A USER'S GUIDE TO POWER

Leadership, Learning & Change

The Importance of Followership

My blog stats tell me that my most viewed post, by an extraordinary amount, is Power = force + distance/time. Don't remember it? I barely do either. It's a little "back soon" post I wrote during a busy period, feeling guilty for not having written much. It's ironic...

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Role Models and Fallen Angels

Remember this Nike ad of Charles Barkley? Barkley went on: I don't believe professional athletes should be role models. I believe parents should be role models.... It's not like it was when I was growing up. My mom and my grandmother told me how it was going to be. If...

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Politics, Power and Transparent Leadership

I started a Kids City Club for a group of fourth graders, as part of my work with the I Have a Dream Foundation in Oregon. Seven kids were chosen to participate in a series of activities to help them learn about government and how the city works. In one activity, we...

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The power of likeability

I just saw Frost/Nixon. It's a brilliant, chilling insight into power and ambition. What struck me was the degree of self-awareness Nixon had. Albeit, this is a fictionalized account; who knows exactly what went on in Nixon's mind? But in the film, he's portrayed as a...

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An idea like Barack Obama

Last month, I spoke about the problem of transfer and 'expert syndrome' -over extending one's sense of expertise to the point of enacting the expert role in fields in which one is not qualified. The deeper problem is one of self-reflection, really seeing who you are:...

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The Expert Syndrome and the Problem of Transfer

There's a problem in learning theory called transfer. How does a student learn something and then transfer that knowledge or set of skills to the appropriate context? In common sense terms, how does book learning become a real world skill? I'm still waiting for...

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Bit of this, bit of that

While it's been quiet on the blog front, it's been a storm of ideas, activities and projects in the back office, so to speak. I just arrived down in Yachats for my much anticipated and much needed end of year retreat, and I've got several projects I'm looking forward...

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The Unfinished Work of Ancestors

The past is never dead. It is not even past. -- William Faulkner I just finished a Process Work seminar here in Auckland, the second in a series of three. Last week I was in Brisbane, and tomorrow I'm off to Tokyo for a training on workplace bullying (and to watch the...

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Leadership and Marginality

Soft power, a term coined by Harvard University professor Joseph Nye, Jr., is widely taken as the next natural step in leadership. Soft power is the ability to lead and influence using tools of appeal: relationship, collaboration, inspiration, engagement,...

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Leading and Learning

When I started this blog, I didn't want it to focus on current events or politics. But it's hard, in these recent days, not to focus on the issues dominating the headlines. Is anyone else like me? I dread election years. I watch the news and debates out of sense of...

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Diagnosing Bullying

As promised, Iâ??ve been looking at abuse of power, including bullying, ethical violations, exploitation, and conflict of interest. These past few weeks, Iâ??ve been researching workplace and school bullying. I find the topic to be really disturbing. If the literature...

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What’s the point of performance evaluation?

I've got the task of developing a performance evaluation process with and for faculty at the Process Work Institute. We're a small training institute, and while we have had many different forums for feedback and evaluation, we've not created a standardized process...

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Making Leadership Sustainable

I hesitated a long time before starting this blog because I knew it would be a challenge to keep at it, even when my schedule got busy as it has these past few weeks. I knew I would just have to bear down, set my alarm for 5 am on some days, and just push myself to do...

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Up Close and Personal, Sort Of

It's been quiet on the blog, but not due to a lack of activity. It's riding season, and I keep forgetting how much it takes to get in shape early in the season. Reach the Beach in 100 degrees was a sufferfest. But that's not the only thing keeping me busy. Last...

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Public Life, Private Selves

The following post begins to explore the question of abuse of power, or failures of power. In my earlier post I asked, can we learn how to use power well, like we learn how to ride a bike, or does power really have some corrupting influence? Which, if any, features...

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