WHO DOESN’T NEED A WINGMAN? (audio version available: tinyurl.com/p7cbwb7)
And yes, I am speaking beyond the guttural guy mentality and bar-room setting. Beyond the Vegas trips, tailgating parties, fishing weekends, neighborhood BBQs, poker nights, and “the wife’s away, let’s grab a beer and watch the game” nights.
I’m talking about the instances when life asks you to stretch beyond your self- limiting joints, mental capacity, and emotional quotient. When everyday life comes at you with a pitchfork and tear gas. And if you’re anywhere near the top of rungs of your business’s ladder, there’s an entourage of boards, partners, consultants, investors, media, customers and employees who’ve got their own arsenal with which to wage against you.
Think of the countless times when you’ve wished someone would have had your back. A trusted someone who would allow you to lead and still provides unconditional support and encouragement. Whose presence could increase your overall performance, refine your situational awareness, and advance your power to triumph over challenges, in all your roles- CEO, husband, brother, neighbor, whatever. champion your drive to lead a more dynamic life and become a better man. Bam! That, my friends, is a killer definition of a WINGMAN, if I do say so myself.
In researching the lives and lifestyles of men in high management and leadership positions, the LACK of a confidante or go-to pillar of omniscience was tagged as one of the greatest upsets of the role. Indeed, the stereotyped assessment that it’s lonely at the top (even so, on the way up) rings true time and time again. It took a village to get there- and now they said they feel stuck on an island. Their needs? Objective yet empathetic (confidential) listening, alternative opinions about real-life personal & relational issues, and unwavering encouragement and help without judgment. Sound all too familiar? I get it, gentlemen.
So, why do you often feel “stuck” without great options of folks to champion your own cause of “survival of the fittest”?
HEADS-UP WOMEN: This is where you might want to listen up and make an effort to understand WHY MEN DON’T READILY ASK FOR HELP, TALK ABOUT FEELINGS & CHANGE WHEN YOU TELL THEM TO.
Well, we both know that your buddies are NOT the best LISTENERS; your colleagues can’t possibly be OBJECTIVE; you can’t show VULNERABILITIES to your significant other; you dare not ask for directions from a stranger, let alone HELP; and your tailor or barber doesn’t have the business chops to provide SOLID REINFORCEMENT.
All that said, here are truths that I do know, not just as a seasoned coach, but as a woman who has been a confidante and wingman to her best friends since the 3rd grade… all of them men, including my pop:
- Men will open up when they feel SAFE and the listener offers compassion and understanding.
- Men will ask for help when they know they’re not being judged as WEAK or incapable of solving a problem.
- Men DO INDEED appreciate and need a woman’s perspective on countless things, ideas, situations- every day.
- Men will change when they realize it is a progression into building up a strength… NOT correcting a weakness.
So I offer these points as defense to my total paradigm-shifting idea… Gentlemen, your best WINGMAN… is probably a WOMAN.
Men and women think, act, breathe, work, feel, respond…. DIFFERENTLY. Which is just FINE! If you really get that, then you can leverage the fabulous differences that a woman can bring to the table for your benefit:
- A female perspective (of course!)
- Real listening chops
- Empathy & nurturing
- Authentic encouragement without goading
- Acceptance of weaknesses as part of being human
- Fearlessness of asking for help and finding collective support
These strengths in differences that women offer perfectly fill in the gaps of what you’ve been seeking! If you’ve written off women to serve as your killer wingman based on your relationships with your WIFE (ex-wives) or Executive Assistant or hair stylist… think again and take another stab at it. Believe that your perfect female wingman is out there – matching your wit, business savvy, intensity, or way of thinking. To listen after a 4-hour Board meeting; go mid-life crisis car hunting; prep you for a public appearance; help shop for your nieces; be a proficient +1 for key business events; help plan your anniversary dinner. Perhaps she’s already right in front of you- you just have to ask if she’s up for the job!
As a woman who GETS TO BE the Coach, Confidante & Wingman to gents as a career, I can say this on behalf of plenty of other women: we know you’re not trying to be SUPERMAN. You just want to become the man you’ve aspired to be since you were a kid. The one who’s sharp, successful, healthy, secure, respected and happy. The one who loves his job, makes things happen, has a great family, and maybe sometimes saves the day.
Cheers to you finding the perfect WINGMAN- woman. ~ KD
Never Stop EVOLVING