I was thinking about Robert Lord’s Implicit Leadership Theory the other day during my meeting with the Weekly Executive Group. They were discussing power and how the President did not feel as though certain people within the organization heard her, or if they did, then they were just blatantly ignoring her and disregarding her authority. These people, as I touched upon in my last blog post, are white, female, and from North America. Although I want to refrain from making a broad sweeping generalization, research and studies have shown that within North America many of our ILT’s are as follows: white, male, and middle-aged. The President, on the other hand, is not-white, Brazilian, and speaks a different language natively (Portuguese) so she has an accent. Within this meeting, she wondered aloud if it was because she was Brazilian that she was not taken seriously and if they did not respect that part about her or saw themselves as superior because they were from North America. I do not know if it is that specifically, but I do know that she does not match the prototype of a leader within the United States or in Canada.
This all was fascinating to me because she was elected in the first place to be the President and was seen as fit for the position by the other Board Members due to her time serving on the Board, committee work, and Body-Mind Centering experience and expertise. However, in practice, the way that others are currently viewing her within the organization and the way she is able to gain control and lead are not aligning.
These conversations seem very recent and fresh. Although the President and Vice President said that they have been talking about the lack of respect they have received for the last year and a half now, from when she first began her term as President, it seems especially prevalent right now. I wonder if this may have to do with the other part of the Implicit Leadership Theory that revealed if a company or organization is doing poorly, it is directly associated with the leader, even if they are leading in the same way as they always have been (when it was doing well). I wonder if people within the association are misattributing the company’s current state with her leadership, versus the current affairs of the country.