Amid the happy chaos of Christmas morning, my 14-year-old daughter unwraps a calendar with these words on the cover: The Future Is Female. A lively discussion between our two kids, my husband and me on the truths and challenges of that sentiment thus ensues.

“Women rule!” crows our 12-year-old at one lively point in our rowdy conversation.

“But how is that any different from men ruling over women?!” counters our 14-year-old.

“Surely there is some positive aspect of the masculine that can help to serve the future?” My husband courageously speaks up as the only man in the room.

I sigh and lean back onto the couch.

What Is Feminine Leadership?

This Christmas day debate is a more raucous version of the exact dialogue that has been looping in my mind for several years. Even before I started Spiral Leadership, an early feminine leadership program, in 2017, I was designing, exploring, expanding, promoting and validating the more feminine aspects of our leadership capacities.

To be honest, I have never sat easily with the term “feminine leadership” and have been going round and round with the validity of promoting feminine leadership as distinct from integrated, whole or conscious leadership. Five years ago, when people were less familiar with the phrase, I found myself explaining what I understood feminine leadership to mean at every turn: namely, the qualities that have been traditionally associated with women are needed now to balance out the bias towards masculine qualities (those traditionally associated with men) that have come to define how we think about leadership in our western culture.

Five years later, the term “feminine leadership” is widespread. We hear it everywhere these days. But what does it actually mean? And what does it have to do with Co-Active?