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Leadership: Combined Forces of Ego and Emotion

In a group dialogue a ways back someone posed the question “Why do so few managers and companies face and use the facts?” There are many answers to that question and I know we’ll only touch the surface on this. One of the reasons why I think they don’t face and use facts is because of the filters that they put in place. Through those filters they process and apply facts, thereby coloring them to some extent. Most people have some kind of hidden agenda when they move forward.

In a group dialogue a ways back someone posed the question “Why do so few managers and companies face and use the facts?”

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There are many answers to that question and I know we’ll only touch the surface on this. One of the reasons why I think they don’t face and use facts is because of the filters that they put in place. Through those filters they process and apply facts, thereby coloring them to some extent. Most people have some kind of hidden agenda when they move forward.

Filters can be everything from over-inflated egos to cultural tethers. Facts are interpreted by people through emotion, through what their talents and strengths are (so would it be in their comfort zone or not), and everything in-between. It’s through those filters or interpretations that might make one wonder whether or not organizational leaders are facing or using the facts as they stand at all. Add in the next layer of filters, such as assumptions, expectations etc, and even though they might be using expert advice compiled over time, that data or evidence is so watered down and filtered based on the people utilizing it, it no longer resembles the original information. Then, add the equation of multiple personalities putting those benchmarks to use and the facts are so altered, they might no longer be relevant.

Evidence based practice may be a starting point, however we need to figure out how to utilize it in the best way then go that level deeper. To use a medical analogy, it’s the difference between X-rays and MRIs. X-rays look at the surface of a problem and its face value and MRIs go a lot deeper; the difference between assessing, and the basic assessment information with discernment as to its applicability within a unique organization. That is a key factor in my methodology of Shadow Coaching™. We have to take into account the uniqueness with regards to people, dynamics, resources, target clients/customers and all the other variables that apply.

Is seeking and applying a generic common factor using data in its true factual form (such as a rigid organizational model) or maintaining an organization’s uniqueness that determines whether or not its leadership is successful and sustainable? Or is there some other combination that might ensure the desired results? I’d love to hear your three cents (or more).

Donna Karlin • Executive and Political Shadow Coach™ • Ottawa, Canada • •www.abetterperspective.com

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About the author

Donna Karlin CEC, Diplomate IABMCP and founder and principal of A Better Perspective® & The School of Shadow Coaching, has pioneered the specialized practice of Shadow Coaching® with global political, government, business and senior organizational leaders in the public and private sectors. Donna capitalizes on almost 30 years of experience in coaching, consulting and training to help clients and their organizations evolve into their level of excellence

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