Harvard’s Harry Spence – Know Thyself or Big Costs to Biz…

Divergent Thinking

LPTRendsCareer: Re-running a classic from 2011. In this blog at Harvard Business Review, Harry Spence who has built Harvard’s Education Leadership PhD transformational program (among many credentials) and is a leading proponent of the inseparable relationship between the psycho-social world of self-actualization and all things external to management theory and know-how, knows there is something to the costs of NOT knowing yourself in a conscious way. Real costs. Real life. Real Business.

This bit we ran in 2011, but it is apropos to new readers.

If you liked this, you might also like:

Consciousness = Profit

An Oldie But Goodie: Self-Actualization

#LPTrendsMind: The big Kahuna when it comes to consciousness. Self actualization is a critical part of great leadership and high performance living. Read the article here. 

Do you know you? If so, when did that awareness kick in? How’s the trip going so far?

Article by Tracy Saville


Hell-o, Self?

From Chris’s desk…Just don’t do anything so stupid as to ignite the fires of Hell. Because what if they’re real? I get that. The world turns and societies collide, with religions striving for the coveted role of being they who pays homage THE ONE TRUE God, day in and day out without answer, without end…. and the world turns, and societies collide. What then?

The daily struggles of right v. wrong, innocent v. guilty, winner and loser play out, and he who has the most toys wins, and he who goes hungry remains so, and the world turns and societies collide.

But what would we do if the money which makes the world turn was no more, and societies no longer cared to collide? If one people, one religion obtained irrefutable proof THEY are indeed the RIGHTEOUS and THEIR GOD is THE GOD? Would the world continue to turn and societies collide? More than ever I think.

And if you agree, then what is the point of it all? Is it all about play, play, play? Who cares if you believe in God, Buddha or Zeus for that matter, the world will continue to turn and societies collide, so get it while you can and have fun while you’re at it. Is this really all there is?

For if in your infinite wisdom you believe in nothing more than the here and now, then I say play hard my friend and play to win – why not? If retribution does not exist at the end of the road then what have you to be worried about? However, if you’re wrong….well stuff’s gonna get real Hot and you’re gonna burn for a long time. I hope you like pitchforks, heavy stones, molten lave and bearded devils for you’re in for one Hell of a ride.

Herein is the real question – What do you believe? Where is your Faith? Who do you answer to? Do you answer to anyone? I believe for you and me, we at least have to answer to ourselves, if not a higher power, and especially when staring in the mirror. And though the saying may be “to thine own self be true” don’t forget that if it means stepping over or directly on to the neck of another to obtain this self-truism, then you too will have a hot spot reserved below.

So tread carefully my friends. Do unto others and all of that.

Article by Chris Frost, as part of exploring enlightenment series.

Profitable Actualization

Tara Gentile has a passion. A passion for helping people dig deep into the treasure trove that is their very own unique spirit and life’s work or purpose. Once that purpose is unearthed, Tara tirelessly helps clients to hone, shape and polish it until they are able to see how their unique passion and expertise makes it sparkle – and ultimately how it can be turned into a viable, profitable business.

In her own words, Tara liberates passion-driven entrepreneurs toward actualization – of ideas, visions and dreams – turning them into dollars and cents. Read the full interview here!

Tara Gentile

how to be a sane girl – short story

How to become a sane girl…an essay by Tracy Saville (Best Fiction GNU 2009)

One too many

One too many - everything.

One too many – everything.

(Please note the following fiction essay was based on and inspired by Lorrie Moore’s “How to Become a Writer”, and it contains some language and graphic descriptions which may not be suitable for all readers.)

Are you on facebook? Share this essay with your friends and ask them: what is the single moment in their life when they “found” themselves, when they left their baggage and demons behind? What was yours?

How to Become a Sane Girl

By Tracy Saville 

First, admit you’re crazy, bat shit, insane. A walking, talking reincarnation of Jesus. A direct descendant of Sitting Bull. Leader of the Ninth Planetary Council. Go for broke.

It is best if you pull out every possible psychosis at an early age – say seven, right after the aluminum smelling old man with the dirty coat and gnarled fingers in the park gropes your particulars in a way that makes you want to chew off your right arm and vomit in the wind. Early, critical trauma is necessary so that at eight you can withstand hurricane-force gale ice storms while standing naked on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, wishing you were a white seal and could swim to the center of the Earth and eat Chinese food. You can feel yourself slowly breaking apart.

