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The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  229 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Among 64,000 people surveyed in thirteen nations, two-thirds feel the world would be a better place if men thought more like women. This marks a burgeoning global trend away from the winner-takes-all, masculine approach to getting things done. Drawing from interviews at innovative organizations in eighteen nations and at Fortune 500 boardrooms, the authors reveal how men a ...more
Hardcover, 298 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by Jossey-Bass (first published March 11th 2013)
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Lauren
Feb 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: book-club
Got half way through it and don't care for it enough to finish it. While many of the international projects or business models were interesting- I didn't agree with their premise that they were somehow inherently "feminine". Even the parts that were interesting, were anecdotal, and thus did not contain enough "meat" to really glean much from.
Dane Cobain
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.

I have to give the authors credit here - I disagreed with a fundamental principal of the book, and yet I still immensely enjoyed it. Loosely speaking, the Athena Doctrine is the theory that women and the men that think like woman will lead the way in to a brighter and better future where people work together for a common good.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I disagree with the classifications of which traits are
...more
Reid Mccormick
Dec 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Over the past couple of years, I have become increasingly interested in the topic of women and leadership thanks in large part to my amazing wife. My wife is definitely a leader. People seem to warm up to her almost immediately, but things are far from perfect for her. Unfortunately, I have personally witnessed my wife being treated differently simply because she is a woman. It is incredibly frustrating to see a colleague treat mine differently than they would treat me. I physically feel the fru ...more
Cathy Griffith
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Quite interesting. The authors identify a list of social traits that are usually/traditionally associated with women as opposed to a set of traits usually/traditionally associated with men. Then they look at current economic development & governance in a wide range of countries & cultures which embody the feminine methods & aims (Athena Doctrine) to underscore their assertion that the world will be a better, healthier, more equitable place as "feminine thinking" gains adoption over masculine thi ...more
Lane Hannah
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm reading a lot about inequality lately. What I liked about this book is the real-life stories that breathe life into some of the more academic theories about where we stand now in a world increasingly disillusioned by big business and government involvement - often run in a typically masculine or ego-driven style.
At times the Athena Doctrine is heartwarming in its bringing together of stories of people making a difference in the world. Drawing together research results that demonstrate a cha
...more
Jane
Jan 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Great research on the traits valued in men and women, what really counts for leadership, and what male and female traits all of us need. Then...lots of examples from around the world of individuals and organizations that demonstrate the more feminine. After the research summary, I was expecting far different content...
Cheri
Feb 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
The publishers of this book should be ashamed. Not only is the research on which the "Athena Doctrine" is supposedly founded awful from a scientific perspective, the presentation of the data is also poor and inappropriate for the intended audience. How do you have a book about feminine values in the workplace and only show male viewpoints on the graphs? As the case study section began, none of the supposed Athena principles of leadership that were outlined in chapter one seemed to ever be mentio ...more
Grace
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
I appreciate the intention behind this book, but had an issue with the way that it was presented. By making character traits inherently sexual (i.e. male or female), it makes it harder to "break the mold". I liked the highlight they gave to the gender-neutral preschool in Sweden, but the book essentially contradicted that by making character traits inherently related to one's gender. Again - appreciate the intention, but not the execution.
Sue Parker
Mar 11, 2016 rated it liked it
A good book but not exceptional. As I read further into the book, I found it to be less about distinguishing the masculine vs feminine behaviours, and more about individuals who took advantage of technology and social media to address an immediate local problem, and improve quality of life for small groups of people, that are outlined in the case studies. If you're short on time, flip to the back of the book and read the appendix, it's a good synopsis.
Cindi Kerr
Jul 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Well researched. Thought provoking. Not your usual "women are better at leading than men" diatribe. The book takes a world-view of the "what got us into this won't get us out of it" premise. Not nearly as dry as I'd expected, this book is easy to read and follow. Not just for MBA's but for anyone who is raising children to thrive in the future.
Tyr Astaroth
Aug 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
I took a phenomenally long time to complete this book, and was glad that I had borrowed it from a library instead of wasting good money by purchasing it from the bookstore. Besides the glaring grammatical errors, the book cannot be held as a creditable source of information for any particular industry. Using research and data collection techniques that are dubious at best, the book is written in a feel-good manner that combines weak analysis of dated companies in tandem with learning anecdotes f ...more
Georgia Martine
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was a breath of fresh air in a time where the myth of the lone, billionaire genius is the dominant narrative of success.

It devotes a chapter per country and focuses on the unique viewpoint and struggles each culture has in this modern world, along with the (wholesome) success of a selection of citizens that the authors interviewed.

I was introduced to the Bhutan style of government and way of life for the first time, which has to be one of the most down-to-earth nations:

Change may be i
...more
Bree Taylor
Feb 21, 2020 marked it as dnf
Shelves: nonfiction
A book club selection, The Athena Doctrine was dropped by our book club after the first few chapters.

