In The Art of Possibility, authors Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander share an example of internal narrative and how it molds perception:
“A shoe factory sends two marketing scouts to a region of Africa to study the prospects for expanding business. One sends back a telegram saying,
SITUATION HOPELESS STOP NO ONE WEARS SHOES
The other writes back triumphantly,
GLORIOUS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY STOP THEY HAVE NO SHOES
To the marketing expert who sees no shoes, all the evidence points to hopelessness. To his colleague, the same conditions point to abundance and possibility. Each scout comes to the scene with his own perspective; each returns telling a different tale. Indeed, all of life comes to us in narrative form; it’s a story we tell.”
On a primal level, we seek narrative because our minds are hardwired to sort chaos into order. We seek and desire stability of behavior, and it’s difficult for us to look at something and not immediately wrap a story around it. We create stories to give meaning.
I believe the easiest way to explain leadership is through examples. History is rich with illustrations of all kinds of leadership, both good and bad. Personally, I gravitate toward the military kind, because that’s what I know and have dealt with my entire adult life. Military leadership is also some of the most dynamic and dramatic, because it can often mean the difference between life and death, victory and defeat.
The Civil War is rife with examples of spectacular leadership failures, particularly amongst the northern forces. Most historians agree that President Abraham Lincoln was cursed with poor generals for the majority of the war, who handed loss after loss to him until General Ulysses Grant took over the Army of the Potomac in 1864. General John Pope, General Irvin McDowell, General Joe Hooker, and General Dan Sickles are but a few shining examples of colossal failures for the Union cause at multiple points during the war.
Fairy tales help children to answer basic existential questions, like who am I, what is the good life, where do I belong? Through fairy tales they learn to navigate reality and survive in a world full of ambiguities and dangers.
In Hilary Scarlett’s Melcrum article of February 2013, Neuroscience – helping employees through change, she described some of the insights neuroscience is bringing to why people find organizational change difficult, and more usefully, what we c
Authenticity is a hot word in leadership discussions. The modern workplace is more informal and less hierarchical than in the past. Command-and-control management doesn’t fly withpeople hired for their creative brainpower. They want leaders who inspire them, and give them reasons for working beyond a paycheck.
But all this requires a nuanced understanding of what "authenticity" should mean. In a business context, it doesn’t mean the "be yourself" phrase that probably pops into your mind first. For evidence of this, consider that many of Donald Trump’s supporters praise him for what they view as authenticity. He says what he thinks. He doesn’t seem to care what other people think of that. Yet business leaders emulating this approach might quickly find themselves in trouble. "Being authentic is much more than ‘being yourself,’" says Gareth Jones, coauthor of Why Should Anyone Work Here?: What It Takes to Create an Authentic Organization. "If you want to be a leader, you have to be yourself—skillfully."
Nestled in his “man cave”, a room crammed with cardboard boxes and fishing lures in his Rhode Island home, Set Sar is earning money by letting a company track the tiniest movements of his eyeballs through his computer’s webcam. About 10,000 miles
Business today is dizzyingly complex, says Boston Consulting Group Senior Partner and Managing Director Yves Morieux. Employees have lost their professional moorings, and companies are making the problem worse.
"Many business people have already discovered the power of storytelling in a practical sense – they have observed how compelling a well-constructed narrative can be. But recent scientific work is putting a much finer point on just how stories change our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors."
"Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished." Dan Gilbert shares recent research on a phenomenon he calls the "end of history illusion," where we somehow imagine that the person we are right now is the person we'll be for the rest of time. Hint: that's not the case.
Positive leaders extend a welcome to all stakeholders and help them discover their possibilities, capabilities and contributions. What is the essence of being a positive leader? Focusing on the best in others while working on becoming the best of ourselves.
Considerable evidence shows that overwork is not just neutral — it hurts us and the companies we work for. Numerous studies by Marianna Virtanen of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and her colleagues (as well as other studies) have found that overwork and the resulting stress can lead to all sorts of health problems, including impaired sleep, depression, heavy drinking, diabetes, impaired memory, and heart disease. Of course, those are bad on their own. But they’re also terrible for a company’s bottom line, showing up as absenteeism, turnover, and rising health insurance costs. Even the Scroogiest of employers, who cared nothing for his employees’ well-being, should find strong evidence here that there are real, balance-sheet costs incurred when employees log crazy hours.
On July 14, 2015, the International Delegation comprised of the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, China, and the European Union, reached a comprehensive agreement with Iran on the future of its nuclear program. Almost immediately after the deal was announced voices from all sides began to pronounce the defects and benefits of this fledgling agreement. All the pros and cons have likely been expressed and so this article isn't about the agreement, rather it's about the position of the United States as a leader in the 21st Century.
Something remarkable happened in the three years between 2008 and 2011 that fundamentally challenged our perception of leadership. It has caused such a revolutionary shift that we could soon look back on the very notion of leadership in the same way we now view the strict rules of 18th and 19th century etiquette: a slightly curious relic of an older age that stifled self-expression and personal growth.
The event that began seven years ago was the sudden explosion of social media. Facebook, which was launched in 2004 and had enjoyed steady growth, took off leaping from 50 million to one billion users between 2008 and 2011. Twitter stormed from six million to 500 million. YouTube users went from uploading 13 hours of video every minute to 48 hours every minute.
This all meant that in the space of just three years, the proportion of all internet users on social media sites rose from 30 per cent to 65 per cent.
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