Both men and women fall into the gendered traps and look to a male authority figure to come up with a solution. This is a problem and a risk.
Leaders must pay attention to any tendency they have to speak as though they’re an authority on all matters. The role of a leader is to harness the expertise of others, not to be the expert. Their value comes from listening, synthesising and making the best possible decision the information at hand.
Male leaders, in particular, can fall into the gendered trap of sounding like the authority on all matters. Ideas can be presented as if there are no alternatives and relied on as the answer. It may silence people who have greater knowledge but less confidence. This is a problem and a risk especially if a decision is likely to impact many people.
Next time a leader talks as if he knows exactly how to proceed and you have an alternate perspective, speak up. Challenge him. Present your own view. If it helps, remind yourself that he might just be operating from an instinctive and learned pattern, much like Uncle Ross at the dinner table who has an opinion about everything, but seldom all the facts. With your family, you can be polite. At work you have a responsibility to speak up.