Jun 082015

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 .

– – – – – – – – –  – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  – –


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).

= = = = = = = = = = =  = = = = = = = = = = = =  = = =


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


  3 Responses to “2015-06-05 Radical idea about Leaders”

  1. Sent: June 8, 2015 10:05 AM
    To: ‘Sandra Finley’
    Subject: RE: Radical idea about Leaders

    Thanks, Sandra. I know his work. I believe in a blend of empathetic and managerial leadership; we really don’t progress with one over the other for too long. Best wishes, Daphne.

  2. HI Sandra,

    What can you tell me about the Labour Force Survey I got in the mail this week and the person who decided to knock on my door June21/15 at 7:30pm demanding I fill this out because it is law.

    First off, the timing for the visit on a Father’s day Sunday turned me the wrong way. Secondly, is it true I am forced to complete this by law?


  3. Hi Patricia,

    The short answer is No, the law does not force you to fill out this Survey. The law says that Surveys are voluntary. See http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=13005 . I think it is explained reasonably well there; if you have questions, please feel free to get back to me.

    – – – – – – – – – – – –

    It’s time to start thinking about the next Census, and so I will elaborate further.

    It is ironic that you put your question about StatsCan Surveys on this page about “Leaders”!

    With the next Census coming in May 2016, Statistics Canada needs to develop a desire to “follow” their leadership. Knocking on your door on a Sunday evening, and one that is Father’s Day, with a demand to fill in a LFS under the threat “it is the law” is hardly the kind of behaviour that makes their leadership attractive. They have been disrespectful, intruding on what is understood to be important family time. They have used brutish tactics.

    To further alienate you, they have told you a lie. Under the law, surveys are voluntary. It is unfortunate that they do not open up. They have a problem. 11% of the population did not comply with the 2011 Census. They lied about that, saying the rate was 2%.

    They will think that an advertising campaign can reverse the non-compliance trend. The ad campaign for 2016 will be in the works, already. My personal view is that propaganda (advertising is propaganda in sanitized language) doesn’t work after a threshold of awareness is achieved. Nor does intimidation.

    People have the tool of passive-aggressive behaviour. Corporate types seem to be disconnected from reality. Maybe they are high on their own importance or sense of power, who knows? To EXPECT that their chosen tactics can work seems to me to be a total disconnect from reality. There are too many ways for citizens to dodge the ball, should they choose. The “leaders” are actually quite powerless. They are dependent upon social license.

    Through the way they are handling Surveys, they are creating more and more awareness that the data base on Canadians at Statistics Canada is almost guaranteed to be accessible through “back-door” entry by the NSA. Lockheed Martin has worked directly with Statistics Canada, AND Lockheed Martin works directly with the NSA.

    The desire by American “security” forces to have access to the data on all Canadians has been articulated in newspaper reports. The President of the Americas for Lockheed has been quoted in Maclean’s Magazine as saying that they will circumvent normal democratic procedures because they know that they can’t get what they want if people know. They deal directly with the “agencies” of the Govt and the bureaucracy; “the Ministers” have given their go-ahead “Tell us what you need. We’ll see that you get it.”

    Not to mention all the other reasons why Canadians should not cooperate for one minute with a corporation as corrupt as Lockheed Martin. The weapons AND the torture they have been actively involved in are highly illegal. They lobby, they grease palms, they have been fined many times over AND they NEED Canadian tax-payers to help subsidize the disastrous F-35 stealth bombers. They’ve bankrupted the American public. Gotta line up some other stupid serfs to fund them now. Their only source of funding is the tax-payers of different nations. They submit their bills to Governments to pay.

    Enough said.

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