Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The Imposter Syndrome

In the first few pages of Sheryl Sandberg's hit book, Lean In: Women, Work, and The Will to Lead she shares her personal experience with the Imposter Syndrome--"the phenomenon of capable people being plagued by self-doubt."  (And throughout the book she adeptly blends her personal experience with the rigor of research, all wrapped up in an engaging narrative as if she were right there beside you having a cup of coffee.  Way to go, Sheryl Sandberg!)

When I think of the Imposter Syndrome, I recall my professor W. Warner Burke at Columbia University Teacher's College.  On Day 1 of my first course in my Masters in Organizational Psychology, he remarked to a lecture hall of about 70 students that he knew a lot of us wondered if we were up to the challenge of graduate school.  A lot of heads nodded thoughtfully, including my own.  He then went on to tell us that some

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Can You Be a Debater and a Leader?

If you value sharing opinions and open discussion of disagreement, it is possible that you also expect others to be fairly tough-minded in withstanding a rigorous debate, particularly if you think they are wrong or less-informed than you. Very few people enable their colleagues to share differing opinions well. Many people even at senior level (and especially in financial services) are fearful of being exposed for being less clever than they aspire to be. As a result, they shy away from debates that would show them as not having thought through everything.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Do We Lead by the Situation or Through Our Values?


One of the great debates in leadership theory: Is Leadership Situational or Normative? That is, should we as leaders adapt our style to suit the situation, as Goleman suggests (see the post Directive or Authoritative?), or should we be consistent in our approach? Those who argue for the Normative, espouse that leading through one’s values and consistently striving to align our behaviour with our values is the most effective way to lead. But it starts with thoroughly considering your values.