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The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future Audio Download – Unabridged

3.3 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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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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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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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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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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