Presentation on theme: "Psychology 1508: Janusian Thinking “The goal in leadership development, it is important to remember, is to develop well-rounded leaders, ones with the."— Presentation transcript:
Psychology 1508: Janusian Thinking “The goal in leadership development, it is important to remember, is to develop well-rounded leaders, ones with the skills and personal attributes needed to adapt, act with flexibility, and combine what appear to be opposites: toughness and compassion, self-confidence and humility, strong individuals and good team players.” Russ Moxley, Center for Creative Leadership
Janusian Thinking “conceiving two or more opposite or antithetical ideas, images or concepts simultaneously.” Robert Rothenberg
“Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all convictions, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.” W.B. Yeats “We see everything as this or that, plus or minus, on or off, black or white; and we fragment reality into an endless series of either-ors. In a phrase, we think the world apart.” Parker Palmer
Thinking the World Together “Paradoxical thinking requires that we embrace a view of the world in which opposites are joined, so that we can see the world clearly and see it whole... The result is a world more complex and confusing than the one made simple by either-or thought—but that simplicity is merely the dullness of death. When we think together, we reclaim the life force in the world, in our students, in ourselves.” Parker Palmer
Janusian Leadership “Ben Franklin was a paradox. He fiercely believed in the power of the individual, but he was a relentless advocate for acting on behalf of the community. He believed in competition, but he never hesitated to cooperate with competitors when it was in his interest. He could be the most partisan of politicians—and the most accomodating of diplomats.” Jack Uldrich
Myth : You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Reality : Rather than succumbing to the “tyranny of the OR” they embrace the “genius of the AND.”
Progress through Synthesis Person OR Situation? Democratic OR Authoritarian? Dogmatism OR Relativism? Tough OR Nice?
Person OR Situation?
“The history of the world is but the biography of great men.” Thomas Carlyle “Man lives consciously for himself, but is an unconscious instrument in the attainment of historic, universal, aims of humanity. A deed done is irrevocable, and its result coinciding in time with the actions of millions of other men assumes an historic significance. The higher a man stands on the social ladder, the more people he is connected with and the more power he has over others, the more evident is the predestination and inevitability of his every action.... A king is history’s slave.” Leo Tolstoy
“The Negro race, like all races, is going to be saved by its exceptional men. The problem of education, then, among Negroes must first of all deal with the Talented Tenth; it is the problem of developing the Best of this race that they may guide the Mass away from the contamination and death of the Worst, in their own and other races.” W. E. B. Du Bois
Does Leadership Matter? No! (Lieberson & O’Connor, 1972) “Studies estimating the effect of administrators have found them to account for about 10 percent of the variance in organizational performance. [This is] a striking contrast to the 90 percent of intellectual effort that has been devoted to developing theories of individual action.” Pfeffer & Salancik
Leadership Matters Between versus Within (Thomas, 1987) Skipper Effect (Thorlindsson, 1987)
“Historical forces create the circumstances in which leaders emerge, but the characteristics of the particular leader in turn have their impact on history.” John Gardner Person AND Situation
“Historical forces create the circumstances in which leaders emerge, but the characteristics of the particular leader in turn have their impact on history.” John Gardner “Historical performances come from great opportunities greatly met.” John Gardner Person AND Situation
Hitler AtaturkAyatollah Humeini “It would be a profound disservice to leaders to suggest that they are ordinary people who happened to be in the right place at the right time. Maybe the place matters, but it takes a special kind of person to master the challenges of opportunity.” Locke & Kilpatrick
Democratic OR Authoritarian?
Democracy as Solution to Authoritarianism “Hierarchical organizations are simply too inflexible and rigid to compete effectively in today’s business environment... They need to be replaced by lateral forms of organizations that rely heavily on teams, information technology, networks, shared leadership, and involved employees.” Edward Lawler Kurt Lewin (1939) –democratic leadership –laissez faire leadership –authoritarian leadership
One sure way to miss truth in any field is to count the votes: had Copernicus and Galileo done so, the sun might still be circling the earth. Parker Palmer “I wonder how far Moses would have gone had he’d taken a poll in Egypt.” Harry Truman Going against the grain (when necessary) Pseudo leaders Democracy Is Not Enough
“The ablest and most effective leaders do not hold to a single style; they may be highly supportive in personal relations when that is needed, yet capable of a quick, authoritative decision when the situation requires it.” John Gardner Contingency Theory (Fiedler, 1969)
Dogmatism OR Relativism?
“[Relativism is a] theory, especially in ethics or aesthetics, that conceptions of truth and moral values are not absolute but are relative to the persons or groups holding them.” American Heritage Dictionary “Dogmatism is a condition of mind in which essential practical concepts are perceived with such clarity that only one possible interpretation of reality exists. In such a case, all evidence suggesting contrary interpretations—and therefore alternate courses of action—simply disappears from sight, indeed is inconceivable.” Yoram Hazony
“Almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative.” Allan Bloom Moral Relativism
Relativist A commitment to open-mindedness and flexibility Lacks conviction and certainty for sustained action Dogmatist Possesses conviction and certainty Lacks openness and flexibility
Question 1, first:78% say ‘No’ Question 1 after 2: 79% say ‘Yes’ (Pearson Chi-Square=10.04; p<.002) Moral Relativism at Harvard (Ben-Shahar & Grant, 2003) Question 2: Is a culture that supports gender equality morally superior to a culture that oppresses women? Question 1: Is any culture morally superior to another culture?
The dangers of dogmatism The dangers of relativism “The best lack all convictions, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.” W.B. Yeats Janus, help!!! “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke Regaining a strong belief in a cause
“If we regard truth as something handed down from authorities on high, the classroom will look like a dictatorship. If we regard truth as a fiction determined by personal whim, the classroom will look like anarchy. If we regard truth as emerging from a complex process of mutual inquiry, the classroom will look like a resourceful and interdependent community.” Parker Palmer Janusian Synthesis
Tough OR Nice?
Beautiful Enemy (Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1841) “Nothing will sink a leader faster than surrounding him- or herself with yes-men and women. Even when principled nay-sayers are wrong, they force leaders to re-evaluate their positions and to poke and prod their assumptions for weaknesses. Good ideas are only made stronger by being challenged.” Warren Bennis “He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.” Edmund Burke
Beautiful Enemy (Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1841) “The real heroism of leadership involves having the courage to face reality—and helping the people around you to face reality.” Ron Heifetz “McKinsey had a culture that fostered rigorous debate over the right answer without that debate resulting in personal criticism.” Lou Gerstner
Espoused Versus In-Use “Most individuals studied seem to be able to detect the discrepancies between their espoused theories and theories-in-use of others, but were not able to detect similar discrepancies in themselves.” Chris Argyris “Espoused theories of action are those that people report as a basis for actions. Theories-in- use are the theories of action inferred from how people actually behave.” Chris Argyris
The Challenge of Challenging “CEO disease: the information vacuum around a leader created when people withhold important (and usually unpleasant) information.” Daniel Goleman “It takes one kind of courage to face a duelist, but it’s nothing like the courage it takes to tell a friend, No.” Harry Truman
The Challenge of Being Challenged “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.” John Kenneth Galbraith “We say we want the truth, what we mean is that we want to be correct.” Mihnea Moldoveanu Rationalizing over rationality
“The leader needs a circle of associates who are willing to be both supportive and critical. Pity the leader caught between unloving critics and uncritical lovers. Leaders need reassurance, but just as important they need advisors who tell them the truth, gently but candidly.” John Gardner
Healthy Synthesis Person AND Situation Democratic AND Authoritarian Dogmatism AND Relativism Tough AND Nice