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Classic: What is success? Do You Have the Will to Lead and Answer the Toughest Questions? - Peter Koestenbaum

Classic:  What is success?  Do You Have the Will to Lead and Answer the Toughest Questions? - Peter Koestenbaum | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

Philosopher Peter Koestenbaum poses the truly big questions: How do we act when risks seem overwhelming? What does it mean to be a successful human being?

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How can we muster the guts to burn our bridges and to create a condition of no return?

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{Have you asked yourself:]  How in the world did I get here? Or wrestled with ...strategic choices -- all of which seem hard and unpleasant -- and said, What happened to the fun part of being in business? According to Peter Koestenbaum, those uncomfortable questions -- those existential quandaries -- are at the root of issues that great leaders deal with all the time, and they influence every decision that must be made.
  
More than 25 years ago, Koestenbaum traded the cloistered halls of academia for the front lines of the global economy. It's not unheard-of for this philosopher, a tireless 71-year-old with thick glasses and a flowing beard, to visit clients across three continents in a single week. His agenda: to apply the power of philosophy to the big question of the day -- how to reconcile the often-brutal realities of business with basic human values -- and to create a new language of effective leadership. ...The more you understand the human condition, the more effective you are as a businessperson. Human depth makes business sense."

     

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Change -- true, lasting, deep-seated change -- is the business world's biggest and most persistent challenge. 

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Koestenbaum's wisdom makes sense to leaders at such giant organizations as Ford, EDS, Citibank, Xerox, Ericsson, and even one of Korea's chaebols. ... At Ford, Koestenbaum contributed to the company's 2,000-person Senior Executive Program throughout the 1980s. In more than a decade at EDS, he led seminars and coached hundreds of top executives, including then-chairman Les Alberthal. 


"Everything I do," says Koestenbaum, "is about using themes from the history of thought to rescue people who are stuck." His logic: Change -- true, lasting, deep-seated change -- is the business world's biggest and most persistent challenge. But too many people and too many companies approach change by treating it as a technical challenge rather than by developing authentic answers to basic questions about business life. 


WHY DOES BEING A LEADER FEEL SO HARD TODAY?

Because reckoning with freedom is always hard ...We're living in a peculiar time: It's marked by a soaring stock market, the creation of tremendous wealth, an explosion in innovation, and the acute alienation that occurs when the global economy hits the average individual. 

The message is, You're living in the best country in the world at the best time in history; you have an amazing degree of freedom to do what you want, along with an unprecedented opportunity to build immense wealth and success -- and to do it more quickly than ever before. Of course, the average individual has as much of a chance of launching a skyrocketing IPO as he or she has of becoming a movie star. 

       
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There's a terrible defect at the core of how we think about people and organizations today. ...There is little or no tolerance for the kinds of character-building conversations that pave the way for meaningful change.

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What's even more disturbing is that the ascendancy of shareholder value as the dominant driving force in business has resulted in a terrible insensitivity to basic human values. 

THAT'S A HEAVY BURDEN TO PLACE ON LEADERS. THEY MUST NOT ONLY GUIDE ORGANIZATIONS BUT ALSO WRESTLE WITH BASIC PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTIONS.


There's a terrible defect at the core of how we think about people and organizations today. There is little or no tolerance for the kinds of character-building conversations that pave the way for meaningful change. The average person is...riveted by the objective domain...where our metrics are; that's where we look for solutions. ...That's why books and magazines that have numbers in their titles sell so well.


We'll do anything to avoid facing the basic, underlying questions: How do we make truly difficult choices? How do we act when the risks seem overwhelming? How can we muster the guts to burn our bridges and to create a condition of no return?

     

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...Managing polarity teaches us that there are no solutions -- there are only changes of attitude. 
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There's nothing wrong with all of those technical solutions. They're excellent; they're creative; they're even necessary. But they shield us from the real issues: What kind of life do I want to lead? What is my destiny? How much evil am I willing to tolerate?

      

...Managing polarity teaches us that there are no solutions -- there are only changes of attitude. When you grapple with polarities in your life, you lose your arrogant, self-indulgent illusions, and you realize that the joke is on you. To get that message makes you a more credible human being -- instantly. 

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I've recently learned that this classic article is the most downloaded article from Fast Company.  If you read it, you'll see why.  It asks the beautiful, and extraordinarily difficult questions about business and life. Changing perspective, and ultimately changing attitudes, is the big challenge in making lasting change fully sustainable.~  D

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The "Un-CEO" Of W.L. Gore, How To Deal With Chaos, Terry Kelly

The "Un-CEO" Of W.L. Gore, How To Deal With Chaos, Terry Kelly | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

Embrace "rainmakers," says the leader of the company behind Gore-tex. Her mantra for seeing 10,000 associates in dozens of countries through turbulent times: maturity.


We have what we call rainmakers and implementers,” Kelly explains.


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So we try to protect the rainmakers. That means we have to be comfortable with more chaos.”

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“Rainmakers come up with wild ideas, implementers make them real. The two drive each other crazy. If you’re not careful, control will gravitate to the implementers. So we try to protect the rainmakers. That means we have to be comfortable with more chaos.”


“Our organization is used to dealing with chaos, we have a high tolerance for it. We like to respond to crises. When the ship is under attack, the level of ownership is high, culturally. But you don’t want to run an organization that is constantly under attack.”

~ Deb
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Not everything is innovative and cutting edge at W.L. Gore (Gore-Tex).  As a large private company, they have their share of issues among the ranks.  


Glassdoor, which does tend to draw plenty of naysayers and disgruntled reviews, also provides a negative universe window in, which includes Gore's peer (associates) review process tied to compensation, usually (in my book) a bad idea - to tie compensation to anything involving review.  ~  D

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Jamie Dimon Comments on $100M investment in Detroit JPMorgan Chase

Jamie Dimon Comments on $100M investment in Detroit JPMorgan Chase | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

Good news for Detroit.   What's the motivation?   Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, tells TODAY's Matt Lauer in an exclusive interview that his company's $100 Good investment in the city of Detroit isn't about public relations. 


"The cynic would be wrong," Dimon told Lauer when asked if the investment was in response to a $13 billion fine levied against the company in an exclusive interview.


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"I think we can make this our finest moment...if we can come together and help rebirth here." ~ Jamie Dimon, CEO

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"We invest and develop communities around the world. And we've been doing this since our heritage started 200 years ago," said Dimon. "So that's what banks do. They do it commercially. They do community development."


"I think we can make this our finest moment,'' he said. "Can Americans come together, business, labor, civics...government come together and build something and fix the city? You've seen rebirth of cities all over America. I think it would be an unbelievable thing if we can come together and help rebirth here."


...Lauer asked Dimon what he expects at the end of the investment's five-year period.     "Jobs and population,'' Dimon said. "If it works, you'll have a healthy and vibrant economy, jobs and population, businesses will beget home ownership, better schools, and a completely revived city." 


Read the full interview here.


More about investing in cities by Deb here:  

     

Detroit & Vegas – A Tale of Two Cities as Our Comeback Kids 

      

Future Midwest in Detroit, A Retrospective – Photo, Video Set

      

In Detroit, Entrepreneurs Meet Success in Hard Times

     

Stay in touch with Best of the Best news, taken from Deb's  NINE multi-gold award winning curation streams from @Deb Nystrom, REVELN delivered once a month via email, available for free here via REVELN Tools.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

All breaths of fresh air are welcome, as, indeed, it could be great hope for the city to rise up to be a  "shining example, of what can be done," if it stimulates more investment, creates jobs and revival, once again.   

The cities are the heartbeat of our nation.  This is great news for Detroit.  ~  Deb

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