Women, Men, Work and Emotion

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About Ed Batista

Ed Batista is an executive coach, a change management consultant, and an Instructor and Leadership Coach at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.


  1. Dave Kaiser says:

    school teaches us to be obedient and follow rules, but that’s not always what gets us ahead in business and life.

    • I agree, Dave. School is an appropriate model for children, because it works on the passive model where students surrender authority to teachers on not only the content of the courses, but on which courses are appropriate or required and when. Even if students in college approached school more as adults, not in this passive mode but as consumers (and college does encourage this model more than public school does, though it’s possible to take college just as passively as one does high school), I think they’d perform better. I know I felt more empowered in college, and that it was my responsibility to get educated for the career I wanted. I also did a lot better in college than I did in high school.

  2. When I’ve talked with close friends about advancing within their current job or during pursuit of their next job, I found myself suggesting several of the attitude shifts in this article … but the article really ties it all together very well. Thus shared/posted it on my Facebook. Kudos, Ed!

  3. It was interesting to read that article; it assumes that women are victimized because they are in a ‘double bind’ created entirely by men – where they are not allowed to be too ambitious.

    I just finished reading the article here on this site about the rapid and pervasive falling behind of boys in grade school and high school.

    So I am left wondering: Which is the reality? Are women really automatically victims at this point? And how does this professor treat the men in his class, if he believes the women are being treated unfairly by the men, simply because they are men? There is no data provided. And should I really pity anyone who is an MBA student at Stanford when there is so much suffering elsewhere?

    The professor bemoans the 40% figure for women in his classes. What would satisfy him? A 50% quota?

    The article seems like something from a time warp.

    What a terrible mess we have gotten ourselves into.

  4. @ Dave & Justin: I fully agree. School rewards obedience and compliance, but that’s not a recipe for success in the real world–so it’s important to unlearn some of the behavioral lessons we absorbed as kids.

    @ James: Thanks! As I mention above, I’ve wrestled with these issues myself, so it’s heartening to hear that others might benefit from this post.

    @ tim: Both realities are true: Boys are clearly falling behind in education, and women are still well behind in business. (Women are 4% of Fortune 500 CEOs and 16% of board members.) The point that Johnson and Mohr make in their original post actually links these two realities, noting that one reason why women don’t do as well in business is because they apply the same principles that served them well in school, failing to recognize that the disobedient, non-compliant behaviors that get us in trouble at school often serve us well in business. On the matter of suffering, I don’t apply a means test to empathy, nor do I believe it’s a finite quality that I must dole out carefully lest I run dry. All the best.

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