Monday, November 21, 2011

a hard story to tell

In the driver’s seat
NEW YORK TIMES     November 15, 2011   excerpts from
Who’s the Decider?
Driving to the covered bazaar in the exotic western Indian town of Jodhpur last week, our Indian guide stopped to point out a modern landmark. “Do you see that stoplight?” he asked, pointing to a standard green-yellow-red stoplight in the busy intersection. “It’s the only stoplight in Jodhpur. There are 1.2 million people living here.”
The more you travel around India, the more you notice just how lightly the hand of government rests on this country. Somehow, it all sort of works. The traffic does move, but, for the first time in all my years visiting India, I’ve started to wonder whether India’s “good enough” approach to government will really be good enough much longer...
...Yes, it’s true that in the hyperconnected world, in the age of Facebook and Twitter, the people are more empowered and a lot more innovation and ideas will come from the bottom up, not just the top down. That’s a good thing — in theory. But at the end of the day — whether you are a president, senator, mayor or on the steering committee of your local Occupy Wall Street — someone needs to meld those ideas into a vision of how to move forward, sculpt them into policies that can make a difference in peoples’ lives and then build a majority to deliver on them. Those are called leaders. Leaders shape polls. They don’t just read polls. And, today, across the globe and across all political systems, leaders are in dangerously short supply.  [my italics]
If asked to write a subtitle for this mostly unremarkable editorial by Tom Friedman, I’d call it The Duh Factor. Concerning leadership, or the lack of it, Friedman figures out the problem, as so many others have, then offers what is tantamount to a mediocre answer. If he’d listen, I’d suggest to Thomas that he take a bold step by sharing his inspired view of a cure for our leadership illness.
Instead, he writes that “someone needs to meld those ideas into a vision” and “Leaders shape polls” and “leaders are in dangerously short supply.” Chances are that, in his next piece, Friedman will write about what parents of Zucotti Park protestors forgot to teach their children about the art of persuasion. 
What I wish he would do is to chat with my dear friend, Dr. Holly Latty-Mann, the leadership maven whose Leadership Trust has been transforming ordinary leaders into extraordinary humans for years.  Her short course that relies on dynamic synergy confronts leadership problems head on. She has her participants discover how to see their own limitations and how to remedy those deficiencies. In short, she teaches a leadership lifestyle that is sustainable and translatable to followers.
And better leaders make better followers. Communication fluorishes; problems are seen as challenges rather than obstacles. Results are obvious rather than being contrived; there is no ideology to defend or support. Instead, what is accomplished is due to the honest pursuit of shared purposes.
That is at the heart of it. An agreed upon purpose serves as a focal point for all to work toward. What is examined are deficiencies or mindsets that interfere with achieving worthwhile goals. Behaviors that contradict the shared purpose are obvious. Therefore, they become reasonably easy to change or reform.
The good Dr. doesn’t own a crtystal ball. She doesn’t need one. But she does have a methodology that even Plato would probably have approved. She teaches leaders how to be genuine and, often, spectacular leaders. With her know how, she could provide the world with more of that commodity, leadership, that  Thomas Friedman thinks is in such short supply.
I disagree. Leaders are plentiful. They just need someone like Dr. Holly Latty-Mann to help them maximize then reach their potential.
                                               B. Koplen  11/16/11
to read more of my articles and to subscribe to my blog, please go to:
p.s. this note from Dr. Holly Latty-Mann was received yesterday. Her account tells of a terrible accident that occurred the day after this piece was written:
I am a walking miracle from a 3-car accident 10 pm last Thursday night when I was returning from Wilmington. It totaled my car as well as the other cars. I managed to take a picture of the car next to me while I was trapped in my own car. I was worried because the engine was smoking in their car, and I had just filled up with gas.  You can see one of the deceased in this picture. Both parents died, and their 22 –month old toddler is in there crying. I have been grieving for them since the accident. Everyone either died or went to the hospital, but I returned home uninjured. The red car pictured here jumped the median and plowed into the car in front of me throwing it onto my car.

Life is fragile.
Holly Latty-Mann, Ph.D.
President, The Leadership Trust®
2010 Triangle Business Journal, Mentor Award
Co-Author, Roadmap to Success w/Ken Blanchard, Deepak Chopra, et al.

Impacting Relationships to Impact Bottom Line

New Hope Court; Suite 403
1502 W Highway 54; Durham, NC  27707
Triangle Office: 919.401-8648 / 888.313.2570
Triad Office:  336.288.3336;   Fax:  919.401.8649 ;

No comments:

Post a Comment