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What’s Piqued My Interest - 03.22.10

In a much more serious post than the one that made my last “Piqued My Interest”, Jason from JasonSeiden.com covers a serious topic in a serious way. His daughter had appendicitis, the ER doctor acted like a bureaucrat, Jason got her the help she needed – in a different hospital.

The most overlooked aspect of leadership is the fact that to be a leader, people must follow you. Skip from WeismanSuccessResources.com asks leaders, why do people follow you, and provides two possibilities: either they have to, or they want to. It is a simple and powerful insight. Skip makes the argument that truly outstanding leaders use the power associated with both reasons to be effective.

Mary Jo from aspire-cs.com talks about turning resistance into participation. Using the analogy of an invitation, Mary Jo talks about how to engage with those who RSVP, those who send their regrets, and those who simply fail to respond at all. I really like the idea of inviting participation to help reduce resistance and increase investment in the process. I will take a look at decision making, participation, and change in a future blog post to examine the differences between blind, ideological, and political resistance as well as individual versus group resistance. Mary Jo’s advice and the questions she provides leaders are a great start to a large and complicated topic.

In a thought-provoking post about the challenges and benefits of heterogeneity versus homogeneity, Becky from Leader Talk asks how leaders can help groups reap the benefits of their differences. It seems to me that homogeneity is almost always easier, but I wonder, how often is easier better? This is because there is not only more discomfort with heterogeneity, but also more conflict. Conflict, paradoxically, is where both the benefits and pitfalls of heterogeneity lie. The important thing to understand is the difference between task conflict and interpersonal conflict. Taking advantage of the former while minimizing the latter is the key to successfully leading diverse teams. Talking about, moving towards respecting, and eventually valuing our differences is the way to best gain the benefits of heterogeneity while managing the difficulties.

At life, love & leadership, Jane gives a list of 7 things to do while looking for a job. I think #2 on her list is particularly important: Start Volunteering. Volunteering is a win-win proposition. The community benefits and so do you by creating routine, getting out of the house, making a difference, and meeting new people (added bonus: they might even know of an opening).

Finally, this slideshow at FastCompany highlights some very interesting workspaces. I am always struck by the way space can change your perspective. Particularly interesting to me are Richard Sera’s sculptures. You have to experience them to understand the way they make you feel closed in or, alternatively, open to the world of possibilities simply by framing the space you are in.


Joaquin, thanks for adding my blog post to your Piqued Interest. I appreciate the fact you saw value in the comments. I'm wondering how many people have leaders they truly want to follow. I was fortunate to interview direct reports of a client who leads a regional, soon to be international non-profit, whom all love him and want him around more. I find that very unusual.

I'd love to hear from your subscribers if they know leaders that whose followers "love" to follow them, who want the leader to be around the office more often rather than less. I find that unusual as most employees want to see as little of their boss as possible.

What's your experience?
Thanks, again,

Hi, Skip,

Thanks for stopping by. That is great that you have a client who is so appreciated by his direct reports. I think you are right, that is rare. I certainly have had at least one boss I really liked, you can check the post before this one to see more about him. I would love to hear from others about bosses they have loved as well.


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