Is any relationship ever completely reciprocal? Not really, because one party always wields more power over the other. This is a human behavior dynamic that is tough to ignore, especially when we look deeper at workplace culture and team dynamics. There are leaders and followers, loved ones and lovers, employers and employees. We might like to think equality, common goals and unquestioned commitment are the norm but it simply doesn’t happen. It’s true in personal life and in the workplace.
I recently spent a weekend at a high school graduation where teachers glowingly described the fairly small class as a group of leaders. Although parents and kids basked in the glow of achievement and praise, it was clear that some in the group were more equal than others, more accomplished, more confident and composed. While the speeches were heartwarming they seemed insufficiently realistic: clearly not all in that class are destined for success, and not all will be leaders. Despite what we say as a society about equality, the best we can offer is what seems like a cop out: the promise of equal opportunity.
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Via Martin Gysler