Tell your mom. She is a survivor and a Pollyanna. She has two ex-husbands who failed to live up to the most marginal of expectations. She can smell horseshit form three thousand miles away. She’ll smile sweetly at you, then down at her fingernails as if she were studying a very important problem, with the focus of a brain surgeon. She’ll say: “How about I buy you a kitten and that electric organ you always wanted?” Look away. Shove your oversized man hands with bitten cuticles in your blue ditto pockets. Oh, you don’t have pockets. Accidentally pee your pants. This is mandatory boot camp for crazies in training. This is only Scene I of the first Act.

In your eighth grade French class ignore Mr. Kennedy’s creep factor; so he’s your basketball coach and can make or break your college career. That doesn’t give him the right to explore your butt cheeks between floor drills. Decide French is overrated. Put all your energy into your AP English class. Write a treatise on eunuchs for your Mormon English teacher who is both religiously and hormonally predisposed to protect his genitalia. Get an “F” for the very first time. Cry when they try and suspend you. Write a lovely story about how men are born stupid. Laugh when you actually do get suspended by a married, Catholic gay known to be screwing the head of his Drama department. Decide writing is overrated, men can’t be trusted, and religious dogma is an evil that must be eradicated from the planet.

Over the summer, learn how to give and receive hickies. You don’t have to keep up the ridiculously obvious charade that you’re well adjusted and happy once you let loose your inhibitions. Lose your virginity before you can spell fornication. Secretly draw his penis because it bends like a banana. Hide your birth control pills. Die when you hide them too well and the rabbit bites it. Lie to your mother. Tell her you’re fine. She wants to believe you, it’s a busy time for her what with philandering husband number two.

Get a job at the flea market on weekends, hawking corn dogs and cotton candy. Gain ten pounds. You love culturally diverse people living in poverty who like to spend their free time buying velvet pictures of horses and lava lamps. They appreciate the widening stature of your corn-dog fed ass. Your college boyfriend breaks up with you because you’re fifteen, even though you put out. You break into his house and steal back your photos, which you keep under your pillow and soak tears into because your heart is fractured into thousands of microscopic acid knives which ceaselessly cut into your being. Nothing will ever be the same.

The divorce is a blessing; you never really liked the country, or goats or walking two miles to the bus stop in a kind of heat that made beetles explode like large road pimples. You didn’t like all those people you called your best friends anyway. Town isn’t such a bad place – big whoop if you’re a guppy when you used to be a killer whale and nobody appreciates the largess of your Norwegian, country gluteus?

Change can be good. Start writing again, but trade that for sleep. Decide sleep is overrated. Watch your brother survive a slight cocaine problem and choose to join the few, the proud. Watch your mother want to cry, though she doesn’t, because she never has, as far as you know.

Realize you soon will be joining the ranks of freshman. Try to lose weight.

Proudly wear that platinum mullet and your mother’s polyester, polka-dot sun dress on the first day of high school. Pretend the laughs are because in town, people are always happy. Get over your first period class being called “Gifted Acceleration Study Hall”, and let the drama geeks steal your heart. Go with the stoners when they claim your lunch period, and for Christ’s sake, embrace the jocks when they come calling for your basketball skills. Give each and every one what they need. That empty feeling inside your skin is nothing to worry about. Everyone loves you.

Mr. Clark decides you should be in broadcasting, so you become a great debater. Mrs. Bellino knows you have a Sally Field living inside your inner actor. Mr. Scott recognizes your highly unusual verbal and writing skills as something other that severe low self-esteem, and introduces you to Charles Bukowski, the great beat poetry writer of the 1960’s. Bukowski’s words become your words; his books become your bibles.

Mrs. Butcher, the senior AP English teacher, catches you smoking on the lower field, then introduces you to Hemingway. You learn to write like he and F. Scott, but this is useless. There can be only one “Grapes of Wrath” or “Great Gatsby”, though you are from farm people and cannot escape your earthly origins.

Decide verbosity is for you; there are far too many words inside your brain to keep them under wraps. Overwrought profusion becomes your main course of study. You excel at excessive, compulsive behavior and over-achievement. You dream of killing cheerleaders and yourself.

The lines at the free clinic to explore your psychotic ramblings is too long; “This is just a phase,” so says your mother and the bus driver who seems to be the only one paying attention to the fact you’re carrying two razor blades in your wallet, in case you lose one.

