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Leadership, The Secret (Pt 7): Experts, Research & Beauty Contests

This entry is part 7 of 12 in the series Leadership - The Secret

This entry is part 7 of 12 in the series Leadership – The SecretLeadership’s subjectivity and its unproven scientific status tempts us to rely heavily upon experts and their research to tell us what good leadership is. We typically have this reliance when anything is difficult to fit a definition. For instance, consider assessments of […]

Leadership, The Secret (Pt 6): Scientifically Unproven

This entry is part 6 of 12 in the series Leadership - The Secret

This entry is part 6 of 12 in the series Leadership – The SecretA professor and I were discussing the effect of goals on employee performance. He was commenting that research shows they raise performance until people believe they are unattainable at which point performance becomes worse than if no goals existed. I then asked […]

Leadership, The Secret (Pt 5): Persona

This entry is part 5 of 12 in the series Leadership - The Secret

This entry is part 5 of 12 in the series Leadership – The SecretMost leadership programs fail to consider a critical psychological phenomenon: persona. They believe that good visions, strategies, missions, execution and authenticity will net good leadership. While important, this belief is akin to rushing headlong into battle with flanks completely exposed. Often leaders […]

Leadership, The Secret

This entry is part 1 of 12 in the series Leadership - The Secret

This entry is part 1 of 12 in the series Leadership – The SecretLeadership is an affect, thus leadership’s secret is about what goes on in the hearts and minds of the group’s members. It’s not about the leaders; it’s about members’ perceptions of leaders. In short, at the basest level, leaders are often actors, […]

Pricing, The Secret

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Pricing, The Secret

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Pricing, The SecretThe secret to pricing is its arbitrariness, subjectivity. What disrupts this is anchoring, a preconceived benchmark of what should be the price. Classical economics describes consumers as rational purchasers of goods and services weighing benefits and costs. In reality, that weighing is just […]

Memorable Pictures: Unconscious Attractions

Allison Bond’s article, “Haunting Scenes” (Scientific American Mind, November/December 2011 edition), discusses the research of Phillip Isola (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) as to what makes a memorable photograph. While Isola generalizes it as “’related to strangeness, funniness or interestingness,’” specifics exist: People – unknown people work too Movement – the implication of it such as […]

Relationship Building: Insincerity & Personality Differences

In response to my post, “Relationship Building Technique #4: Acknowledgement,” a reader emailed the following observation: I often find this is a simple [technique], which has a very sensitive component to it and is frequently very “fake” . . . . I know of several peers whom I converse with who “appear” to be practicing […]

People Easily Make False Confessions

When we approach problems too logically and reasonably, we tend to place too much faith in the dominance of consciousness and to discount subjective influences that vary by person. For example, the Innocence Project, by using DNA evidence, has helped to exonerate 271 people wrongly convicted of crimes, but almost a quarter of these people […]

Beauty as Power (Pt 3): Appreciation

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Beauty as Power

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Beauty as PowerMy Beauty as Power posts have generated emails regarding teaching what beauty is. Unfortunately, even though beauty is extremely subjective, we’re often taught it in a “one size fits all” perspective. Consequently, we often confuse beauty with popularity. Tossing that aside for the […]

Labels Influence Our Evaluation of Content

Designer labels encourage us not only to believe that the wearer has status but also trustworthiness, talent and many other positive attributes. In fact, the label is more important than the clothes themselves. In the article, “I’ve Got You Labelled”, appearing in the April 2, 2011 edition of The Economist, Rob Nelissen and Marijn Meijers […]

Leadership vs. Management: The Difference (Part V)

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Leadership vs. Management: The Difference

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Leadership vs. Management: The DifferenceIn a comment about Leadership vs. Management: The Difference (Part III), the commenter described a situation in which she felt certain managers above her did not view her as a leader while her people did. This observation highlights three important aspects […]

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

I received a question about Emotional Intelligence and Leadership in a comment about Leadership vs. Management: The Difference (Part III): What are your thoughts on Emotional Intelligence(EI) and whether you feel there is a way to objectively measure EI and if it is a measure of Leadership? Essentially, EI is a head thing; my work […]

Leadership vs. Management: The Difference (Part IV)

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Leadership vs. Management: The Difference

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Leadership vs. Management: The DifferenceI received two related questions in a comment about Leadership vs. Management: The Difference (Part III). They help us refine the difference further, so I decided to answer them in a post of this continuing series. They are: How do you […]

Statistical Subjectivity – The Essence of Rankings

I ran across a good article by Malcom Gladwell in the February 14 & 21 issue of The New Yorker titled, “The Order of Things.” The detail with which he explores rankings of colleges, hospitals and cars demonstrates the immense subjective potential rankings have. What is even more astounding is Gladwell’s discovery of the degree […]

Best Service or Best Price: Which Reigns Supreme?

In the article, “Are You Being Served?”, in the September 6, 2010 issue of The New Yorker, the author James Surowiecki cites a survey of more than three hundred big companies from a few years ago in which “eighty per cent described themselves as delivering ‘superior’ service, but consumers put that figure at just eight […]