Summary of The Athena Doctrine

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

The Athena Doctrine book summary


7 Overall

6 Applicability

7 Innovation

6 Style


The days of “command-and-control,” winner-take-all leadership are over. Modern leaders must embrace collaboration, empathy and shared purpose, “soft” business skills that are commonly associated with feminine traits. Perhaps that’s why the majority of respondents in a survey of 64,000 people in 13 countries feel that putting more women in charge could make the world a better place. Authors John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, share case studies showing how Athena-style leaders are making a difference worldwide. However, the authors’ links between the innovative organizations they portray and the feminine values they espouse often seem limited, if not tenuous. You could attribute some organizations’ success to factors such as new technology or social entrepreneurship. Nonetheless, getAbstract appreciates the concept that embracing stereotypically feminine values can improve executive decisions and recommends the Athena concept to anyone interested in leadership development. The book is worth reading for its case histories alone.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why a management style based on feminine traits and values may be more effective,
  • What personal characteristics mark “Athena leaders,” and
  • What case studies of successful women-led organizations demonstrate about Athena leadership.

About the Authors

John Gerzema, global chief insights officer for Young & Rubicam, wrote The Brand Bubble. He co-authored Spend Shift with Michael D’Antonio, a Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Atomic Harvest and Tin Cup Dreams.



“The Athena Doctrine”
The economic crisis that began in 2008 affected the social, governmental and financial outlook of countries around the world. People need new skills to navigate the emerging economic paradigm. Many of these skills, such as empathy, communication and cooperation, are...

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

By the same authors

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category