Decide you hate high school. Develop a reputation for being too good for anyone. Pretend to be a harlot;  you are amazing. The accolades over your false sexual exploits become the stuff of legend.

Refuse to hide your rejected pain from the world. Meet Kara, grower of may jane and knower of cool skater people. Forget what you hate and learn how to windsurf. Buy a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses from money you earn as an Assistant Manager at Gallenkamp Shoes. Decide neither feet nor windsurfing are your thing. Decide to become a good looking version of Barbara Walters without a lisp.

Decide to care about getting into college and what people think of you. After all, this is the beginning of the Second Act. Start dating ski guy as you mull over colleges and courses of study. So what if he’s ten years older than you and you’re seventeen? That’s legal, in like, fourteen states.

Lie to your mother. Tell her you’re fine. Get good grades your senior year, lose weight, party with adults with adult-sized substance abuse problems; become an adult well before you can spell twelve steps.

Slip further away from you. Touch the dark.

See how everyone thinks you’re just super? “How do you manage it all?” They ask, and sometimes “Was that you having sex with Mike in the backseat of your orange VW in the parking lot of K-Mart?” Everyone thinks they know you. Who you have sex with becomes the stuff of urban legend. But you don’t protest too much. No, you protest not at all, because by your count, and that’s the only score card that matters, three does not a slut make. Well, four, but there wasn’t any penetration on the fourth.

On days when you would rather stick a fork in your eye than listen to one more under-articulated word come out of the mouth of a shallow, snarky girl who is just as bent as you – you write. Your words are garbled; your lies are legion. You hang onto the ledge of the black hole by chewed fingernails, and they all look at you, hanging there, removed from cause; clearly disinterested in your predicament. They die a little inside, over how beautiful and talented you really are. They whisper. They wish you were dead. So do you.

Days and weeks melt into months, when Playboy’s party school comes calling. They could sure use a girl like you. Decide against academic sincerity in favor of naked bar cycles and social drinking clubs called Red Barn in search of leaders. You are a born leader. You’ve always been lucky this way. Take thirty-two upper division units, live with five roommates, use three refrigerators, sleep with two foreign exchange students, and tell ski guy you’re tired of his shit. Fail to write a single, redeeming word.

Lie to your mother. Tell her everything is fine.

Decide Chico State University and hot buns contests are not for you. Go home. Realize you can’t go home. Wake up in Monterey in the arms of a beautiful, mysterious soldier poet from Maryland who falls in love with your brand of crazy. Ratchet up the stakes. Drive cross country. Ride the bull at Mickey Gilly’s in Pasadena, Texas; eat fresh shrimp freshly plucked from the bayou and cooked open fire on a gas stove in your hotel room at Mardi Gras; eat cold Dominos pizza in bed while watching a black and white TV and “Dawn of the Dead” in broken, horizontal glory on your first year anniversary, in Key Largo, in a freak, cold sleet storm, with a hemorrhoid, on your period, getting over the flu, and nursing an epic hangover from too much tequila imbibed the night before with a group of Cuban, gay bikers on Quaaludes.

All in.

Soldier poet boy buys you a silver lame mini dress to wear at your homecoming party in Severna Park, because it makes you look like Sharon Stone. And you do, actually better. His mother hates you on sight, and your silver lame mini dress. She has no idea who Sharon Stone is, though she does favor ice picks. Manhattan’s at five o’clock are the high point of every day. You decide she sees how tipped over the moon you are, that your feet are touching the wet, coldness of the abyss. She can see how you are dangling by one misshapen finger, the one you suck on when you’re most insane. You do the only thing you know how to do; you run.

California here you come! Lie to your mother and yourself about why. Cringe to realize college is still calling, only this time it’s on your tab. Your mother is far too consumed with her own degree programs to be bothered by your flighty, irresponsible needs. Talk to your poet soldier every day, until the one day he calls you and admits he left your Chevy Blazer running in an alley, with the keys in it, to take a leak while on a job hunt. Don’t freak out when he tells you he stopped paying the insurance on the unpaid for Blazer three months ago. He tells you he loves you and can’t wait to come to California. He promises to iron your suits and bring you orange juice in the shower. You can’t remember what his penis looks like. A banana, you know has been played.

