Issuu on Google+

Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Ages Gleaves Whitney

September 22, 2009

Whitney: Well, I am just delighted to be here with you. Thanks so much for coming, and I “guarandamntee” you, as we say in Texas, we won’t be going three hours, okay? This will be a much shorter workshop, and if there is a lot of positive feedback from our experience today, we could certainly have a follow-up of some kind, but I don’t want to keep you here that long, so, I do appreciate you being here. Now, if you have any issues with my name, you are not the only ones. Unfortunately, my name has tripped a lot of people up in a lot of ways over the years. I will give you an example. It is a real live example that occurred in the summer of 2008. I was in Colorado Springs, and I was running a seminar for a liberty fund and it happened to coincide with my birthday. So, my colleagues wanted to throw me a surprise birthday party, and they were all excited about this. So they go to a cake decorator, and they tell this woman to just put “congratulations Gleaves” on the cake. So the cake decorator writes down the instructions and then as my colleagues are on their way out the door, the cake decorator stops and says, “wait a second, is Gleaves a man or a woman?” “Oh, well, he is a man,” so you know, she writes it down. So that night when the surprise birthday party is ready to come about and they get me in a room and they wheel in the cake and they take the cover off the cake, it says, “Congratulations, Gleaves is a man.” So, my name has been giving people trouble for years. Okay, what I would like to do is something to get us started in the idea of leadership here. I want us to go to the very heart of what leadership is about. What do you think leadership is about? What is the heart of leadership? Anybody? What do you think it is? Male voice:

It is inspiration.

Whitney: It is inspiration. That could be one answer. Remember that. What else? In the practical world, not the academic world, but when you are out there, you have to do what if you are a leader? Female voice:

Step out and take a risk.

Whitney:

Step out and take a risk, and Christine, how do you take risks.

Christine: You could be innovating, you could be leading others, you could be coming up with new ideas, you could be doing something that others aren’t doing but you truly think needs to be done. Whitney: Okay, and to get to that process, what needs to happen? You have this array of alternatives out in front of you, and what do leaders do? Female voice:

Unify a group of people.

Whitney: They unify a group of people, but what do they have to do to get people to that point where they could be unified? Female voice:

They have a vision.

1


Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Ages Gleaves Whitney

September 22, 2009

Whitney: so close.

They have a vision, they have inspiration, they are unifiers. You guys are

Male voice:

They have to communicate.

Whitney:

They have to communicate.

Female voice:

Show people you can be trusted.

Whitney: Show people you can be trusted. Gerald R. Ford said, “trust is the number one important ingredient to leadership.” You have to be a person of your word. You say you are going to do something, you are going to do it. What else? You are right, so close to it. There is one thing that leaders do that separates them from followers in addition to all the fine answers you have given so are. The core of leadership. Brian? Brian:

I think I know what you are getting at. Make decisions.

Whitney: Leaders have to be the people, the man or the woman, who says, there are all these array of options out there, but there is one thing only that we can do. I have to make that decision. I have taken all of your input. I have value your input, I love you, I want all of your input, but at the end of the day, I alone have to make a decision. It comes with the job description of being a leader. Leaders are decision makers, and they will write this, they will tell you this in their memoirs again and again, leaders are sometimes very lonely people, even though they are surrounded by multitudes. They make decisions. The tougher the decision, the more people they anger, alienate, upset. Brian and I at the leadership academy like to call these the 5149 decisions. You are teetering. There are a lot of reasons why you could answer or go in one direction, but you have to at the end of the day, have to decide. Making no decision is not an open. That would be a kind of decision in itself, but leaders are expected to make the tough calls. So leaders make this touch decision, the 5149 decision, and they really have struggled with it. Now let’s talk just a little bit for a few minutes. What goes into making a decision? What are the ingredients? Let’s be analytical. Analytical comes from the Greek word which means to break apart. Let’s analyze this a little bit. Leaders make touch decisions. What are the parts of decision making? Leaders make decisions, but I am going to emphasize, tough decisions. Okay. The first stage – there is information gathering. What else happens in that first phase? Female voice:

Listening to both sides of an argument.

