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Incoming president of SMA makes case for women CEOs

JANAKI GOOTY

Janaki Gooty, Ph.D., the 2019 incoming president of the Southern Management Association, says some leaders in the business world have an inability to lead, based on their inability to relate.

The first thing we ask each other is how the other person is doing. “Emotions matter in the workplace…A big part of every one of us is our feelings,” says Gooty, an assistant professor at Belk College of Business at UNC-Charlotte.

She loves to teach working MBA students, as each class brings new perspectives to her course material.

It seems women have a competitive edge around emotions and connecting to passion to lead. Men are notoriously less able to manage through emotions, yet only 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women.

Almost two-thirds of employees say they’d like a new boss over a pay raise.

More women in seats of corporate power might mean an increase in the GDP.

“The one factor that changes the course of business time and again, as well as communities, societies and nations, is a good leader,” says Gooty, who graduated from a Catholic high school in her native India.

One of her key premises is that raising another person’s self worth also empowers that individual.

A yoga instructor as well, she asks how you are with passion.

“Emotions matter in the workplace. A big part of every one of us is our feelings,” she says, explaining that true leadership is about creating change and inspiring people.

Her best advice: Identify what you stand for, connect to your purpose and weave in authentic emotion and empowering relationships.

Women—and men—can do it.

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