When I heard the Dalai Lama say, many years ago, that it was the western woman who would save the world, I took it personally.
I had long been working in the field of business, first as a corporate executive and then, like so many other women disgusted with the corporate politics, I became an entrepreneur. The issue, I eventually realized, was that the current business model was written by men for men. This is not a criticism but a fact.
I resolved to do business differently, consciously and ultimately developed, with my business partner, Karen Halseth, a Conscious Business Woman Manifesto with nine tenets. We identified what made us uncomfortable in the male business model: for example, corruption, exclusion, competition, patriarchy, and greed. Our Manifesto would focus on such qualities as integrity, active listening, collaboration, inclusivity, sustainability and sharing the wealth. A Conscious Business Woman knows that women are her allies not her rivals.
When we introduced it at one of our monthly networking gatherings, Developing Alliances: Professional Gatherings for Extraordinary Women, our audience roared their appreciation. It was one our finest moments to witness 70 women standing, reading the Manifesto aloud and then sitting down to sign it. As Conscious Business Women, we hold enormous power; we choose who we do business with, invest with, and partner with.
Today there are almost 250 million women running businesses across the world and on average more than a third of global firms have female owners.
We realized that many business women have been trained by men in the art of manipulation, using bullying techniques such as shaming and creating false states of urgency to keep the pressure on. We committed to only bring in speakers who were aligned with the Manifesto, and to not reward those salespeople who were invested in the old model. As Conscious Business Women, we value developing a relationship with another business woman first, the “know-like- and trust” model. I want to know who you are, what you stand for, and to see if we can relate to each other before I sign up for one of your programs. Don’t you?
The heart has been trashed in the old model, it’s clear that the head rules when you look at decisions made by share-holders and governing bodies that are greed-based and demonstrate their disregard for the wellbeing of those less fortunate. And yet, it has been proven that the heart is actually more intelligent than the brain – no surprise there!
What if we all worked together for the good of all people?
Can you imagine a world like that?
We are seeing another powerful way that women are saving the world through the “Me Too!” and “Time’s Up” movements, by finding their voices and speaking out.
How are you playing your part? We’d love to hear from you.