A USER'S GUIDE TO POWER

Leadership, Learning & Change

Leadership Through The Lens of Power

“How many world leaders do you think are just completely out of their mind?” So asked Jerry Seinfeld, the famed stand-up comic, to Barack Obama in a 2015 episode of  “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” This starts them off on a funny and insightful discussion about...

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Zigging Zagging into the New Year

Forty years later I can still remember how disappointed I felt when Joni Mitchell released her newest album, Hejira. I didn’t like it at all. I didn’t want jazz; I wanted another Blue, another Court and Spark. I wanted the Joni Mitchell I knew and loved. So we broke...

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That’s a Wrap

I have a confession. I said back in June that I was going to take a sabbatical, work on other projects, and come back to the blog. Well, I wouldn’t say I lied exactly, because I did intend to do just that. But, it’s become clear in the meantime that it’s time for me...

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What Do Trump Supporters and Opponents Agree On?

It’s a well-worn cliché that our perceptions are subjective. The parable of the five blind men and elephant, each one touching a different part of the animal’s body, convinced that their tactile experience captures the whole, is an apt metaphor for the U.S....

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When Dreams Are Chores

I'm still on a summer hiatus, and will be back soon. In the meantime, I'll share some of my favorite posts over the years. This one, from two years ago, I wrote while digging into some new projects. Though I've made considerable headway, the lessons I learned and...

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Reading the Writing on the Wall

A few years ago, my partner came home with a new kitchen garbage can. A perfectly fine garbage can. Except it had a lid. One of those lids that pop up when you push down on it. When you push down on it. You have to touch the garbage can lid to throw something out. I...

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The Fear Factor

This post is the story I told at this month’s Free Speech event at Wildfang. When Emma McIlroy, Wildfang CEO, asked me to be a part of this event, she said this first Free Speech event was on the topic, The F-Word, feminism. But, she quickly added, I could talk about...

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Beyond Ethics: Power in the helping professions

When I was working as a therapist, I often asked myself about the future of psychotherapy. I even wrote an article about it in 2000, called Five Predictions on the Future of Psychotherapy. In it, I said that the paternalistic doctor-patient model will be replaced by a...

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When the “Open Door” Isn’t

Several years ago I coached a leader and her team. They had hired two new team members and thought everything was going well. The new hires had great skills and good attitudes; they were easy to get along with, and seemed to gel with the organizational culture. Yet,...

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Hot Off The Press! Power: A User’s Guide

I’m thrilled to announce that my new book, Power: A User’s Guide, published by Belly Song Press, is now available. It’s available online here, and will be in stores March 2016. As I wrote here in the fall, this book has been a long time in the making—my first draft...

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Power In The Public Eye

If you’ve been reading my blog, or following me on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn,  you know that I think about about power. A lot. While it's easy to identify failures of leadership and abuse of power, do we know, and can we define, what healthy and effective use of...

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A Little Quit-Stay Algorithm

About 5 years ago, embarking on a new project with a colleague, the challenges we faced seemed infinite and overwhelming. We doubted our direction and our drive. As we were struggling with whether or not to continue, a friend handed me Seth Godin’s book, The Dip: A...

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How to build trust? Break it first.

Last month, The World Summit on Organizational Development met here in Portland, Oregon, my home town. Among other things, I had the pleasure of attending this plenary session by Adam Kahane, "Doing Organizational Development Beyond the Organization: What It Takes to...

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What Box Did You Crawl Out Of?

One day, early in my career as a therapist, I complained to my colleague about my struggle being effective with certain kinds of issues. In particular, I easily felt defeated by chronic issues. Each week, my client would come to work on the same set of problems,...

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Welcome

You probably noticed that things have changed around here. Welcome to my new site. As you can see, a big feature of the new juliediamond.net is my book, Power: A User’s Guide, coming in February 2016. This book has been a long time in the making—I just looked back...

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Weakness or Wickedness?

“It is weakness rather than wickedness which renders men unfit to be trusted with unlimited power.” So wrote John Adams over two centuries ago. It's controversial, but rings true in my work with leaders and research on power. I posted this article below on...

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Are You Outsourcing Your Power?

This post was published last week on my LinkedIn page.  I’ve been fortunate to have some amazing teachers throughout my life. But there have also been a few doozies. My 9th grade history teacher, Mr. Woodward, for instance, was renowned for his obsession with seating...

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