If I measure a book’s quality by how much it changes my perspective and enables me to improve my life, Dr. Farrell’s The Myth of Male Power (1993) is one of the best books I’ve read. He’s written valuable book after valuable books since, up to and including The Boy Crisis: Why Our Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It (2018).
I grew up believing in equality between the sexes and believe so now more than ever. Dr. Farrell’s insight helped illuminate and clarify ways I and society don’t empathize with men or realize how men are trapped and suffer. I’ve written about the chip on my shoulder about how people respond to my sharing my suffering to say my suffering isn’t suffering and that I’m actually causing others to suffer or that the best I can do is to shut up and listen. I knew something was missing. His work helped make things fall into place.
If I measure someone’s leadership by how much that person influences others through inspiration, not coercion or authoritarian means, Dr. Farrell is a great leader. My mentor, Frances Hesselbein, also says the role of a leader is to see what others don’t, which he does too.
Bringing things back our environment, his leadership in seeing and clearly describing what others don’t resembles what I find mission in sustainability. I’ll always welcome more science and reporting, but we lack leadership. We lack people who inspire by connecting with their intrinsic motivations. I believe we can learn from him and apply what he’s achieved in sustainability.