The Heart of the Problem

Friedman identifies what he calls, “four major similarities in the thinking and functioning of America’s families and insititutions that…are at the heart of the problem of contemporary America’s orientation toward leadership.”

They are:

A process where the “most dependent members of an organization set the agendas” and adaptation in the organization is toward “weakness rather than strength”.

I often ask audiences for a show of hands.  How many leaders spend a majority of time trying to get low performers to improve?  Usually, more than half the hands go up.

“Leaders tend to rely more on expertise than their own capacity to be decisive.”

As a consultant, I am learning to understand this.  When a client asks me to provide a solution for his or her problem, I serve best when I encourage the client to find the solution.  Our inclination is to rescue when our mission should be to assist in rational maturation.

“An obsession with data and technique.”

When the going gets tough, the weak ask for more data and lean on past practice problem solving.  The tough pay attention to emotional processes in play, gain control over those processes and depend upon their rational brains to move forward.

 “A widespread misunderstanding about the relational nature of destructive processes in families and institutions that leads leaders to assume that toxic forces can be regulated through reasonableness, love, insight, role-modeling, inculcation of values and striving for consensus.”

Huh?!?  Sacred cows!  More on all this in following posts.