Enact Trust, Our Development Depends On It

Trust connotes many things.  In one sense it speaks to the history we’ve had with other people when we say things like my experience shows he/she can be trusted.  In another it reflects aspirations about one’s self in statements like I trust that I’d do the right thing if faced with that situation.  An in yet another we often hear people say I trust things will workout for the better.

 

Though trust is related to notions of reliability, confidence, belief, faith and hope or expectation underlying these is the role trust plays in human development.  It speaks to our need to counter balance an ever-present characteristic of our world, uncertainty. Consequently trust is the means of bringing a sense of order to an uncertain environment.  Accordingly, when we are in an environment absent of trust, one wherein mistrust abounds, increasingly dis-ease overcomes us.   Why is this so?  Continue reading

The Stewardship Imperative

“Thinking systemically also requires several shifts in perception, which lead in turn to different ways to teach and different ways to organize society” –Russell Ackoff

As living beings we each present with a physical body comprised of cells, tissue, organs and organ-systems structurally and functionally organized to support (our) life.  The natural order of things is a hierarchy of constituent entities that are themselves living systems.  So the issue is not whether everything is reducible to individual entities—the atomistic view—or everything is a whole—the holistic view—but rather that neither view is the absolute view.  As Arthur Koestler (The Ghost in The Machine) noted “parts and wholes in a absolute sense do not exist in the domain of life.”  What we have are semi-autonomous systems that are each a part of larger higher order systems.  Koestler called these ‘whole-parts’ holons—wholes that are parts of other wholes—and the hierarchy they constitute a holarchyContinue reading

Parasite Or Partner

Doing More For Less (of us)

Getting the most out of people is not a bad thing but in the extreme it translates into squeezing the life out of them.  As Deming exclaimed, “beat horses and they will run faster—for a while.” Doing more with less implies squeezing more and more out of people until they drop. Continue reading

Resonant Leaders Require Positive Energy

Richard Boyatzis of Case Western Reserve, in HRB Blog Network, spoke to the need for teams to have what he calls resonant leaders.  Richard states such leaders “are able to build trusting, engaged and energizing relationships with others around them” and as a result the team is able to “adapt, innovate and sustain performance. “  But what makes one able to do this? Continue reading

Transcend Self-Interest

There seems to be a growing acceptance of the notion that we each are free independent individuals and as a consequence we not only can, but also should, order life in society accordingly.

 

Being free independent individuals necessarily means people can freely do as they please or more specifically that they should do as they wish for their own pleasure—(my) life is all about me getting what’s mine without interference.  Apart from being unencumbered in seeking what we want, this belief also implies there is no obligation that an individual has to other individuals, because such obligation would be tantamount to an imposition (by another) upon one’s freedom to act as he/she desires. Continue reading

From Whence Creativity Emerges

Alessandro Di Fiore, CEO of ECSI, reports that a recent ECSI survey found “68% of business leaders firmly believe that great innovators are born and cannot be made.” Alessandro also notes in a HBR blog post “scientific evidence of the last 30 years has proven just the opposite.” So is this just a little factoid that almost 7 in 10 business leaders get wrong and that matters little—like who cares, it’s no big deal?  So what would a leader who holds this misunderstanding do or not do?  Continue reading

Facilitate Performance, Don’t Appraise It

Ah the annual performance appraisal! Let’s deconstruct this.  Annual means every year.  Performance means accomplishment. Appraisal means offering a judgment on the value of something or someone.  So the annual performance appraisal is a yearly judgment of another person’s value to the organization. Continue reading

Hidden Leadership Lesson #32

A leader is one who others have chosen to follow.  So because leaders require followers, it is imperative that the leader be a person of utmost integrity.  Knowing who you are and what you stand for and embodying this in your way-of-being is paramount.  Moreover integrity is the antecedent to trustworthiness. Why is this important?  Who among us would decide to follow another who wasn’t worthy of our trust!  Continue reading

Mindset Not Market Failure

In an article on Harvard Business Review Blog, titled U.S. Companies Versus the U.S. Economy, Thomas Kochan (of MIT Sloan School of Management) argues the disconnect between U.S. companies and the U.S. economy is the result of market failure.  While the management of each business corporation makes decisions believing the unit of survival is the independent business enterprise, this doesn’t mean there aren’t other socio-economic consequences of these decisions.   These consequences impact the very collection of people to which business leaders believe they have no connection or responsibility, yet upon which they so much depend. Continue reading