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Leadership is determined by Context

Can the rules of Business apply to government?



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My dear friend Paul Walker just posted and interesting blog
on his Huffington Post site.  In it he
proposes that the first thing he would do if the USA was his client is “do is a teambuilding to improve honest
communication and trust.” 
And
then goes on to say that “If we do not stop fighting
each other, we will fall behind as a nation-state, just like companies whose
leadership fights each other.”

Paul is a CEO Coach and works wonders with his business clients to align
the teams to implement their business strategies.  And in business conflict among team members
is the surest way to impeded success.

 The problem with associating
the success parameters from business to politics is that they are not the same
“game”, anymore than one can play rugby by the rules of baseball.

Our government was set up to achieve certain ends; it was designed primarily
for control of power. Our three divisions, executive, legislative and judiciary
were purposely designed to ensure no one function could gain complete control
of our nation. Checks and Balances was the designing objective.

And as for organizations who “explore ideas to find the
best way instead of playing win/lose games”
I have to remind you that our whole
society is based on the adversarial principle (a win/lose game).  Our founding fathers recognized that we were unlikely
to find A Solomon the Wise to discern the truth or the best solution so they
set up our system based on the idea that the truth can best be is discovered by
opposing views being voiced and through the “jury of one’s peers” truth
would emerge.  This is the basis of our
legal system and it is also the foundation of our Two Party System. It was once
said that the political extremes define the issues and the moderates pass the
laws.  We need a return of the moderates
to act as “jury of one’s peers.”  

The problem we have is not one of team building but organization design. We
designed it to have opposing positions compete with the belief that the best
solution would emerge from the conflict. 
We could of course redesign our system and create one that relied on the
same principles of business.  However
business is governed as much by market forces as they are by leadership team dynamics. 

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Government was never designed to run efficiently, it was
designed to control misuse of power and given that we are dealing with humans
playing with immense powers, I am not sure I want to change the design. 

I coach organizations and the CEOs who lead them.
Organizations are living entities and have their own Soulful Purpose. When
coaching the Organization my goal is to help it realize its unique contribution
to our world. When coaching business leaders I am working within a certain Context,
a certain set of objectives and governing rules.  To coach political leaders as if they were business
CEOs would be like coaching an artist as if she was a football player –
different Context, different objective, different game.

 

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About the author

Throughout his professional career as a Chief Executive Officer, Corporate Director, and Advisor to CEOs, Norman Wolfe has successfully guided corporations through major transitions leading to substantial growth, market expansion and enhanced financial performance. Currently, he is the Chairman and CEO of Quantum Leaders, a leading edge consulting company guiding boards and CEOs to improve strategy execution.

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