I'm not sure if the book felt outdated only a few years after being published or that the authors seemed to be doing little but storytelling, but it just didn't speak to me at all.

I was irritated at the continued need to put things in masculine and feminine qualities - mostly because I would like to see them as human qualities rather than continue to place labels on these traits. But, there were
...more
Rick
Sep 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
The book starts with a vignette wherein the authors explain their project to a female researcher and she advises them not to do it. I wish they had taken the advice. The authors don't seem to have any background in business, leadership, or any other relevant topic and don't even bother to connect the examples to their broader points.

I'm a believer in the argument expressed on the cover, and there's good science to support it, but this book doesn't deliver on that promise.

This might be the first
...more
Metzi
May 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
I had a hard time believing the authenticity of this book after they called the infamous Pablo Escobar as Carlos. No fact checks?
I also felt that although I knew this would be more qualitative in scope, it was more of a collection of too good to be true stories.
ghost
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sensational read with lots of fantastic stories about women (and men who think like them) changing the world for the better. What a cool window into parts of the world we rarely get to hear about in America.
Emily
Apr 22, 2020 marked it as dnf
DNF'ed at 18%. I felt like the findings in the introduction were pretty basic/obvious and then the chapters looking at country-specific companies just didn't seem to add anything to my understanding of global gender inequity in leadership
mz
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting examples of innovative leadership around the world.
Erin Matson
Dec 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
Essentializing, dated, patronizing. No thank you.
Caitlin
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not just about women kicking butt and ruling the world. Many of the subjects of this book were not women. This is a really insightful and interesting book giving a survey of different projects, groups, businesses, and government entities that operate differently from the masculine norm and demonstrate how (especially in response to crises) a more feminine approach can be more successful. Gave me a lot to think about.
Sheela
Feb 25, 2016 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the concept of this book, and up until halfway through was actively recommending it to people. However, I think the book suffered from too many in depth examples in its pursuit to show the practice of Athena values worldwide. I was inspired but the Iceland and Israel chapters, but then it was an awkward transition to other European countries and then Asia. Of the Asian examples, I thought the one in Bhutan was the most impactful, but I had gotten bored by the time I made it ther ...more
Chi-Chi
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was a very interesting read. I agree totally that the world needs more of a balance between masculine and feminine principles. I thought the authors did a fine job of presenting examples where cooperation, empathy, and other attributes that are considered feminine lead to a kinder, gentler world where everyone's need can be more closely met.

I had one minor complaint about how female African beekeepers were described. I thought it was patronizing and silly. But otherwise, this was a go
...more
Heather
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
Disappointing. After the introduction, which laid out a somewhat questionable research strategy and outlined the thesis that the authors went on to attempt to prove, the book seemed to consist mostly of feel-good community action stories. Doubtless it took a lot of work to collect these from all over the globe, but it was less rigorous and analytical than I expected. Just didn't deliver as promised.
Laurie
Jul 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Possibly had some interesting and inspiring stories about small companies doing business differently, but I think they forced it into the wrong framework. The idea of masculine and feminine characteristics in leadership was not convincing or well-supported and the authors immediately lost me by relying on really weak correlations to prove their point in the intro. Not recommended.
Rahnia
Jan 19, 2014 rated it liked it
The introduction was fascinating, but the narratives throughout the book didn't quite deliver. The narratives were not clearly connected to the thesis, and I question whether organization by geographic region was an efficient way to manage the material. Relating each chapter (and its stories) to a specific trait that was identified in the introduction would've been more powerful.
Merany Eldridge
Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'm 75% done with this book and I'm giving myself permission to give up on it. The research behind the book's premise seems poorly executed. It's mostly just a series of fluffy company profiles which are more about values of collaboration and connectivity, then feminine values. It seems to me like these have more to do with the internet and social media than women.
Joshua Degreiff
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
First time I just rating 4/5 stars, because I was looking more extended research, psychology and scientific not first chapter and just skip to examples around the world how men need to apply women thinking. I have to give him credit finally someone is trying to open mind of people who are thinking man is doing the right thing always.
Jim
Sep 22, 2015 rated it liked it

Should have been a 10-page article. Good ideas about how leadership must evolve in today's world, but the book is inflated with 200 pages of tangential anecdotes. Beyond that, the "feminine" label is an adequate way to describe the traits that are important in leadership today, but the authors completely miss the trends (technology + economic + social) that have brought about the change.
Rachel
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: business-finance
I'm not sure that the book proves (or even remembers) its own premise. There were interesting stories and ideas that made one think about, and hope for, the future of business in a positive light. It reminded me of a series of Readers' Digest articles.
Theodore Kinni
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
I don't really buy these books that say that we need more feminine energy to solve the world's problems. I think we do need less aggression and more collaboration, less telling and more listening, etc. - but associating that shift with gender seems like a lot of baloney.
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