Men and women are different, there is no doubt about that. We look different, think differently, and interpret the world around us differently. So, when it comes to leadership, why are we expected to operate the same? Dr Joanna Martin recognised this need to embrace our difference and find a way to help women be the powerful, inspirational leaders the world needs. Her company, One of Many, was inspired by the Dalai Lama’s quote “The Western woman will save the world” and strives to bring leadership philosophies back to a more natural rhythm that complements women’s needs as well as satisfies the demands of modern-day workloads.
Sadly, Joanna has seen many women, who are more than capable of a leadership role, opt out due to other commitments, a perceived lack of time or simply nothing left in the tank to take on more responsibility.
“A lot of women will opt out of taking the opportunity to step into more senior leadership, because frankly, they are the ones still doing the juggle. Someone still has to buy the Christmas presents and make sure the car insurance is paid. Usually it is the woman who is doing all of the family’s ‘life admin’ as well as holding down a job as well as being the primary caregiver for children,” Joanna said.
At the core of her community is the understanding that women’s bodies have a natural rhythm that should be tapped into, not dismissed. Our hormones affect our psychology and ways of thinking, but not always in a negative way. Yes, the anxiety, mood swings and brain fog many women experience, thanks to fluctuating hormone levels, can cause upset, but with these biological differences comes a unique insight, which can be leveraged for the positive. To help women in a very practical way, One of Many established the program, Be Fruitful, to teach women how to better manage their time (most women find at least five hours a week that they didn’t know they had), feel more energy, be in control of their schedules and regain control of their lives.
“Our philosophy on leadership is that a great leader is someone who has their platform in place and their messaging, but that platform is held up by their life. It is really hard to be an inspiring leader when you can’t pull yourself out of bed, because you are burned out. It’s impossible to be a very powerful or inspiring leader when you or your partner has spent the night on the couch, because you are fighting so hard and there is no alignment in the relationship. Being a great leader is actually about having stability of those life pillars that underpin you,” Joanna said.
Be Fruitful also challenges the traditional notion of ‘productivity’, from the very linear and mechanistic view to more natural and cyclical. Joanna’s advice for those suffering overwhelm is to quit trying to be ‘productive’, but instead focus on being ‘fruitful’. Allow some flexibility in your daily expectations – no two days are the same. This is the very nature of our cyclical biology.
“We look to nature for inspiration. Understand that we have cycles we move through. There are times for tilling the soil, times where it’s about pruning, and time where it’s actually about harvesting your fruit,” explained Joanna.
“The Western woman will save the world” refers to all of us with the courage, compassion and strength to step up and make changes to the way the world views leadership and femininity. There are many women, like you, with so much to offer once they have the energy and support to go forth and conquer.
“If you are able to step up and change your corner of the world – not the whole world – just your corner, if enough women stepped up, then as a collective, we could utterly transform the world we live in, and I truly believe a transformation is necessary.”
Hear more from Dr. Joanna Martin here at: