Following BoA’s feminine leadership
Have you seen BoA lately? She’s been the object of my admiration for the past couple of months. She’s a judge on the TV audition show “K-Pop Star 2.” Along with fellow judges Yang Hyoun-seok and Park Jin-young, she picks contestants to add to her team. Then she trains them and they compete again to try to proceed to the next round.
The contestants who make surprise improvements are mostly trained by BoA. Once, she chose a female contestant with a certain androgynous appeal but a droopy personality. The other judges had already decided that she had reached her limit. But when the contestant returned the following week, BoA had transformed her into a completely new style of singer who emanated femininity. That’s when I became obsessed with the show.
BoA’s surprise makeovers continued. She turned a boy who passively followed the music into a pop idol in the mold of Justin Bieber. A female contestant who didn’t get much attention at first transformed into a diva. Unlike another judge who advised a 16-year-old girl to deeply feel the pain of a breakup, she saw the potential in people and induced improvements without pushing too hard.
BoA’s training sessions reflect what many experts consider to be traditional feminine leadership. Of course, discussions on this topic are still largely limited to the hypothetical, as Korea still lacks sufficient examples of female leaders despite the results of the last presidential election.
But the core of feminine leadership is flexibility. That means using tolerance, care, consideration, communication, anti-authoritarianism, transparency, sincerity and insight to improve individuals’ potential. Traditional masculine leadership, which relies on power, authority and vertical dynamics, has seen its limit in a creativity-driven, knowledge-based society. Feminine elements need to be added to form an alternative leadership style.
However, female leaders do not necessarily lean towards the feminine. Park Geun-hye’s style has been said to be closed, stubborn and lacking in communication. A discussion of feminine leadership only proposes a new model by setting a direction for the times regardless of gender.
And we desperately need a new model. The UN Future Forum’s Jerome Glenn said that the power shifted from religion in the agrarian period to the government in the industrial period, then to corporations in the information age and finally to individuals in the post-information era. Anyone who has felt the overwhelming influence of Psy’s “Gangnam Style” knows that today’s value is created by outstanding individuals. The ability to bring down prejudice, maximize diversity and potential and harmonize different values can be found in feminine leadership. BoA has given me hope that feminine leadership is now a force that can change the world.
The author is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
by Yang Sunny