Category Archives: Power

Ambiguity, Organizational Stress and Leading Well

Back in the late 1980’s when I was doing recon­nais­sance into how well peo­ple were speak­ing up in orga­ni­za­tions, there were two main behav­iors by lead­ers that peo­ple told me caused them to become care­ful about express­ing them­selves. One was abra­sive behav­ior by lead­ers — shout­ing, crit­i­ciz­ing, insult­ing or oth­er­wise under­min­ing peo­ple. The oth­er leadership […]

The Mutiny Against Our Conditioning

As adults we come up against facets of our­selves that we wish to change. Uncon­scious big­otry, for exam­ple, or cer­tain aspects of intro­ver­sion or exces­sive guilt, impa­tience or ego­cen­tric­i­ty — our weak­ness­es and the results of our “over-strengths.” Tak­ing on these chal­lenges sounds good and promis­es a desir­able trans­for­ma­tion but in real­i­ty also por­tends the […]

Don’t try to change your organization; change the underlying forces that make it what it is

In the nine­teenth cen­tu­ry, Charles Lyell, a Scot­tish geol­o­gist, pro­fessed the rad­i­cal view that the same forces that shaped the Earth in the past were still oper­at­ing in the present moment. His the­o­ry chal­lenged the more palat­able the­o­ry at the time that geo­log­i­cal epochs end­ed in major, cat­a­stroph­ic events, such as species being wiped out […]

On Disbelieving Your Own Thoughts

A cen­tral chal­lenge of lead­ing is being able to see — see very clear­ly — what is hap­pen­ing. Many things can impede this need­ed aware­ness and insight — inad­e­quate data and wrong infor­ma­tion being two of the most com­mon prob­lems. A third may be our own bias­es, the unex­am­ined per­son­al beliefs that dri­ve poor judgment. […]