading it."
--Jack Covert, 800-CEORead


Women don't yet rule the world, but people around the globe sure wish they had more influence on business, government, and every other aspect of modern life. Among 64,000 people surveyed in thirteen nations, two-thirds said the world would be a better place if men thought more like women. The sentiment was the same across the planet: we've had enough of the winner-takes-all, masculine approach to getting things done. It's time for something better.
Inspired by their data, John Gerzema and Michael D'Antonio traveled the world to uncover stories of women and men who lead innovative organizations with the skills and values commonly associated with women. By emphasizing cooperation, communication, and sharing, these pioneers succeed in a super-connected world. In The Athena Doctrine, the authors show why femininity is the operating system of twenty- first-century prosperity:
* Leadership: values traditionally associated with women create more effective leaders and organizational strategies in today's society.
* Career management and self-improvement: traits associated with women-flexibility, empathy, and honesty-underpin career mobility and personal fulfillment.
* Change management: feminine traits help us adapt seamlessly and effectively to today's changes.
Brought to life through fresh stories from around the world and backed by rigorous data, The Athena Doctrine shows how feminine values are ascending. By nurturing, listening, and collaborating, men and women alike are resolving conflicts, finding profits, and redefining success in every realm. Rich with implications for leadership, change management, and even career management, these stories will inspire you to find the same success.

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13 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Would we be as comfortable telling women to get in touch with their masculine side? 18. August 2013
Von Jonathan Gifford - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a clever and interesting book that makes a valuable contribution to the vital debate about how we should build the organisations of the future (since our current organisational structures are clearly failing). So criticising the book seems perverse and small-minded - like taking a pop at Mother Theresa. But I can't help myself. So: this is an interesting book and I urge you to read it, but...

My first problem is that I have an aversion to the approach that takes an interesting idea and tries to turn it into a programme or, indeed, a doctrine - so much so that if a young entrepreneur were to tell me that they were starting a new venture and that it was a, like, you know, Athena Doctrine kind of thing? I would be obliged to poke them in the eye. Which would not be very Athena Doctrine of me.

But I have some more grown up quibbles too. My main issue is that I really do not think that it is useful to attach a label of any kind to sets of valuable human characteristics - like empathy, creativity, intuition, adaptability etc. In the case of the 'Athena Doctrine', of course, the label that Gerzema and D'Antonio have attached to these and other valuable characteristics is 'feminine'. Since they themselves argue later in the book that we should attempt take a 'gender neutral' approach to people, it's hard to see why they think that it is useful to say, in effect, that we should all get in touch with our feminine side.

Funnily enough, the authors recount in their introduction how they ran their ideas past a female academic who 'scrunched up her face like a professor listening to a student offering a terrible answer' and concluded, "I object to you calling these things feminine." I'm on her side. But the guys went ahead and did it anyway.

The authors had surveyed 64,000 people around the world and found that (surprise surprise) we are pretty consistent in perceiving certain characteristics as feminine and others as masculine. You could probably write the list yourself. 'Masculine' attributes include rugged, dominant, rigid, ambitious, overbearing etc. and feminine characteristics include trustworthy, flexible, social, emotional etc. etc. Now this just tells me that we are disappointingly stereotyped in our thinking about gender and that we really should perhaps start thinking about 'useful' and 'damaging' behaviour traits rather than 'masculine' and 'feminine' ones. But never mind.

The next bit in the authors' research is the part that I really do have a problem with. They went on to ask the same audience to rate the importance of the attributes that have now been categorised as masculine or feminine to such things as leadership, success, morality and happiness. The answer is: a majority of people around the world tend to associate 'feminine' attributes with these things.

Now, when the authors talk about 'leadership', it is easy to agree that having leaders who are more empathetic, caring, reasonable, concerned etc would be a good thing. But when the authors talk about morality, for example, I don't know what they are trying to say. The fact that we associate the so-called 'feminine' characteristics of 'loyalty, reason, empathy and selflessness' with morality really does NOT mean that morality is, in any meaningful sense, 'feminine'. Men are clearly capable of moral behaviour, and it seems nonsensical to say that they are calling on their 'feminine' characteristics in order to be moral. There is a hint of a logical fallacy here, as in: All lemons are yellow; Canaries are yellow; Therefore canaries are lemons.

There is another problem with the authors' general methodology. Gerzema and D'Antonio are saying, essentially, that their survey shows that a majority of people around the world think that many 'feminine' qualities are strongly related to, for example, leadership. Therefore leaders should strive to be more feminine. When you say that quickly, it sounds quite reasonable. But it is entirely possible that another survey would show that a majority of people believe, for example, that the characteristics strongly related to being a successful attorney (for example) are predominantly masculine (analytical, logical, aggressive, assertive etc). Would we be so happy to draw the conclusion that female attorneys should therefore strive to be more masculine? I wouldn't, personally speaking, want to say that to an agressive female attorney's face.

