Lessons in Leadership From Work in Venture Philanthropy

Recently there was an inspiring article about Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of Acumen Fund entitled "Women and leadership: Learning from the social sector" at the The McKinsey Quarterly Online.

And this is my comment!

Jacqueline has a refreshing perspective regarding men and women working internationally and her concern about demoralizing and devaluing men. It serves humanity when men and women do support one another. A major key is in recognizing the gender differences focusing on strengths of both.

Another point that struck me was her remarkable ability to step back and be an observer of a situation and take responsibility for what’s not working. Jacqueline’s self awareness is evident when she points out while in Rwanda working with small groups of women she says: “... I went in as a leader with pure audaciousness. I didn’t have as much humility in that I just assumed...” She listened to the women’s perspectives and learned that “dignity is so much more important to the human spirit than wealth.”

She went there to contribute to the leadership of the women with one attitude and caught that something had to change—and it was her own perspective. I believe that as leaders we are teachers and students. We teach what we want to learn and master. She found that “leadership as a way of inspiring, listening, and letting people...grow themselves in their own way.”

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