"Bring in wild and wooly outsiders. E-x-p-a-n-d the box." Tom Peters
The "Why" is none of your business. Fact: I'M READING A LOT OF STUFF ABOUT DEALING WITH ADOLESCENTS. It's a horror story! Kids - age 14ish - seeking (GROPING!!) to find an/their identity. (Oh shit, I remember "it" all too well!)
Problem: I identify with these kids! I'm not at all sure who (whom?) I am … at age 57.
It got me thinking about "management" and "leadership." The (secret) truth: It's a bloody miracle when we (leaders) get ANYTHING right!
Fact: Every 27- and 37- and 47- and 57-year-old is … STILL … hunting for who she/he is.
Thence our role as leaders: HELP PEOPLE FIND/DEFINE THEMSELVES! (Big word: HELP. Different than: Guide/Tell!!)
Reagan told us we were not in a (Carterian) "malaise." WE COULD (STILL) ASSERT OURSELVES. (We did.) Roosevelt told us to buck up. He prominently displayed his jaunty smile. We smiled, too. King told the (Black) masses to get their shit together … and stand up to (hollow) whitey. ("They" did!) And: Gandhi said …
YOU ARE NOT POWERLESS. He created a billion-person Democracy.
Patton told the dispirited American troops in North Africa: Shine Your Shoes! You are Real Troops! (They did. And a coupla weeks later they defeated Rommel.)
"It" is - I am convinced - all about FINDING VOICE! Such is the fact of life for Community Organizers: HELP PEOPLE UNDERSTAND - IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS - THAT THEY ARE NOT POWERLESS!
And it holds in HR or Finance.
We are all groping. ALL THE TIME. It is a miracle that … ANYTHING … gets done.
So our role … WE WHO CHOOSE TO LEAD …. is "merely" to help our colleagues to choose. To choose … passivity. Or … to choose to … RUN THEIR OWN LIVES. (And if "it" gets in "our" way … SOOOOO MUCH THE BETTER.)
ALL OF LIFE IS CONFUSED AS SHIT. AT 27. OR AT 57. SO: HELP PEOPLE DEFINE THEMSELVES - per our model, via a WOW Project! - and you can do no more with your life!
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.
What we're talking about
on the front page.