Wake up the next morning from your new cocktail job, sleeping next to a meth user named Lennie, who steals your thousand dollar winning lottery ticket and most everything you have. Explore the joys of eight straight days of sleeplessness and clinical depression. Meet dysfunctional you. Divorce your beautiful, mysterious poet soldier. Lose more weight. Lie to your mother. Tell her everything is fine. Let go of the rim of the black hole. Get caught on a branch a few feet down. See all those people looking at you, like you are the insane bird? Decide they may know a thing or two about a thing or two.

Thank God for short term memory loss due to alcohol overconsumption and insomnia. Decide the first person you will forgive is you. Years go by, Scenes run from one to the next, and the curtain goes up on the Final Act. Wake up one day holding a nine pound savior in your arms, a baby boy direct from God, and it must be, because he has all his fingers and toes, and is perfect, whereas you were anything but. “How did this happen?” Your sometimes father who divorced your mother when you were four and promised everything would be fine, asks you. Here is when you decide the second person you will forgive will be your father. Decide to embrace your future and become a sane girl. Look into your baby boy’s molten brown eyes and see how he saves you from yourself. Notice how he pulls you back from the black hole and heals your bruises and gaping wounds.

It occurs to you on the eve of the boy you made’s second birthday, when he tells you your skin is like roses, that God gave you a boy; God gave you many boys. Why did He make testosterone your drug of choice and the great equalizer in your life? Are you the chosen one? He decides to give you one more testosterone love test, and that one sticks, sort of, but that one is hard, kind of crunchy and demanding. Ask the right questions, but don’t expect to find the answers.

Sooner or later, you write about it all. Truthful, painful, joyful word by word.

Quit jobs. Quit men. Get new jobs. Find good men. Fall in and out of love. Discover the beauty of living in your own skin. Fall down again and again. Stand up. What choice do you have? Quit smoking, quit doing things you know are bad for you, and wake the fuck up.

Write your first novel.

Break your leg.

Try not to get cancer.

Watch your son become a good man.

Forgive and forget what must be forgiven and forgotten.

Write about it all.

And when that girl who likes to throw herself into oncoming traffic knocks on your door and announces it’s time to hit the bars, invite her in for some chamomile tea. Visit, remember, then smile and look at the time. “I can see you’re doing alright without me.” She’ll say, in that wistful, regretful way she can. You tell her crazy just doesn’t work for you anymore. You love the light too much.

Outside, you wave goodbye as her rusted Vega disappears around the corner. You decide this relationship has run its course, but you’re grateful for what she gave you.

Inside, find that boy of yours who makes your stomach itch and your skin actually vibrate with joy. Tattoo his nickname and spirit on your left shoulder, in memoriam of the arm that held him until he could hold his own.

Wake up tomorrow. Your life is calling. Sane has its advantages.


Transformational Leadership

Millennium Scepter, oil on canvas, Raphael Delgado, 2011. All Rights Reserved T2PS.

The Self-Aware, High Performing Human Being

This is material developed for a workshop on Transformational Leadership delivered in August of 2011.

“Reengineering and other prevailing management fads that urge dramatic change and fundamental transformation on all fronts are not only wrong, they are dangerous. Any great and enduring human institution must have an underpinning of core values and a sense of timeless purpose that should never change. Give up the bedrock principles—the “what we stand for” and “why we exist”—of a great nation, and it will eventually cease to be great.” Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and Built to Last on wholesale change.

 Change is not about dramatic swings. Change is not a fad. Change is a status quo of the environment which demands that we get very clear about bedrock principles so that when the world or our organization erupts against us, we are prepared come what may – as individuals, families, companies, organizations, cities, nations and as a global society – all the why’s that cement our commitment to the cause and underpin our discipline for the vision we hold – this is what we must learn to do, and to build our mechanisms with this kind of commitment to our core principle – personally and professionally – to withstand the forces of change without altering the foundation of purpose beneath.

Why is Transformational Leadership Necessary? 

Humanity in Chaos

In Case of Emergency: Run to High Ground

“For every new human mastery ability or perspective you cultivate, you will drive powerful actions toward not just a better individual life; the changes you make for yourself will also enable the same for others. Cycles can be broken. New generations of possibility can be born.” Tracy Saville

Transformational Leadership is the leadership ability that will re-engineer human institutions to be aligned with new core values and visions, adopted because of what we have experienced in the new reality of the world we live in. It will be the skill set that Gen-Y (or Millenniums) must have to sustain our families against the volatile uncertainty of average everyday existence, and it will be used to create and drive the massive changes we must make in systems that are dangerously operating at the expense of the people the systems serve. Remember that systems are people. Revolutions are never necessary wherever leaders lead from authentic service and a bedrock principle of integrity.

