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The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future Hardcover – 17 May 2013

24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (17 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 111845295X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118452950
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.6 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 333,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


Captivating... a fascinating case study of human nature, this book provides insight into future world leaders.
Publishers Weekly

"With a wealth of data and even richer stories from around the world, The Athena Doctrine offers convincing proof that the future requires us to embrace traits and values traditionally linked to women. Leave it to two fathers of daughters to show us how men and women alike are using empathy and collaboration to solve problems big and small. If you care about leadership, creativity, and the world of tomorrow, you must read this book."
Arianna Huffington, president and editor–in–chief, The Huffington Post

"The Athena Doctrine is a powerful book. Extraordinary research. Great story telling. A message both timely and of monumental importance."
Tom Peters, leadership guru and bestselling author, In Search of Excellence

"Goddess of both craft and wisdom, patron of Odysseus, and inspiration for legions of smart girls, Athena is an icon for our times. The Athena Doctrine offers a gender–neutral approach to embracing a set of values that underpin a new generation of innovation based on connection and creativity. It is an optimistic and energizing book."
Anne–Marie Slaughter, professor of politics and international affairs, Princeton University; former director of policy planning, U.S. Department of State

"The Athena Doctrine offers more than ample evidence of the rebalance needed in global leadership. Painstakingly researched and documented, with interviews of amazing people all over the world, the ideas in this book will influence the leaders of tomorrow and, more importantly, make the case for more women leaders."
Pat Mitchell, president and CEO, the Paley Center for Media; curator, TEDxWomen

Rich in data and stories from around the world, this fresh analysis will certainly provoke healthy debate in the workplace and hopefully smash through a few glass ceilings.
Tina Brown, Editor–in–Chief, Daily Beast and Newsweek

this is a book for everyone, and I have no doubt that your life and your work will be enriched by reading it.
Jack Covert, 800–CEORead

The promise of Gerzema and D Antonio s vision is compelling. Time alone will tell what choices today s young men and women will make, and the extent to which corporate culture and structures will be transformed as a result   (Financial Times, May 2013)

The authors show how feminine traits are ascending and bringing success to people and organizations around the world. By nurturing, listening, collaborating and sharing, women and men are solving problems, finding profits, and redefining success in every realm (Public Net, June 2013)

The book is worth reading for its case histories alone. (Directorship, July 2014)

From the Inside Flap

Women don′t yet rule the world, but people around the globe sure wish they had more influence on business, government, and every other aspect of modern life. Among 64,000 people surveyed in thirteen nations, two–thirds said the world would be a better place if men thought more like women. The sentiment was the same across the planet: we′ve had enough of the winner–takes–all, masculine approach to getting things done. It′s time for something better.

Inspired by their data, John Gerzema and Michael D′Antonio traveled the world to uncover stories of women and men who lead innovative organizations with the skills and values commonly associated with women. By emphasizing cooperation, communication, and sharing, these pioneers succeed in a super–connected world. In The Athena Doctrine, the authors show why femininity is the operating system of twenty– first–century prosperity:

  • Leadership: values traditionally associated with women create more effective leaders and organizational strategies in today′s society.
  • Career management and self–improvement: traits associated with women flexibility, empathy, and honesty underpin career mobility and personal fulfillment.
  • Change management: feminine traits help us adapt seamlessly and effectively to today′s changes.

Brought to life through fresh stories from around the world and backed by rigorous data, The Athena Doctrine shows how feminine values are ascending. By nurturing, listening, and collaborating, men and women alike are resolving conflicts, finding profits, and redefining success in every realm. Rich with implications for leadership, change management, and even career management, these stories will inspire you to find the same success.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Gifford VINE VOICE on 18 Aug. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a clever and interesting book that makes a valuable contribution to the vital debate about how we should build the organisations of the future (since our current organisational structures are clearly failing). So criticising the book seems perverse and small-minded - like taking a pop at Mother Theresa. But I can't help myself. So: this is an interesting book and I urge you to read it, but...

