On Sat, 6 Jul Tobin Quereau wrote -
> On Mon, 1 Jul 1996, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> Joan Pomo said...
> [much snipped]
> > The above seems to work well in the workplace since armed with these
> > models, any boss can then track down the "excuses" in use and correct the
> > leadership which communicated them. The boss can also use the tactic of
> > causing people to change from being externally directed followers to being
> > internally directed non-followers, this tactic having the largest effect
> > on commitment and creativity.
> I find this hard to understand, Joan, for a couple of reasons. First,
> there is the logical level which seems to be contradictory. Specifically,
> when you say the boss is "causing people to change from being externally
> directed followers to being internally directed non-followers", would that
> not be something of a conundrum? If the boss is "causing" this to happen,
> would she or he not be creating "followers" in the process? What if they
> did not follow what the boss was intending for them to do and stayed
> externally directed followers. Would that not then make them also the
> other as well? I know that this is taking the issue to absurdity, but I do
> this to raise the question of whether there is, in fact, a "causer/causee"
> relationship to begin with.
> At a second level, as a practicing counselor for quite a number of years I
> have found that the notion that I or anyone else can "cause" that sort of
> shift in other people is not likely no matter how much I would wish it so.
> People cannot shift from one to the other even when _they_ wish it so
> without considerable risk, effort, pain, learning, and growth over time in
> a supportive environment for change. If working to create this kind of
> environment and this sort of process is what you mean by "causing", then I
> am in agreement that it could happen for some people--especially as they
> learn the power of working effectively in teams to amplify their
> strengths, energies, and talents.
> I believe that the problem I am having with what you have described comes
> from my perception of your focus on the boss as the source of power and
> your use of the words "tactics" and "cause" as the expression of that
> power. I am not sure if it is a "semantic" or "substantive" difference in
> the way we understand things to be, but I would like to hear more about it
> from you (and others) to help me make better sense of it.
> Let me know if this makes any sense to you.
Tobin, you make plenty of sense, but I believe that there are good answers
and only hope that I am able to make them clear to you.
First as to your perception of my view of the boss. Bosses are perceived
as being somewhat if not totally in control of the junior's paycheck and
possibly even their continued employment. We all know that the boss may
take it out on us if we fail to comply with a boss' wishes. This is the
"foot in the door" or the lever by which to cause a person to change their
behavior. This source of influence need rarely be explicitly articulated,
but its existence is a necessary element of effecting change in the
The second and equally important element in effecting change is to
institute policies which literally "cause" externally directed followers,
the vast majority of employees (management and working level), to change
to being internally directed non-followers. Let me briefly explain these
two conditions and then explain how a boss goes about effecting the
We all start life internally directed, knowing what we want to do, when we
want to do it and why we want to do it (our values). But a large number of
people rain on our parade and attempt to get us to do what they think we
should do and when to do it - parents, peers, teachers, churches, the
media, government and finally our bosses at work.
The vast majority of us gave in to these forces to a greater or lesser
extent and become externally directed conformists, what I call "followers"
in the workplace. As such they waste a lot of time detecting everything
which goes on in the workplace on a continual basis and figuring out what
they must do to conform. Even though they believe that honesty is good and
dishonesty is bad, they may discern that dishonesty is the norm in the
workplace and may occasionally act out a standard of dishonesty. It may
just be that " the boss was dishonest about ---- so why can't I" or
"everyone else is getting away with it so why can't I?". These are
"excuses" for poor performance.
Internally directed people don't waste all this time thinking about and
detecting what everyone else is doing and judging why they are doing it.
They come to work with their values and how hard they work or how honest
they are is dictated by their own values, not by what everyone else is
doing or what they think the boss wants. Since all their values are good
(but some relatively low standards because of their experiences may exist,
but never in the bad direction), they tend to only do good things.
Besides, these people are far more productive, creative and committed than
their follower peers and never use "excuses".
This is a brief explanation, but I am emailing a copy of an article,
"Leadership is a science not an art", which does a better job of
explaining this follower mentality.
As concerns "causing" followers to change to being internally vice
externally directed, the boss' strategy is as follows - (not in any order)
1- Every person wants to be a Superstar and it is the job of bosses to
provide whatever each person needs to achieve that goal.
2- Every person wants to be well trained and bosses will do everything
they can to help.
3- The 10 most important things to bring to work are attitude, attitude,
attitude, attitude, attitude, attitude, attitude, attitude, attitude and
4- Live by your own value standards and not by what you see others doing
or by what you think the bosses want. If we see that your standard is low
for a particular value, we will help you to know and use a higher standard
so that together we can achieve excellence at work.
5- Bosses are suppliers whose job is to supply the highest quality of
support to their customers, their juniors. Support consists of tools,
planning, procedures, direction, training, discipline, material, parts,
peace of mind, rules, technical advice, documentation, et al.
5- Bosses must use the anti-robot rule of only telling juniors what needs
to be done and having juniors tell the boss how they will go about it and
what they need in way of support. The boss can interject elements which
juniors cannot express even after directed questions, but this should be
done as training so they can know the answers for the next job.
6- Talk back to your boss and ask for whatever you need to achieve
excellence. Use Open Door for access to higher level bosses.
7- Self-control by individuals using their own values is our control
8- We are all on the same team and we are all associates coming to work
for the same reasons. Address each other as associates since it is not who
but what you know that makes the difference.
9- Bosses will conduct regular group meetings to receive complaints,
suggestions and questions from everyone and will develop answers and
corrective actions acceptable to those affected.
There are many guidelines for group and one-on-one meetings as well as
many things about getting high standards for all values into routine
support functions so as to remove all "excuses", but the above is the
basic approach/tactic of effecting the change from external to internal
direction. More senior bosses must ensure that lower level bosses are
following the script and that everyone is trying their best. Discipline
must follow for those unwilling to try or for those who violate basic
rules and values.
Hope this helps, Joan
Joan Pomo The Finest Tools for Managing People
Simonton Associates Based on the book
email@example.com "How to Unleash the Power of People"
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <firstname.lastname@example.org> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>