The ‘Leader's Fallacy' May Prove Howard Dean's Undoing.Written by Brent Filson
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Summary: Howard Dean may fail at achieving goals he has set as chairman of Democratic National Committee – i.e., turning red states into blue -- unless he deals with a powerful threat to his leadership, Leader's Fallacy.
The ‘Leader's Fallacy' May Prove Howard Dean's Undoing. By Brent Filson
Howard Dean's tenure as chairman of Democratic National Committee will be fleeting unless he avoids a common leadership trap I call it, "Leader's Fallacy".
Leaders adhere to Leader's Fallacy when they believe their enthusiasm for a particular leadership challenge is automatically reciprocated by people they lead.
However, in leadership, automatic reciprocity is an illusion. Just because you as a leader are motivated, doesn't mean that people are motivated too. Howard Dean is a case in point. Uttering "Dean Screech" during Democratic primary, he certainly was motivated. But that display of motivation turned off a lot of people and caused his candidacy to fizzle.
The Leader's Fallacy looms large as Dean leads DNC. Sure, he's motivated to extend Democrats reach into grassroots of our nation's electorate and turn red states into blue. But his motivation isn't really issue. It's a given. After all, if he's not motivated, he shouldn't be leading DNC.
Here's real issue, and I wonder if Dean and his lieutenants at DNC understand it: Can he transfer his motivation to large segments of American voters, especially turned-off Democrats and even some Republicans, so they become as motivated as he is about Democratic values?
Meaningful Diversity: Creating Cultures of InclusionWritten by Susan J. Schutz
As you look around your workplace do you see a too comfortable “sameness” in faces present? Are you able to make decisions almost too quickly because you’re all “on same page?” Do you find yourself doing things same way and getting same, or even diminishing, results? Same, safe, easy, comfortable, nice, and good will never get you further down your road to innovation, excitement, success or greatness than you are in this moment. Explore how dynamic tension of differences, properly harnessed with respect and shared purpose, enable organizations to achieve new heights—and have fun making climb!
In fitness room other day, I caught a glimpse of a movie trailer on television. A father spoke very open-heartedly with his son about his work as a fireman. He acknowledged fear that welled up in him when he looked into a small, dark room filled with life-threatening heat and flames, and described instinct to run in opposite direction.
He had to pause in a safe hallway and assess situation, father explained, consciously remember why he had chosen his work – and why he must go forward into fire despite his fear. Strange as it may sound, I find creating a culture of inclusion to be a lot like this.
People differ in so many ways that wherever two or more are gathered “combustion,” in one form or another, is likely to follow. Although they may be uncomfortable at times, these differences are vital. Our challenge is to understand this sometimes fiery vitality and, despite discomfort or fear, make a conscious decision to move forward anyway. If we can do this, invisible walls that divide people begin to burn away and benefits of their shared presence and participation can emerge.
As H.E.B. grocery spokesperson Winell Herron, Group Vice-President for Public Affairs and Diversity, noted at a recent presentation before Texas Diversity Council, U.S. businesses initially accepted cultural diversity initiatives because it was legal thing to do, and only later because it was right thing to do. Now, as our language is shifting from diversity to inclusion, people are discovering that creating environments where differences are actively sought out and everyone is valued is also a smart thing to do. This grocery chain’s business case for embracing diversity has focused on increasing innovation, attracting and retaining top talent, accessing a larger supplier base, retaining and expanding existing markets, and increasing revenue.
How do you motivate leaders and their teams to begin long journey toward a true culture of inclusion when they haven’t even glimpsed, much less experienced, what is possible? Again, this is like asking someone to leave what is safe, comfortable and known and walk into a fire – for no apparent reason. Then there are those who have been working to bring about change for a long time and are overwhelmed by challenge and “underwhelmed” by results. How do you help keep everyone moving forward when they’re feeling weary and unrewarded? Here are some tips to help you foster a culture of inclusion in your workplace:
UNDERSTAND THAT CULTURE SHIFTS TAKE TIME. Working with people is an incredibly complex and rewarding task: greater preparation, higher potential for big pay offs. Like gardening, creating a culture of inclusion is an organic process. You must plan what you want to grow, till soil, provide water and fertilizer, select and plant a variety of “seeds,” and nurture them along. Storms will sweep through and you’ll have to protect your seedlings, and do some replanting. And just like in gardening, timetable and precise form this new culture takes will be beyond your control. Be patient and have faith.