May 15, 2019•389 words
Women's Circle Business
"You try meddling in Women's Circle business, and see how you like eating your own cooking. Which you won't do in my kitchen. And washing your own clothes and making your own bed. Which won't be under my roof."
Daise Congar to Wit Congar, The Eye of the World, p. 7
At the risk of causing a roiling feminist stampede; I'll explore some different nuances to Daise Congar's stout proclamation. Admittedly, on the surface, it reeks of the past two centuries and earlier eras: relegating women to simple household duties. I'm far more interested in the idea that the Women's Circle takes complete ownership of the household duties. In four short sentences, we see, quite clearly, that there is a deep rooted pride what the Women's Circle does. There is clearly a level of satisfaction gained from executing a task well: if you've ever watched a musician playing "in the zone," oftentimes you'll notice a slight smile, almost a smirk, acknowledging their own perfection. Flawless, or near-flawless execution breeds confidence, an important leadership trait. Just as critical is that perfectionist's eye, attention to detail, ensuring that the teams are performing tasks correctly and making forward progress. Complete ownership, of the task and the outcomes (positive or negative), is fundamental to good leadership.
This isn't to be confused with micromanagement. Daise is quick to point out that Women's Circle business is completed to the satisfaction of the Women's Circle, not some outside entity. Micromanagement on the other hand, would be that outside entity dictating every step of the project; instead of the leader owning the task and the desired end-state and working their way towards that goal. Critical to the success of such ownership-centered leadership is trust. With trust goes confidence. The two have a symbiotic relationship: as confidence builds in the junior leader to take on more, the trust grows between the junior and senior leader. As that trust increases, the senior is more confident in the junior's ability and willing to entrust more to them. And the cycle of ownership-centered leadership continues.