My first problem is that I have an aversion to the approach that takes an interesting idea and tries to turn it into a programme or, indeed, a doctrine - so much so that if a young entrepreneur were to tell me that they were starting a new venture and that it was a, like, you know, Athena Doctrine kind of thing? I would be obliged to poke them in the eye. Which would not be very Athena Doctrine of me.

But I have some more grown up quibbles too. My main issue is that I really do not think that it is useful to attach a label of any kind to sets of valuable human characteristics - like empathy, creativity, intuition, adaptability etc. In the case of the 'Athena Doctrine', of course, the label that Gerzema and D'Antonio have attached to these and other valuable characteristics is 'feminine'. Since they themselves argue later in the book that we should attempt take a 'gender neutral' approach to people, it's hard to see why they think that it is useful to say, in effect, that we should all get in touch with our feminine side.

Funnily enough, the authors recount in their introduction how they ran their ideas past a female academic who 'scrunched up her face like a professor listening to a student offering a terrible answer' and concluded, "I object to you calling these things feminine." I'm on her side. But the guys went ahead and did it anyway.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ... TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I read this book for its content rather than its message. I find the idea of masculine and feminine a bit daft. Not male and female, clearly not daft; well defined when it comes to baby production. The book is written by two people who are certainly 'in the know.' The breadth and depth of insights does keep me reading. Especially the following paragraph.

'Much studied and much lamented, the alienation of modern life flows, at least in part, from the feeling that we don't know enough about how our world works...we know less and less about how objects are imagined, designed produced, and delivered. The feeling that we are isolated from the origins of things is relieved when we see a cook toss dough into the air at our local pizzeria...' (p 34). I might disagree with the authors' direction from this perspective but the root is right.

They are clearly addicted to the idea of profit. I prefer balance as a goal. Balance as a way of being. 'Creativity and the need for connection' are described as 'two basic human drives.' Here, as in much of the analysis, their disconnection from the real is apparent. We are all different. The urge to compartmentalize should always be resisted. But, like reading a Tory newspaper, I like reading of strange places and where they go.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sandford TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Jun. 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It is because of my personal working life as a male nurse for 40 years in a predominantly female workforce that drew me to reading this book. I would assess that I probably have more feminine traits than male if I had to fill in some kind of score chart, and on reflection these have helped me enormously in managing a variety of different situations in the workplace. In fact I truly believe I have survived some potentially disastrous situations in dealing with others because of this.

This book validates my simple conclusions that such feminine traits do confer something different and beneficial in the whole relationship game. I appreciate in particular the macro, global approach to this idea that the book concentrates upon. Of course this book is related more to the business community, but of course the basic tenets and conclusions are exactly the same as in social situations. I found the book quite revelatory and a fascinating, intriguing read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan VINE VOICE on 31 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Ever occur to you that the planet is going to the dogs? Well, Good News! Apparently, it's going to be fine. You see, the people who've been messing stuff up for the past 10,000 years all have something in common: a Y chromosome. They were blokes, you see, which is why they invented war, money, property, competition, capitalism and unhappiness. How different the history of the human race would have been if only the ladies had been allowed a voice. We'd have, y'know, shared stuff, hugged more, learned to play nicely, shared our feelings. Not convinced? Well, Gerzema and D'Antonio have done a big survey and found that people increasingly prefer feminine values to male ones. Then they zoomed round the world to visit their friends and relations in far off places and have come back with touching anecdotes of People Being Lovely To Each Other.

Actually, if the book did no more than this, I'd have no complaints. In the midst of war and riots, bombings and murders, the despoiling of the environment and the fomenting of super-plagues, a book of heart-warming tales of human goodness from around the world deserves a place on anyone's bookshelf. But Gerzema & D'Antonio (G&DA) go further than this. They have a thesis. Their thesis is that feminine values are replacing masculine values in politics and business, leading to a new way of solving interpersonal problems, organising communities and relating to rivals and customers. Not just a new way, but a BETTER way. One that's more nurturing and cooperative. This, you see, is how the future is going to be. So, if you happen to like crushing your enemies, self-identifying through material possessions and relating to other human beings in the abstract, your days are numbered.
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