Carol Vallone Mitchell, Ph.D: The Unspoken Crisis of Male Leadership

If you’ve been with me a minute, you know that leadership paradigms are changing. Yet it’s causing an unspoken crisis for male leaders in particular. Being empathetic and showing vulnerability are not consistent with how men have been socialized or how many women leaders were advised to lead. But that ain’t gonna fly anymore in today’s market or with today’s talent! Leaders disrupting this status quo need to be strong against the push back and show the great results.

Today Carol Vallone Mitchell answers the popular question of whether women leaders are “better at” empathy than men and what role gender plays in successful collaborative leadership. We discuss how empathy is a critical trait of collaborative leaders, and she shares how leadership effectiveness has traditionally been framed in stereotypical masculine terms – and why those are no longer effective for success today.

To access the episode transcript, please click on the episode title at

Key Takeaways:

Empathy is a foundation for collaborative leadership. Acquiescence, submission, and people-pleasing are not empathy.

If you are being burnt out by “empathy” then you’re probably not actually practicing empathy. 

Gender is irrelevant in being an effective leader, employee, or human being. It is how you choose to lead that really matters.

“Society teaches young men that to grow up and be successful, they don’t dare express their emotions- a lot of it is self-control. And I think that’s how empathy is perhaps a bit of a threat for men because that message is still very much out there.” —  Carol Vallone Mitchell, Ph.D

Episode References:

Amer Kaissi, The Empathy Edge podcast: Humbitious Leadership Equals SuccessDenise Roberson, The Empathy Edge podcast: Mistakes Leaders and Boards Make When Thinking About Purpose

About Carol Vallone Mitchell, Founding Principal, Talent Strategy Partners, Author Collaboration Code and Breaking Through “Bitch”

Carol Vallone Mitchell, PH.D. has an instinct and a passion for understanding what makes people tick. This has led her to focus her career on identifying and developing leaders who will build and nurture the right workplace culture and drive results. She co-founded Talent Strategy Partners in 2001 and has brought her expertise to numerous companies, including many in the Fortune 500. Carol is the author of two books based on her research. “Collaboration Code: How Men Lead Culture Change and Nurture Tomorrow’s Leaders” and “Breaking Through ‘Bitch’- How Women Can Shatter Stereotypes and Lead Fearlessly.” She has written numerous articles featured in publications including Fast Company, Chief Learning Officer, SHRM Executive, Workspan, Thrive Global, and Forbes; and, has been featured on various radio programs and podcasts.

She received her doctorate in Organizational Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania

Warm weather and swimming enthusiasts, Carol and her family are “honorary residents” of Hawaii, spending much of their time off over the last 25 years in Kona. She is an avid tennis fan and plays acoustic guitar.

Connect with Carol Vallone Mitchell, Ph.D.:

Talent Strategy Partners LLC:

Author Site:

Collaboration Code

Breaking Through “Bitch”




Join the tribe, download your free guide! Discover what empathy can do for you:

Connect with Maria: 

Get the podcast and book:

Learn more about Maria and her work:

Hire Maria to speak at your next event:

Take my LinkedIn Learning Course! Leading with Empathy

LinkedIn: Maria Ross

Instagram: @redslicemaria

X: @redslice

Facebook: Red Slice

Threads: @redslicemaria

Learn More With Maria

Ready to join the revolution?

Find out how empathetic your brand is RIGHT NOW, and join our newsletter to start shifting your perspective and transforming your impact.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.