Putting to one side my nevertheless fundamental problems with this whole approach of classifying human characteristics in such a simplistic way based on the results of a survey (be it never so grand), the authors also fall into a trap that any self-respecting statistician should be able to avoid. They start to assume that respondents to their survey are walking the talk: they assume that, if a majority of respondents in any particular country, for example, have said that they think 'feminine' characteristics are desirable for this that and the other, then these respondents are fully signed up to a feminist agenda. But a majority of respondents to a survey about health may very well agree that eating less and keeping fit are highly desirable characteristics, and yet themselves be lazy and obese. When Gerzema and D'Antonio argue that there is a correlation between 'countries with higher levels of feminine thinking and behaviour' and per capita GDP, they are making an entirely unwarrantable leap. I can also think of many men who would agree that leaders need to be empathetic, nurturing, caring and sharing but who are, in fact, unreconstructed male chauvinist pigs who run their own empires like particularly malevolent sergeant majors. You may know a few of those yourself. There is (as the authors should well know) a huge gap between what people may say in response to a survey and the way in which they actually behave. In the context of leadership, it is also worth considering what your average respondent is likely to say are the ideal characteristics of a leader. 'Dominant, aggressive and stubborn' (all 'masculine' characteristics, of course)? Probably not.

The authors, by pinning their colours to the mast of gender, are in danger of the kind of stereotyping that they presumably wish to avoid. They don't help their case by falling into a couple of elephant traps of their own making. On page 19, having simply announced that non-profit organisations have 'feminine-leaning ideals' and that 'much of the non-profit sector is feminine in style and focus' (why should non-profit organisations be the exclusive domain of femininity?) they commit this complete howler: 'Of course', they write, 'non-profit organisations also depend on lots of masculine energy.' Masculine energy? I beg your pardon?! The sexist lapse is even more unforgivable since, a few pages earlier, they had shown that 'energetic' was one of the characteristics considered by their survey panel to be gender neutral.

Another example of the thin ice on which they are skating is revealed when they discuss the role of women in the Israeli military, While acknowledging that Israeli women can and do serve in combat roles, they write (p79) that 'Those who possess such traditionally feminine qualities as patience and empathy can prove invaluable in danger points like checkpoints.' So, women soldiers could serve on the front line but, really, their feminine qualities are best used defusing the aggression of (presumably male) motorists at checkpoints. Careful guys - you could be losing your women readers at this point (and, again, I wouldn't like to debate that particular point in person with an Israeli woman solider).

My final, perhaps biggest concern, lies with the enterprises that the authors use to illustrate the reality of the Athena Doctrine. It is very impressive that the authors have taken the trouble to trek around the world, meeting people face to face and recording their conversations. Maybe someone should tell them that the telephone has been invented, but their efforts undeniably give the book a sense of journalistic realism. The enterprises that they describe are often fascinating - this is the book's greatest strength - and they are all in some way, undeniably 'modern': there is a vague thread connecting them that has something to do with networking, trust, higher purpose, social contribution and the like. All wonderful things. But the authors are often reduced to merely asserting that these are 'Athena Doctrine' ('feminine') kind of enterprises. I couldn't for the life of me see what justification they had for making that claim in the majority of cases.

Here are a few examples, chosen at random. The UK-based WhipCar: a clever idea that lets people rent other people's cars when they would otherwise be sitting unused in the driveway. It works, largely because people rent off other real people and feel obliged not to trash their cars. Israel's Tmura organization persuades young entrepreneurs to donate shares in their currently worthless start-ups to the charitable venture. The accumulating value of shares in the few enterprises that become commercially successful is used for charitable purposes. Nice idea. Germany's Friendsurance allows groups of people who have some form of connection to buy insurance: low numbers of claims results in rebates of premiums; peer pressure encourage people to behave responsibly. Sign me up. What is essentially feminine or 'Athena Doctrine' about these enterprises? You tell me.

Other examples, such as India's Self Employed Women's Association or Peru's Women's House, have a clear feminist agenda - but where's the news in that? My favourite non-example was Peru's celebrity Chef, Gaston Acurio. He's a celebrity chef, and he is helping to bring the world to Peru and Peruvian food to the world. Good for him - but what, in the name of Athena, is feminine about that?

I think that it is of genuine interest (and is potentially a hopeful sign) that a majority of people around the world are saying that the successful leaders and organisations of the future are likely to be those that are empathetic, concerned, trustworthy, emotionally intelligent and all the rest of it. It is also undeniably true that these qualities are traditionally seen as feminine, for good reason: I buy into the idea that women are biologically 'wired' to be more like this than are men because of our deep past.

