I am prompted to put forth the ideas of Simon Sinek in the midst of more turmoil at the University. (The ex-President is suing the University for $8 or $8.5 million.)
The “radical idea” about leaders is not new and it’s spreading fast! Thanks goodness. Maybe you can help spread it even further?
- “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek was published in 2014.
- The TED Talk by Sinek has more than 22-and-a-half-million views!
But personally, I liked the book better. There are a number of case studies from business as well as research to make the point that, in general,
entities under empathic leadership outperform entities under managerial leadership in the longer term.
I will send an interpretation of Sinek to the Committee that is in the process of selecting the next President for the University (see below).
NOTE: the environment created by leaders (in the business world) is also discussed helpfully in Sustainability and joy: the power of fun can transform .
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In response to recent news articles (links appended) about continuing difficulties at the University (arising out of Leadership) I would say, the blame and denial game is not too helpful.
The University will soon have a new president.
There are inherited longterm factors for new personnel. I’d like to address just one.
In the last 30 to 40 years there has been acceptance of “managerial leadership”, without much scrutiny – – is it effective? Management is done by the numbers. Numbers can be helpful, depending on how they are applied in decision processes. Managerial leadership is typically a very “rational” process. It runs into problems, as with any of our human endeavours, when the rational takes over, as though it is the ONLY faculty that we homo sapiens possess. Ethical behaviour, empathy, imagination, memory, are out in the cold.
Managerial leadership (think of lay-offs and firings) might work under select circumstances in the short term. In the long term the institution will UNDER perform. People watch their backs because they don’t trust others in the organization. Creativity suffers – – support for the status quo is the safest ground. Keep your mouth shut out of fear for your job.
There is another kind of leadership, one that develops people who WANT to follow, because they feel secure under the leader. If I trust that you truly care about me and the well-being of my family, if you give me a vision of the good being done collectively by “our” efforts, I will follow you to the moon. And support you. The organization can accomplish great things in a fearless environment.
I have worked under both kinds of leaders. One creates a toxic environment; the other an uplifting one, a great place to work. Homelife, children are impacted by worklife – – most people don’t hang their emotions in the closet, as they do their coat, when they walk in the door.
A Selection Committee at the University will soon name a new president from a short-list.
Who knows best whether the applicant is a “leader”? . . . the people for whom they are responsible in their current job. That is what leaders are – – responsible for the human beings who do the work of the organization.
“The true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own.
Great leaders truly care about those they are privileged to lead and
understand that the true cost of the leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest.”
If members of the Selection Committee have an e-reader, I’ll happily buy them each a copy of “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek (2014).
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Two recent articles in the Star Phoenix related to the University of Saskatchewan:
1. Ex-University of Saskatchewan president Busch-Vishniac files lawsuit over firing
Seeking $8 million in damages
By Andrea Hill, June 3, 2015
2. Firings ‘bumps in the road:’ Barnhart
By Andrea Hill, May 21