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Golden Oldies: Power, Arrogance And MAP

Monday, August 7th, 2017

It’s amazing to me, but looking back over more than a decade of writing I find posts that still impress, with information that is as useful now as when it was written.

Golden Oldies are a collection of what I consider some of the best posts during that time.

Last week we started looking at our heroes — first as cowboys and then why/how they needed to change. It’s a timely subject, especially considering the attitudes/actions of so many of our current ones — from Donald Trump to Travis Kalanick and all those inbetween.

Read other Golden Oldies here.

I recently questioned whether, in fact, the imperial CEO is indeed dead as many are saying.

Wednesday Dan McCarthy was inspired to write 10 Ways to Avoid the Arrogance of Power after reading The Arrogance of Power by Jeffrey Pfeffer, a Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Business School. Pfeffer says,

“The higher you go in an organization, the more those around you are going to tell you that you are right. The higher reaches of organizations–which includes government, too, in case you slept through the past eight years–are largely absent of critical thought. … There is also evidence, including some wonderful studies by business school professor Don Hambrick at Penn State, that shows the corroding effects of ego. Leaders filled with hubris are more likely to overpay for acquisitions and engage in other risky strategies. Leaders ought to cultivate humility.” He ends by advising not to hold your breath waiting for this to change.”

I think much of Dan’s advice is good, but I won’t hold my breath waiting for the advice to be taken.

I think that power corrupts those susceptible to it, not all those who have it; there are enough examples of powerful people who didn’t succumb to keep me convinced.

Susceptibility is woven in MAP (mindset, attitude, philosophy™) and is especially prevalent in today’s society of mememememememe with its sense of entitlement.

Changing MAP and stopping drinking are similar, since the individual has to choose to change. All the horses and all the men can’t convince the king to change—that only happens from the inside out.

Moreover, as I’ve frequently said, MAP is sneaky; it will pretend to change and then revert to its normal pattern when no one’s looking.

We, the people, can’t force them to change, but we can learn to sustain our attention span and keep looking.

Image credit: flickr

Robert Sutton On How To Be A Good Boss In Bad Times

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Do you subscribe to The McKinsey Quarterly? They have a great selection of topics depending on your interests. I mention this because you may have to register to read the following, but no worry, it’s free.

McKinsey has done a great interview with Stanford prof and management guru Robert Sutton, he of The No Asshole Rule fame.

In his McKinsey interview Sutton talks about how to be a “Good Boss in Bad Times.” Take a moment and see the video interview  or read the transcript (sorry, the video won’t embed).

Your comments—priceless

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Image credit: McKinsey Quarterly

Seize Your Leadership Day: Long-term Resources

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

It’s a holiday weekend and I assume (hope) that you have better things to do than sit around reading a bunch of stuff on the Net.

So the links I’ve found for you are made to bookmark; they’re ongoing resources for you to explore as the mood and time moves you.

First is a cool site from Stanford Graduate School of Business with videos, such as the one on Jeff Raikes, head of the Gates Foundation, and a large selection of other topics.

Next is a favorite from Business Week’ Innovation and Design. It comes out weekly with great stories; for example, did you know that McDonald’s Chicago HQ is the greenest building on the planet?

Finally, also from BW is the new Business Exchange, an online community “to access the most
relevant content for you, filtered by like-minded business professionals.”

Have a terrific holiday and stay safe; I don’t know what I’d do without you.

Your comments—priceless

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Image credit: nono farahshila on flickr

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