The chorus of support is growing for Christine Lagarde to lead the IMF. I think it is safe to say that a woman might be a wise choice after the apparently criminal, and despicable, inexcusable, utterly depraved behavior of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. (Yes, I know that he is innocent until proven guilty. But I’ve read the accounts…)
I wrote of Christine Lagarde’s insight on the difference between men and women on this blog back last October: Women Approach Business Differently than Men – Insight from Christine Lagarde. Her words sound practically prescient… It would be worth it to read my full blog post, but here is that key phrase:
“You were a former CEO. Do you think women have a different way of approaching business or approaching the public sphere?” Amanpour asked.
“Yes,” said Lagarde, who is the only female finance minister in the Group of Seven industrialized countries. “I think we inject less libido, less testosterone …”
Now, the chorus grows in support of Lagarde to head the IMF – French Government Says China Would Back Lagarde As IMF Chief:
China would support Finance Minister Christine Lagarde as the next IMF chief, the French government said on Tuesday, backing which would put her firmly in pole position to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
I have read, and written, quite a bit about the kinds of changes for the better that women in leadership positions can bring to organizations. I think this will be interesting to watch – and potentionally bring some of that change for the better.
Bob has a column up today about overrated business books – “7 Vastly Overrated Business Books.” I read through the article linked to, written by Geoffrey James. Admittedly it is only one man’s opinion about these books (Geoffrey James), but I found this provocative paragraph prompted by Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged:
Essentially Rand’s business philosophy is that the generation of wealth is, by itself, a positive and moral act simply because it creates jobs. What Rand completely misses is that corporations are natural sociopaths that can, must and will take advantage of society at large if not restrained by laws and regulations.
I agree with Mr. James. He may be using a little hyperbole, but it does seem that there is a group of people who believe that corporations somehow will be provide the wisdom, the ethical course, to lead us to the promised land.
I suspect I spent too many years in ministry, and I have been shaped by one clear teaching found in the Christian Scriptures: (actually, building on what Christians refer to as the Old Testament): “There is none righteous, no not one.”
In other words, corporations may not always be guided by good, right, ethical principles… (Subprime mortgage crisis, anyone?) In other words, trust – but verify. And therefore, provide guidelines, correctives (laws and regulations).
I don’t know that I agree with all of the opinions of Mr. James – but this one warning is worth paying careful attention to.