But shouldn't we be trying to rise above our biological nature and our old-fashioned stereotypes? Is saying 'men need to get in touch with their feminine side' really twenty-first century thinking? I'm probably being a miserable old (male) curmudgeon. Read the book anyway.
14 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Great book! 17. April 2013
Von SAS - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Starting from the premise that people have lost faith in many of the major institutions in society - government and big business in particular - institutions which happen to be built in a male-oriented paradigm - the authors quite insightfully diagnose that the underlying values that have led to this collapse in trust happen also to be ones that people across cultures identify as male. The solution follows naturally, and is backed up by overwhelming data - namely that we need to evolve to a more balanced male/female approach to leadership, government, and even morality. But what is even more compelling is the enormous and cross-cultural range of stories that illustrate how this can play out in every sphere. The whole approach is really very different from the many books documenting the rise of women in society, and instead is about a new set of values and principles that are on the rise, embodied in a whole new class of male and female leaders. If you are in any kind of leadership position, or want to understand what the attributes of success and happiness are in today's world and tomorrow's, this truly is a must-read.
13 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The Way of the Future 16. April 2013
Von perlovka67 - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Although on the surface it seems like this is a book pitting men and women against each other, when you delve into it you see that it is, in reality, a commentary on modern leadership. The authors spent a great deal of time and energy formulating and fleshing out their ideas and it shows. For those who can't see past the characterization of the values as "feminine", they are missing the main message. These traits can be a competitive advantage, if you open yourself up to them.
11 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Great data, thoughtful discussion 16. April 2013
Von Julia Feldmeier - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
As a woman who has been closely following the End of Men/Lean In narratives, I found the Athena Doctrine to be a great reframing of the gender discussion. It moves the debate away from contentiousness of how much women can or cannot accomplish, and instead examines what we can all accomplish -- men and women -- by embracing more feminine values like empathy, collaboration and humility. Reading this book made me think that maybe if gov't & corporate leaders were a bit more feminine in their approach (and yes, this applies to both men & women), then maybe I wouldn't have to think so hard about whether I can have it all and how far I want to lean in to get it. Instead, success would be more abundant and, hopefully, more widely shared.
10 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Cracked Foundation 30. Juli 2013
Von Hopewell - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
"The world would be a better place if men thought more like women. (66% agree)--results from authors' proprietary study."

From this survey result, the Athena Doctrine posits that qualities that are traditionally thought of as `feminine' will become increasingly important in leadership and business over the course of the 21st century. Gerzema and D'Antonio cite an exhaustive, global study they conducted with over 64,000 respondents from countries representing 65% of global GDP.

They presented half the respondents with a list of qualities and asked which were more `feminine' or `masculine.' Then they asked the remaining half- without gender attribution- to rank those qualities in their importance to success and morality. Without exception, the feminine qualities (among them cooperative, loyal, flexible, friendly, dependable) were ranked more important than masculine ones (aggressive, analytical, daring, decisive, ambitious, et al).

From this, the authors conclude (through numerous anecdotes about women who have brought positive change in their society and men with feminine characteristics who have been `successful') that the 21st century will belong to those who exhibit and practice feminine characteristics.

The author's hard work and rigor is apparent even before you're finished with the introduction. But there are several issues with their approach.

First, they're asking average people in a snapshot in time what is most important and then saying it holds for the next century. To put that in perspective, in 1976 a Time poll asked Americans what they most wanted in a leader. In the wake of Viet Nam and Watergate, the overwhelming response was "honesty." And Americans elected Jimmy Carter, the candidate who rated highest on that trait. What would we think of an author who in 1912 proclaimed ships with watertight doors would be unsinkable for the next century? Gerzema and D'Antonio are guilty of equal hubris.

The issues with their approach don't stop there. Who is to say women have a monopoly on loyalty and dependability? (For that matter, who is to say only men are brave and ambitious?) The entire idea of ascribing traits based on gender feels like a cynical ploy to exploit gender controversy.

Third, they totally ignore the often-necessary negative side of leadership. Yes, it would be great if we could all cooperate and empathize and seek consensus. But what of the new CEO who's just been put in charge of a failing business and is faced with the choice of closing plants or closing the company? Life doesn't always give us a win-win positive outcome.

Fourth, many of the feminine traits are ascribed to motherhood, an institution universally revered. Of course this will be rated higher; it is human nature to want to be nurtured and cared for. But judging an entire gender based on a single word is inviting stereotype. Leadership and success is far more nuanced. Their analysis ignores this completely.

Fifth, like the folks in the 1976 survey, some of the answers are flat wrong. For instance, `aggressiveness' had the most negative connotation and most masculine characteristic. But attributes vary based on the context: are we aggressive in starting a war? That would be kinda negative. However, aggressiveness is the father of ambition. Don't believe me? Think of the most ambitious person you know and then tell me they're passive. I don't think anyone would describe Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos (hey, this is Amazon) as passive. Similarly, those willing to take risks (like the aforementioned) are the ones that have- and will- change the world.

So the Athena Doctrine gets four stars for effort, but subtract two because it's built on a cracked foundation.
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