Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

A new study says it’s due to the ‘glass ceiling effect’

Source: Women in the Workplace Lose Ambition As Careers Progress |


This summary of a study tells us that we might “blame the victim” when we expect women to persevere despite the realities of the workplace and of the surrounding society of the organization that they work for.
Then when that is understood, you can expand that view to racial inequalities where a minority may also discover and accept the limiting realities of their workplace and of the surrounding society of the organization that they work for.
“Loss of ambition” can occur to anyone at any time when perspective limits ambition. This can happen with work but also with education. This is not only important for why role models are important, but also for why communication of expectations and employer needs are not only the receiver’s responsibility for understanding, but is also the sender’s responsibility to consistently follow through. The messages of equal assessment need to compel equal, consistent results when those expectations are met. Success must be rewarded regardless of the identity and status of the achiever.
Using Occam’s Razor-type thinking, we can discard the gender, race, and ethnicity labels to simply blame the organizations culture and leadership for the lack of ambition in employees. The messages sent to employees can vary, but in the end, the perceptions and beliefs need to be understood and changed, requiring a more mindful approach to communicating expectations and rewarding employees consistently so that the messages are validated. Employees should not be expected to be crazy enough to ignore the limitations they perceive as a result of their own experiences and observations. They should not be expected to be crazy enough to maintain their ambition and perseverance.
Again though, these suggest implications in education as it does in work. There are implication in the teacher-student relationship just as there are implications in the employer-employee relationship.
How often do you find yourself doing that though? How often do you find yourself telling people to ignore the truth and to be crazy?

Source: 6d378503-ac71-43f2-aa4e-e36a56c54900-original.jpeg (346×400)

Modeling and embodying desired behaviors are each important, commonly called “walking the talk”, but even in the “walking”, you can’t forget to, at least occasionally, talk. Spreading the messages that you need to spread in order to lead is valuable. You also need to spread messages in order to influence the culture of your organization, building, or department or classroom. Communication is a significant piece of culture building. People need to get the message.Delivering the message isn’t like cooking meat in a crockpot: you don’t say it once a

Source: “Are You Talking to Me?”

At some point in our careers, most of us have come across someone known as a “toxic worker,” a colleague or boss whose abrasive style or devious actions can make the workday utterly miserable. Such people hurt morale, stoke conflict in the office, and harm a company’s reputation.But toxic workers aren’t just annoying or unpleasant to be around; they cost firms significantly more money than most of them even realize. According to a new Harvard Business School (HBS) paper, toxic workers are so damaging to the bottom line that avoiding them or rooting them out delivers twice the value to a company that hiring a superstar performer does.

Source: Beware those toxic co-workers | Harvard Gazette

“The 19th century philosopher Immanuel Kant believed strongly in the notion of dignity, which he defined as treating people as ends in themselves, rather than as means to an end.” (excerpt)

via How To Create A Culture Of Change | Digital Tonto.

“Rather than placing tech leaders on a pedestal, we should put their successes in context, acknowledging the role of government not only as a supporter of basic science but as a partner for new ventures. Otherwise, it is all too easy to denigrate public-sector investment, eroding support for government agencies and training programs and ultimately putting future innovation at risk. As Mazzucato puts it, “It’s precisely because we admire Musk and think his contributions are important that we need to get real about where his success actually comes from.” (excerpt)

via Putting Elon Musk and Steve Jobs on a Pedestal Misrepresents How Innovation Happens | MIT Technology Review.

Systems thinking versus holism

Systems thinking has much to offer the field of leadership improvement, but the discipline’s heart and history does not lie here. When Russell Ackoff (an early pioneer of systems thinking) was asked how systems thinking applied to leadership, he was lost for words. There is a need for greater clarity about how the various systems thinking principles relate to the systemic leadership model and to the holistic/whole-system perspective and language.

Answering this briefly here, systems thinking is nowadays viewed as a ‘meta-discipline’, broadly and loosely delineated but with a solid core of principles. It is now combined with concepts taken from the quality movement’s ‘continuous improvement’ methods, tailored and used flexibly by many practitioners, as in this case to the study of leadership systems in general and systemic leadership in particular. I discuss the historical evolution aspect in detail elsewhere.

via Challenges to the systemic leadership model.

I found this suggestion particularly helpful…

“Use STAR or CAR format when giving examples.

STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) or CAR (Challenge, Action, Result)

Prepare a few examples of how you’ve solved problems, and dealt with different challenges and failures of what you’ve achieved using the above format.

via How To Demonstrate Your Value In A Job Interview | CAREEREALISM.

When we educators explore communication, there is a specific context. I think it would be called tactical or targeted communication.

Dweck: Actually, praise may not be the optimal way, but we are so praise oriented. We can ask the child questions about the process: “How did you do that? Tell me about it.” As they talk about the process and the strategies they tried, we can appreciate it. We can be interested in it. We can encourage it. It doesn’t have to be outright praise.

via Too Many Kids Quit Science Because They Don’t Think They’re Smart – The Atlantic.


Dweck’s conclusions about how praise works should help shape discussions about parenting, teaching, feedback, and also around the building of credibility THROUGH appreciation. The boundaries are dissolving between education and other knowledge work fields but also between educators and learners. Students will recognize real interest and appreciation of their thinking-work as truly valuing work. Attention is one of the main currencies of the knowledge era. The more attention being paid to what you are doing, the more encouragement you feel that what you are doing is valuable and valued. These are the face-to-face “likes” that do more than vaguely acknowledge you have accomplished something. When time is spent listening, evaluating the student’s process and progress, and asking questions that leads to more progress, students will deepen their interest, become more encouraged, and may increase in other areas as well.

This is true for any worker, though. In education, the teacher is a knowledge worker, and the public awareness of teacher supervision can give insights into Davenport and Maccoby’s recognition that knowledge workers often know more about their areas of expertise than their supervisors.

No teacher wants to simply be observed and assessed based on a pass/fail system. Teachers want to feel that the person observing them “gets” what the teacher is doing, what the teacher has accomplished. In the Danielson tool, this appreciation has the opportunity of expression when discussing planning and also in the follow up or post-observation debriefing. Cognitive coaching models are appreciation and credibility-building tools.

Elizabeth Green says, “Teachers do their craft in a community of peers.  Americans believe in a demonstration of greatness, or a best practice that everyone else should try to emulate, whereas the Japanese believe in the lesson study model which puts every aspect of teaching under the microscope as an inherently imperfect thing and engages the teaching community in a conversation on what can be better.  Teaching is always under a constant process of experimentation and improvement.”  She also noted that as a journalist and CEO she applies these techniques in her work because journalism is a form of teaching.  There is always the “instructional triangle of teacher, student, and the thing being taught.”

via Three Ways We Can All Become Better Teachers | Psychology Today.


My responses below should be read as notes. Developing these ideas into a blog post.

I especially like the idea that “journalism is a form of teaching” comment. This is something I believe, and journalism’s new “social games” teaches in new ways.

In some ways the “growth mindset” depends on perceptions of self-efficacy and “deliberate practice”. With some of these ideas in mind, you can better accept how innate abilities–like aptitudes, talents, and intelligence–can all develop and grow. Andrea K has also written how intelligence is something that can be deliberately improved.

People can develop leadership competencies and skills as well.

Do not trust any research or theory that asserts (or suggests) that certain skills, attitudes, aptitudes, or practices are “set” or any statement that any of these are immune to nurture.