Transformative leading is more than just the basic idea that we need great leaders, which we have always known; it is a matter of how leaders are trained to do what the new world requires, and whether or not they are self-aware, authentic, humble, disciplined, self-actualized, emotionally intelligent, transformative human engineers capable of creating visions, enrolling others in those visions, AND building organizational systems at every level of every society in every culture everywhere that is equal to the tasks needed to make the changes we actually desire.

Transformational leaders must know how to sustain the new way of doing things until tomorrow comes, unexpectedly, and be ready to shift and make new changes to accommodate what might come next in a world defined by chaos and uncertainty.

Change is the new normal. And this is where your ability to be a transforming leader with vision AND grounded, real leader builder/sustainer skills comes in.

What is Transformational Leadership?

  1. Values/Intention/Authenticity/Service: James McGregor Burns (although there are other researchers who tell us more about this) defines transformational leadership as a process where leaders and subordinates engage in a mutual process of lifting each other to higher levels of motivation.
  2. Transformational leaders raise the bar by appealing to higher ideals and values of their people. As a result, they model the values themselves and use charismatic methods to attract others.
  3. Bernard Bass’ defines transformational leadership in terms of how the leader affects their people. He identifies three ways in which leaders transform followers:
  • Increasing their awareness of task importance and value.
  • Getting them to focus first on team/organizational goals, not own interests.
  • Activating follower’s higher-order needs.
Gen-Y Mastering Up

Mike Wilson, percussionist-musician/personal mastery devotee

Transformational leaders are also:

Innovators/creative problem solvers: They possess skills that go beyond one primary skill set, allowing them to question, observe, associate, network, and experiment. These skills are what are needed to respond to the inevitable problems we’ll face throughout the 21st century.

As the world becomes narrower, flatter, more fragmented, appealing to an ever -increasing amount of niches, the rich network of connections from one field to the next gets lost.

The need for people who can connect the dots will only grow in importance, people who can connect dots AND inspire people through higher ideals and a willingness to work from a framework of possibility.

Problems with Transformational Leadership?

  • Complacency driven by achievement and discipline (or lack thereof)
  • Vision isn’t realistic or attainable and somehow the relevant and critical skills/abilities of the team members do not match what the vision requires
  • Holding a vision not supported by the tier above them in influence or power within a structure
  • Change scares people and can shut down performance

James MacGregor Burns: Model of Moral, Transaction & Transformational Leaders 

(Burns’ Model of Transaction and Transformation Leadership Authority[1]

THREE FRAMES FOR THE Capitalist Entrepreneur 2. Bureaucratic (Transactional)Bureaucracy is “the exercise of control on the basis of knowledge: (p. 339). It is the stuff of rational legal hierarchical power, the Bureaucratic leader.
1. Charistmatic/ Hero (Transformer)An individual personality set apart form ordinary people and endowed with supernatural, superhaman powers, and heroic Charismatic leadership qualities. In short part Hero, and part Superman/ Superwoman. 3. Traditional (Feudal/ Prince) Traditional is an arbitrary exercise of Sultan power bound to loyalty, favoritism, and politics. It is stuff of Princely leadership

Possibility Frameworks Are Cornerstone Tools for Transformational Leaders

Shifting our perspectives from ‘I’ to ‘we’; seeking possible alternatives and never blame; thinking strategically and synthetically – both from a systems perspective where we look at all the pieces of the game board and the game board itself and from a systems and human behavioral perspective where we add the people to the equation, but place them at the center of the target, where they stand on the vision, enrolled in the bedrock principle.

BATNA: Harvard-style Negotiation Techniques

BATNA is a term coined by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 bestseller, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Without Giving In. It stands for “best alternative to a negotiated agreement.” BATNAs are critical to negotiation because you cannot make a wise decision about whether to accept a negotiated agreement unless you know what your alternatives are. Your BATNA is the only standard which can protect you both from accepting terms that are too unfavorable and from rejecting terms it would be in your interest to accept. In the simplest terms, if the proposed agreement is better than your BATNA, then you should accept it. If the agreement is not better than your BATNA, then you should reopen negotiations. If you cannot improve the agreement, then you should at least consider withdrawing from the negotiations and pursuing your alternative (though the costs of doing that must be considered as well).

