Teaching Leadership LO7124

Dr. Scott J. Simmerman (74170.1061@CompuServe.COM)
02 May 96 10:54:38 EDT

Replying to LO7113 --

Hi, Gang! I've been lurking in this Teaching Leadership thread for a
long time and having sharp feelings and fuzzy beliefs. Bill Hobler has
some excellent ideas as do the others; not a lot to disagree with. I
like what everyone has to say, especially when they disagree! Weird.

Since I also do "leadership" training everyday in the guise of
facilitation skills with my cartoons, some things came together for me
conceptually that I thought to share, metaphorically of course.

I keep sensing that, for many of us, "leadership" needs to be some
Thing. And that by knowing this Thing, we can DO something With "IT,"
To other people.

I've read many of the same books and love the wordsmithing of Bennis,
Drucker and others. Then I too get hung up in trying to explain it to
anyone or actually Be one.

Yet I also believe that if we try to do something to people, rather than
with them, those efforts will often generate resistance. This is
especially true if our unbelievably sensitive conscious and unconscious
mental processes detect something non-congruent between the message
being sent and the personna of the sender. (An advantage of the
psychopathic person is that they believe their lies and can thus be
aligned and totally congruent; most of us cannot do so and thus deliver
less perfect messages.)

As I deliver my trainings, I focus on the participants getting the
messages at the kinesthetic level; showing the cartoons and generating
discussion at the small group level gives us personal discovery, shared
risk and synergistic / multiplied rewards. As people go through this
discovery, learning process, they identify their own issues and their
own opportunities for change. And by doing things with them, they
develop as well as claim ownership of the ideas and thus initiative and
motivation for personal change. The latter can be called organizational
improvement, I think.

So leadership for me is more along the lines of
envolvement (in the process)
enlightenment (as to possibilities),
enlistment (in the shared group discovery),
engagement (in some shared visions or missions or whatever), and
empowerment (in the sense of Square Wheels can be replaced by round
ones one wheel at a time, over time).

I assist this process with illustrations and objective perspective on
self-defined reality. It's an inductive process / there is no reality
other than what the person and group bring to the table.

And then there is the old joke,
"How many people are needed to change a Square Wheel?"

and the answer, "Round wheels are already available." (g)

So for me, the issue of leadership is one of supporting self-discovery
of self and others in the current reality and assisting the process of
self-generation (and discovery) of the possibilities for change and
improvement. There are different ways of leading and different methods
of discovery and the best leaders are the ones with the awareness of

Why use Square Wheels when the round ones are already in the wagon?


Scott Simmerman Performance Management Company, 3 Old Oak Drive, Taylors SC USA 29687-6624 74170.1061@compuserve.com

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