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Posted by on Dec 1, 2010 in The Women Behind The Men, Winter 2011 | 0 comments

Perceived balance of power?

As I have journeyed down my entrepreneurial path in life, I have had the engaging challenge (on separate tours of duty of course) with two very dynamic but somewhat demanding male partners.

Kristel Manes Guelph-Wellington Business Enterprise Centre

Kristel Manes
Business Enterprise Centre

The interesting point with these two business relationships was that both of these individuals were ?pie in the sky?, very visionary thinkers.

My role in both cases quickly became their grounding force that kept them in real time and on task. Even more incredible was that both these gentlemen recognized my role as the pin responsible for bursting their proverbial balloons, only when the need arose of course. Even though both these gentlemen acknowledged my very significant role in the partnership, the irony lay in the fact that neither could ever appreciate me as their equal counterpart.

So initially, I balked (my wrath, when in full gear has been compared to that of a train wreck), stamped my feet and worked hard to be noticed for my valour, ?Don?t you know who I am?? Even with all the dramatics, I quickly realized that I was the only one paying attention and the only one participating in my struggle for power.

It also became evident to me that despite my desperate attempts to be recognized with a balance of this power, my partner was determined to become King of our empire, mostly due to his commanding presence and healthy ego. My role was that of Queen, second in command, take it or leave it; the choice was mine to make. After much deliberation, careful thought and consideration, I accepted that his persistence was based solely on his perception and not on his business savvy or cleverness. It was merely a battle of wills that I could win with a devilish smart power play. That power play included a change in my mindset that armed me with my quiet confidence; I accepted the role as the equally powerful woman behind the powerful man.

And so the dance for equilibrium began. There were times I would let my partner lead, allowing him to show his expertise and gallantly celebrated by the masses. Other times, it would be me wearing the hero badge and leading the business to victory, always expected and without the same celebratory fanfare.

Regardless of the lack of acknowledgement, I understood that it was not out of disrespect, but it was something they were just not capable of recognizing and acknowledging. Despite the hierarchy, and armed with my own self belief and confidence, I was able to put those indignant feelings aside and recognize that it was precisely these individual strengths combined that created the chemistry that made our business ventures successful. It was with this insight that I distinguished where my true power rested.

Page 4, Winter 2010

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