Having a good BATNA increases your negotiating power. Therefore, it is important to improve your BATNA whenever possible. Good negotiators know when their opponent is desperate for an agreement. When that occurs, they will demand much more, knowing their opponent will have to give in. If the opponent apparently has many options outside of negotiation, however, they are likely to get many more concessions, in an effort to keep them at the negotiating table. Thus making your BATNA as strong as possible before negotiating, and then making that BATNA known to your opponent will strengthen your negotiating position.

Tim Saville

Tim Saville, A Transformational Leader

TRANSACTIONAL CATEGORIES OF LEADERSHIP (thanks to Tim Saville for gathering the following…)

Transactional leadership “requires a shrewd eye for opportunity, a good hand at bargaining, persuading, reciprocating”.

    Opinion Leaders and Spectacle – In public opinion leadership, the transactions are less tangible, like the exchange of a political office for electoral support.

Group Leaders  – the bargainers and bureaucrats. Leaders can use charisma and transaction to enhance cohesion, solidarity, and conformity, as the situation demands. Leaders are at the center of the groups’ communications. The overt exercise of leader power in a group promotes group conflict, heightens competing group claims, and thereby weakens solidarity.

Bureaucracy favors consensus and discredits clash and controversy, as a threat to its stability. Bureaucracy discourages charismatic personalities, favoring a depersonalized hierarchy, with rules, norms, paperwork, and standards, a leadership vested in offices not in persons. Bureaucracy is anti-heroic. The most disciplined, impersonal, and rigid bureaucracy is, however, full of Princely power, the jockeying for personal power and competitive advantage of one fiefdom group over another. In the end the groups and divisions of a bureaucracy become political interest groups.

Leaders of bureaucratic groups and organizations can change social norms by adjusting transactions, conform, be deviate and divisive until a new bargain is struck, or just leave.

Government Political - Party Leadership - Parties contend and conflict in the struggle for power. Leaders face a perpetual battle of combative parties seeking power. Leaders discover their own interests and activate interests, wants, needs, and expectations of followers, and then promise to meet them, resulting in mobilized demands for economic, social and psychological resources. Power is channeled and distributed, creating the basis of transactional structures of political and party leadership. The tendency in such transaction structures is towards oligarchy, as leaders of fighting groups are pitted against one another. In any organization the leader competes and bargains and compromises with competing parties of conflicting group interests.

There is a basic conflict between transactional and transformational forces that is being worked out and sorted out in complex organizations.

Legislative Leadership: The Price of Consensus – Bargaining, reciprocity, and payoff is the transactional trading system of legislative leadership. None did legislative leadership better than Lyndon B. Johnson. His transactional leadership exploited channels of obligation, expectation, awarding and denying prize committee assignments and chairmanships, allotting congressional funds, amassing and distributing credits, and hinting at threat through scorn and accusation to get his way. Huey Long was also a legislative leader, able to throw up roadblocks, politicize the environment, and organize the rank-and-file. Burns did not remark at all on the relationship between legislative leadership and corporate power. Today’s behind the scenes backbenchers are political action committees, where to finance legislative campaigns, legislators trade their allegiance from constituency to corporate interests.

Executive Leadership - The distinguishing characteristics of executive leaders, in contrast with party or parliamentary leaders, are their lack of reliable political and institutional support, their dependence on bureaucratic resources such as staff and budget, and most of all their use of themselves – their own talent and character, prestige and popularity, in the clash of political interests and values. Spectacle is a powerful arbitrator to concentrate power. In such a polity, some executives cultivate conflict among their staff to better control them. Others look to available penalties, rewords and inducements to influence their staff (promotions, work assignments, appreciation, etc.). And some set up their own intelligence apparatus for their own unique purposes. The accumulation of such power is necessary to overcome resistance to executive plans and techniques.

Versus Transformational CATEGORIES OF LEADERSHIP – 3 Burns categories

Intellectual - An intellectual leader is devoted to seeing ideas and values that transcend immediate practical needs and still change and transform their social milieu. The intellectual leader is out of step with their own time, in conflict with the status quo. The intellectual leader is a person with a vision that can transform society by raising social consciousness.

Reform – leadership of reform movements requires participation of a large number of allies with various reform and non-reform goals of their own, which means dealing with endless divisions in the ranks, and a collective that is anti-leadership. Reform leadership by definition implies moral leadership, which means an attention to matching the means to the ends. Reform leaders transform parts of society to realize moral principles.

