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O
ver the years we have seen the role of men
evolve from the famous Camel Man and Peter
Stuyvesant ads, to the metrosexual man in
touch with his feminine side, to the current trends of
beard grooming oils and waxes.
The role and identity of men are changing in
this modern world we live in. A decade ago we would
never have seen men taking on the role of the stay at
home dad, nor would we have seen rugby and cricket
teams wearing pink in support of breast cancer.
Whilst this is all good and well in the
transformation of gender roles, gender stereotyping
and gender equality, where do men go when it comes
to personal growth and development?
Let's be honest, we as women get acknowledged daily
in many ways ranging from women's day, women's
month, 16 Days of Activism, women networking
forums, book clubs and so much more.
Women have had outlets for centuries where
they go to seek support, discuss their feelings and any
emotional challenges they are facing in their circles of
trust.
But where do men go when it comes to
improving their skills, knowledge and insights as well
as share their own knowledge and skills with like-
minded people?
Traditionally it has been in places such as the
golf course or even the local pub, but these places are
making way for modern platforms and social activities
such as cycling, sporting clubs, mountain biking and
the likes thereof.
There was also a time when an MBA was
considered the essential badge of honour in order to
progress up the corporate ladder but today many are
starting to question the real value an MBA holds.
Like women, the majority of men want to
create a meaningful impact in their careers and family.
Many strive to live a life of significance and ultimately
leave a legacy of their impact on society by becoming
a better person, partner and leader.
Traditionally a leader was seen as someone
high up the ranks leading a large corporation or
changing the world.
"The definition of leadership: the action of leading a
group of people or an organization; the state or position
of being a leader; the leaders of an organization,
country, etc."
Today, you don't need a fancy job title to be a
leader. Leadership comes from within, just as change
comes from within. We are all leaders in our own right
- whether that be as the head of our families, within
our communities or churches, in the workplace or the
various groups and forums we may belong to.
As a result of this evolution, we are starting to see
male specific forums and platforms being established
to help men have a voice and conversations with each
other around topics such as fatherhood, leadership,
parenting and personal growth and development
for example: The Fatherhood Foundation founded by
Zane Meas, The Mankind Project, and the Mancave
Mastermind Program a 6 month personal growth and
transformation for men.
These programs provide insights, tools and
skills through shared learning and group participation
on a variety of topics such as goal setting, overcoming
setbacks, personal relationships, leadership and
mentorship traits, work/life balance, problem solving
and more.
These programs are aimed at men who are looking
for new ways to reach their potential by making
significant shifts to ultimately improve their personal
and professional lives.
It may have been a male dominated world until
recently, but as more women forge their way in the
world, men are looking for ways to evolve themselves
with this changing dynamic and landscape as to their
own identity, the roles they fulfil and the legacy they
want to leave behind.
Paula Quinsee is a Relationship
Expert, Tedx speaker, author of
the self-help guide Embracing
Conflict and consultant to the
"Married at first sight SA" TV show.
Paula works with individuals and
organisations to cultivate healthy
relationships in both personal and
professional arenas by focusing on personal growth
and development.
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