"Managers manage for yesterday, because that is where they got their experience. Leadership is about tomorrow."
Theodore Levitt

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Leadership Notes -- Thoughts on Leading People and Making a Difference in Organizations

Word count this issue: 543

Estimated reading time:   3.75 minutes

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQ70CirUffQ 



Good morning from a grey Vancouver. Between being sick and work load, I have missed a couple of weeks of Leadership Notes. I have missed the process of writing.


The “markets” have been in a bit of a tizzy with large drops over the past few days. I am intrigued by the experts who come out of the woodwork to explain it rationally. They are on a fools errand, the markets operate on two emotions; fear and greed.


I spoke about the power of emotions last Fall in a sermon at Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver. I said then, “There is some very interesting work emerging in psychology and neuroscience right now. I had the pleasure of hearing Lisa Son, PhD. the chair of Psychology at Barnard College. https://barnard.edu/profiles/lisa-son  speak this week. Son argues that contrary to the worries of minds like Stephen Hawking about how Artificial Intelligence (AI) was making computers more human, her worry from her research is that we humans are becoming more and more valued as machines.


We were expected to be quick, predictable, manageable and low or no cost to the organization. We are expected to be confident and correct. And, my observation from nearly 15 years now as a business chaplain and coach, is that she’s right. We are making ourselves captives we are reducing ourselves to our being merely part of the economic machine. We reduce ourselves to being consumers, not humans.


[The sermon continues…] I don’t know if you heard the news this week that the Nobel Prize for Economics for this year was awarded to Richard Thaler. https://www.forbes.com/sites/frankarmstrong/2017/10/13/richard-thaler-a-giant-in-economics-awarded-the-nobel-prize/#1ffd98553a10   Thaler’s great contribution to Economics? That we do not make rational decisions. I’ll say that again, you and I do not make rational decisions. We make decisions out of habits, we make decisions because of biases,  we make decisions based on emotions, and then tell our selves stories to rationalize our decisions. But we certainly do not make rational, machine like decisions. We are not machines. We are not cogs in a wheel. We just fool ourselves into thinking we are. Come out of the darkness … Listen to that sacred, still small voice inside that says, live, be free of your own shackles, and the shackles others place on you, by calling you consumer, or worker, or an asset. You are a human being, not a human doing! https://thecathedral.ca/sermons/rev-alisdair-smith-11/ 



As a leader, do not fall into the trap of believing that the markets are rational indicators, they are indicators of small but powerful negative forces in our lives; fear and greed. You and I are so much more than just those two emotions, we are full of possibility and creative opportunity, we are full of compassion for each other and for our communities, we are able to make this world that much better for our children and for all children by remembering the most powerful emotion we are capable of; love.