Revolutionary – where the reformer operated on the parts, the revolutionary operates on the whole. The analysis of revolution always seems to begin with the storming of the Bastille, an event that transformed the French monarchy. Then there is the Bolshevik revolution, a game conducted by elites over the heads of the masses. Then there are the coups d’états of banana republics. In its broadest meaning revolution is a complete and pervasive transformation of an entire social system.

[1] file:///Users/TKSaville/Documents/T2%20Curriculum/chaos/TRANSFORMATIONAL%20LEADERSHIP.webarchive

Complexity and Uncertainty…the New Age of High Performance

leaders and cadets at West Point GLC at author Jim Collins of "Good to Great" fame's speech 2011

West Point Cadets getting the skinny on "great leader" traits from thought leader Jim Collins, 2011

By Tracy Saville

The gentleman sitting front and center of this photo who is an LA firefighter department leader developer (serious leading mastery) made me remember a story. In 2002 I was fortunate enough to obtain a Certificate in Negotiations from Harvard Law School in Cambridge with my husband Tim Saville (General Manager of General Truss, North State Lumber CEO, and CO-CEO of T2). Bruce Nussbaum happened to be contributing to that session and I recently ran across a March 2011 article you need to read that is also related to the photo above. Nussbaum writes a storm about topics I know are critical nuggets for leaders today and for people who want to master their lives. This one he wrote lays out the truths about who we have to be and how we need to think about anything if we expect to rise to the top.

Fast forward to April of 2011 where I took this photo at West Point’s Global Leadership conference –  I giggled inside at the joy of finding so many people who were taking the concepts of mastering and embracing uncertainty and complexity so seriously. That this is the framework for how our free-world leaders-in-training are embarking upon their leader careers made us feel hope and re-affirmed our own work.

What are you doing to steel yourself against this new VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous)?

Creative Intelligence….

On Stuckness and Un-stuckness Through Creative Intelligence Doorways

We get stuck when too many pieces are moving at one time, when we have exhausted every possible known salve to our problem. Our rational minds want to focus on the chains of cause and effect, on the science chain or approach to getting to the bottom of things. But possibility lives beyond the domain of hypothesis’, for once our ‘what ifs’ are exhausted, where do we go? We have to go inside and beyond the rational into our creative minds.

Opposite of the mind map at left, which is what divergent, creative thinking looks like in motion, in theory science, or rationality (cause = effect), looks like A+B=C.

A+B will always be C until A or B changes. Very few things, if any at all, that we face or experience in human existence fits snugly within this solely rational theorem or proof. And because everything changes at such a rapid pace and with so much volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, without different skills or practices to guide us, we are left in a state of stuck holding a bag of rational tools for problem solving that are antiquated at best and downright frightening at worst.

One way to prepare ourselves better for the world when we get stuck, or before we get stuck better yet, is to check our intentions around what we want, when and why we do what we do, and what we set our eyes on as a goal as we do it.

Consider this logic tree, which drives HOW we do anything from a creative intelligence, possibility framework:

1)    A person who sees quality and feels it as he/she works is a person who cares

2)    A person who cares about what he/she sees or does is a person who possess characteristics of quality

3)    To care AND to feel one does care is by definition a simple way of saying what it means to be present, to be in the aware/now state where we are most likely to find creative solutions

4)    The absence of care is a reduction of quality in everything, and therefore…

5)    Distinctions become critical in the doing and problem-solving game for care + distinction = Quality Outcome

Who helps us understand these theories?

Jim Collins, author of Good to Greatand Built to Last focuses often on the usefulness, if not the necessity, of creative and emotional intelligence as key characteristics of the greatest leaders among us. He and I visited at the West Point Military Academy‘s Global Leadership Conference 2011 just after an evening of me listening to his speech to over 600 cadets.

The fan in me loves this was my birthday, but also it was a moment of revelation to discover how Jim is a man who engineers environments to foster emotionally intelligent leaders fueled by their creative intelligence (among other critical attributes his work recognizes as must-haves). I love nothing more than to realize such life-affirming truths than this. Other great minds on this subject include:

  1. Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline which is THE book on creating learning organizations (fostering creative intelligence inside organizations (among many things))
  2. Robert Persig, academic philosopher and author of Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance
  3. John P. Kotter, author of Leading Change
  4. Benjamin and Rosamund Zander, authors of The Art of Possibility
I hope you will continue to explore the creatively intelligent you! How does creative intelligence show up in your life? Share a stuck to un-stuck story….

