Charles Prier
Writer - Insomniac - General, Know-it-All



Lessons in Leadership - Reminiscing

             I think of my old friends often and miss our discussions of the world and how it got that way.

            There are fewer and fewer people around me to engage in genuine intellectual discussions; so I often talk to myself. A respected boss of long ago once told me that one of the biggest complement you can pay to someone is to listen to them. I always believed that to be true but now have experienced it.  I get few of those complements.

            Seems like my old group is thinning out or evolving to some different level. I hear that the organization is not making much progress. That's really too bad.  It occurs to me that, after we leave, friends sometimes make us think good things happened because we were there and bad things happen because we're gone. I still think that an organizationís "culture" is manifest through its prevailing beliefs and values and its "culture" suitable or not, is reflected by these attributes.

            May I philosophize on the theme "To BE or not to BE, (Hamlet: Act 3: Scene: 1) for a moment?

            I guess if there is anything I miss with an emptiness in my very soul is the opportunity to philosophize with the greatest problem solving team ever assembled (which was any team I was on at the time). It was always the cure when I became discouraged and the catalyst to realizing that the fundamentals are still true and all efforts leading to their revival are noble.

            Fundamentally, everyone has to DO something and everyone has to BE something. Although these dimensions are somewhat interactive, they are not the same thing. We can DO the wrong things out of ignorance or accident. Fortunately, we can sincerely apologize and correct any behavior that is not congruent with our BEING. We often give and get forgiveness for these transgressions. But it's difficult to apologize for BEING. In fact, such an apology can only be insincere. DOING, even good things without BEING (standing for) something has little enduring value and pretending to BE without DOING is just plain arrogance.

            BEING and DOING applies to organizations as well as people. Itís easy for organizational leadership to become enamored with DOING. I think itís called task oriented management and is thought of as being a good thing. It's also a ready source of at-a-boys for underlings (although it's not very creative).

            Leadership in some organizations never quite decides what they want the organization to BE. Effective leadership involves passionately establishing, communicating, and selling an evolving vision for what you want the organization to BE. Then testing all actions, plans, projects, and responses to business (or political) situations (DOINGS) against the values presented by such a vision. Not only does this affect what tasks the organization takes on, but the priorities, precision and zeal applied to its undertakings.

            The world is crying for leadership. It's up to those who can to step up to the task. It's surprising how easy it is to influence actions in many situations (without being bossy or offensive) and see that they are moved to a good (or at least better) conclusion. Decisive action in this arena is the mark of an effective management professional... Enough said.

             Thanks for letting me philosophize. (Or, was it preaching?)

             (By the way, I don't think Hamlet was faking, I believe he really was crazy.) -CP 

© Copyright 2005 Charles Prier