Re: Self-organized Learning LO251

Peter Marks (
Sun, 26 Feb 1995 08:48:36 -0800 (PST)

Jack Hirschfeld <> writes in LO243:

> "How can people accept authority for their own behavior
> (self-direction) when the authority has been "granted" in a hierarchy
> (empowerment)?"

The simple answer: By learning empowerment instead of just hearing

The catch: learning to accept authority for one's own behavior does NOT
imply learning to allow the same to others. Overthrowing an old hierarch
to become the new one is a very traditional mode of proving one's own

> And finally, "If we believe all behavior to be
> essentially self-organizing (as I do) what can we possibly mean by
> leadership, ...

A big "If". Even going so far as "All behavior is to some extent by the
consent of the behaving" is dependent on an extravagent notion of "implicit

> ... and what is the function of hierarchy?"

One function of hierarchy is clearly to be able to say later "I was only
following orders." In this spirit, a function of LO may become to allow
bosses to say later "I gave them their chance." [As they now say "Sure, I
run an LO."] Humankind has a long history which argues that bosses will be
bosses, and that not following orders can have dire consequences in the
short run.

Peter Marks         I like New York in June, how about you?