Self Actualization…what, how and why.

A term first introduced by the organismic theorist Kurt Goldstein for the motive to realize one’s full potential. He said about human organisms: “the tendency to actualize itself as fully as possible is the basic drive…the drive of self-actualization.”Goldstein, quoted in Arnold H. Modell The Private Self (Harvard 1993) p. 44. 

In Goldstein’s bookThe Organism: A Holistic Approach to Biology Derived from Pathological Data in Man(1995), self-actualization is “the tendency to actualize, as much as possible, [the organism's] individual capacities” in the world. The tendency toward self-actualization is “the only drive by which the life of an organism is determined.”’ He defined self-actualization as a driving life force, one that determines the path of one’s life.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Resized, renamed,...Image via Wikipedia

Abraham Maslow, his article A Theory of Human Motivation, believed self-actualization was a capacity that gave people the desire, the motivation to achieve ambitions and potential, but was not the guarantee actualization would happen.  Self-actualized people embrace reality and facts rather than denying truth; they are spontaneous, focus on problems outside themselves, and accept their own human nature… with all its shortcomings…and they accept the same in others. They also generally lack prejudice. (Maslow, Reber, Goble) 

Image via Wikipedia

Human beings, since we began, have been hard-wired for fight or flight, for survival. Contemporary society asks us to learn to override this reactive, aggressive nature to learn how to behave in a cozier world. But then the world changes, and we find we can’t quickly access our survival circuitry. This is an example how we can become unaware of what we don’t even know about ourselves, or how we can’t see what we don’t know is even important, until one day life shows us –oops we are asleep to some very real things about how we really work or don’t work. Asleep to how we work is to be asleep to how our thoughts (or brain) and our emotions (or feelings) can control us. Awake, or aware of how our brain, our thinking systems, our emotional limbic operations, etc. works –we can then wield leadership over these operating systems of our true self and set plans in motion to take ourselves to higher levels of performance. If we don’t know how our limbic brain (emotions) works as compared to our thinking brain – all that rational, ordered, analytical, factual ability, we can’t hope to “see” what might be possible if we were to “wake up”, to self-actualize. First we have to learn how, then what, then why, and then how our actions and behavior might be fueled differently in an actualized state of being.

The risk: actualizing the false image rather than the “real” self..The risk is real: if we “actualize” other than the true, internal “us”, the ego or the contrived, in-authentic version we carry around about us, we “live into” a life not our own, one day to wake up and find our lives feel empty and unfulfilled because we worked into a false shell or skin. Our ideal may not be complete or entirely encompassing of all our strengths, weaknesses, abilities, skills, etc.

On the other hand, this can be limiting, for who else can say what any one of us is capable of, but us? Maslow, if he is right–that before we can move on to the hard or “big” needs we have to master the basics–would say we lack the ability to jump over basic needs to get to the deeper stuff. I am not at all sure in the over 1,000 people I have seen actualize despite the absence of many basic needs being met would agree. In his hierarchy of needs we must begin with “the physiological needs” like food and water, breathing and sleeping. And once these needs have been met, “the safety needs” comes along, and then security, physical comforts and shelter, employment, and property. Next “the belongingness and love needs” – social acceptance, affiliations, a sense of belongingness and being welcome, then sexual intimacy, and family. Next are “the esteem needs“, a sense of competence, recognition of achievement by peers, and respect from others. Gleitman and Reisberg 2004; Maslow 1969.

Who is to truly suggest any one of us cannot do what we set out to do?

I say this is a process of order. First comes mind, then body, then spirit and family, and then career and community, a combination of the hierarchical needs Maslow defined AND Goldstein’s belief, that we have an intrinsic desire to push past negative conditions regarding our basic unmet needs to be all we can see we can be. 

This is a transaxial slice of the brain of a 5...Image via Wikipedia

“Our limbic brain – our emotional brain – provides our ambitions and desires, our intrinsic capacity to become who we have the capacity to be, while our thinking brain offers the technical tools to do that and the logical ability to analyze the facts of context in order to do that. We – our internal, aware self—drive the development and integration of all of the above, and that is where we self-actualize. We drive the bus.“ (FallingUp: Extraordinary Lives for Everyday People, T2 Publishing, 2012)