Truth

There is a discussion on LinkedIn titled “As a Leader, do you hear less of the truth from your team?”  As I am writing this, there are 105 responses.  I have been seeing this on my weekly feed for some time, and each time I see it, it bothers me.  Perhaps it’s time to explore why.

revive truthFundamentally I am bothered by a sense that truth is growing more and more elusive.  We certainly have a few negative role models for truth in leadership these days, if you follow newspapers and business journals.  I had high hopes that the escapades of the likes of Enron, Arthur Andersen and others in the early 2000s might be a wake-up call to the world that we live in, that acting illegally has material consequences.  Not so much.

In the musical Wicked, Elphaba accuses the Wizard of lying to the people of Oz.  He pipes back, “Where I come from, we believe all sorts of things that aren’t true. We call it history.”  Well, that’s disturbing, but probably not too far from the truth.

In today’s world, we call it “spin.” (more…)

What do Zappos and the World War I German Army have in common?

I’m so glad you asked.  You may need to bear with me on this one, but I think I can explain this pattern that I see.

ww1My son, a Marine Captain currently in Japan, sent me an article after a Skype discussion we had on leadership.  The article is titled “An Elusive Command Philosophy and a Different Command Culture.”  The author contrasts the leadership style of the WWI German army with today’s military leadership style, which he considers to be prescriptive and controlling.  The German army taught their leaders differently; they taught Auftragstaktik.  This was a command concept in which even the most junior officers were required to make far reaching decisions, and demanded a significant change in officer education. The difference:

Traditional military orders detail a plan, and how to execute that plan.

Auftragstaktik orders detail the objective, and expects the leader to assess the local context, and determine the best way to execute that order. (more…)

When “T” and “F” Collide

tfI am a fan of Myers Briggs Type Indicator, above all the other instruments available to spark insight into differences within a team.  One of the reasons I like the MBTI is because you can break down where the conflict might be occurring to more granular, more understandable differences.  Unlike DiSC or others where you “are a letter,” MBTI provides insight into four very specific areas where differences can occur, and when you are aware of the origin of the difference, you stand a better chance of resolving it.

I have come to the conclusion that the one area that is most difficult to identify, and possibly resolve is the “Thinking” vs “Feeling” dichotomy. (more…)