Whitney:

Listening to both sides. Could there be three sides? Four? Five?

Female voice:

No.

Whitney: Absolutely. There are often multiple perspectives. And the stronger the leader, the more secure the leader, the more open he is to all of these different perspectives.

2


Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Ages Gleaves Whitney

September 22, 2009

Multiple. Let’s emphasize that word. Multiple perspectives. It is because we humans have our own experiences that we bring to any decision we have to make. We are going to get to that in more detail in just a moment, but we are gathering, and what are we doing with this information? What are the ways, or the methods, that we treat this welter, this raft, of different information we get? We don’t just sort of write it down on index cards and just let it sit there? What are we doing with it? Female voice:

Analyzing it?

Whitney: Analyzing it. Okay, so there is analysis. What else? This pen and I are not going to get along for very long. What else? Male voice:

Processing it to put together a series of options?

Whitney:

Processing options. Good. What else?

Male voice:

Weighing pros and cons…

Whitney:

Weighing pros and cons.

Male voice:

Costs and benefits….

Whitney: [writing on board] Let me ask you something. What is a touch decision that you have had to make that you can share with us. The toughest decision in your life that you have made that you can share with us. Female voice: Perhaps a recent tough one would be working with a student worker that was not working out for us. Whitney: Okay. So you are losing sleep wondering whether you have to ask them to move on. Okay. That is one of the toughest decisions people have to face, because you are dealing with real life, and everybody who has ever managed people knows that is the toughest decision, whether you are going to change a person’s life by saying, “you’re not welcome here any more.” It is a serious step. I don’t know about you, I lose sleep over that question. Okay. You wrestle with it to. That is a big one. Would you say it is a 51/49? Or was the evidence so abundantly clear, it is just how do you usher them out the door? Female voice:

No, pretty clear.

Whitney:

Okay, good. So, tell us your name?

Female voice:

Sharon.

Whitney: Sharon, what did you do to process that decision? Was the decision going to be yours to make?

3


Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Ages Gleaves Whitney

Sharon:

September 22, 2009

I absolutely did everything on the decision, yes.

Whitney: Okay. It was yours to make though at the end of the day. What did you do? Let’s talk about this first phase. How did it actually unfold in your heart and in your mind. Sharon: Well, I guess the steps, I mean, I did do some things. I went back and I thought about some things that had happened, and I gathered that information as you have it up on the board. Whitney:

Okay, information gathering.

Sharon:

And then I think I did a lot of weighing…..

Whitney:

Okay, it’s kind of like scales? Is it sort of a balance?

Sharon:

Yeah, yeah, umm hmm.

Whitney: That is what a lot of people say. It is why the judicial process is called weighing. The judge is making a decision. A jury is making the awesome decision whether to put somebody to death or not; one of the burdens of citizenship. See, all of us are called to be leaders, dealing with such a decision as that. Okay. What else? Sharon: of it as well.

Well, I brought in some other people who were involved in at least parts

Whitney: Okay. Multiple perspectives. You were analyzing it. You were weighing the pros and the cons, the outcomes, cost and benefit. Cost is that you lose a colleague, you hurt feelings. You might wreck a life. The benefits to you though, to your office, maybe there is more peace and harmony, maybe there is a better work product. There are all kinds of, okay…. So you are weighing….. Sharon: good fit. So…..

And benefits to the person as well, because I think perhaps it wasn’t a

Whitney: Good point. Sharon, what else is going on inside you in this whole process? There is more that is going on. Is it just mental? Is your decision making…. When that jury is trying to decide whether to lock the person away for life and you are one of 12 leaders, if you are a judge some day sitting in a federal system where there is the death penalty or you live in another state where there is the death penalty, and you are asked, is it just a head decision? How many of you think that decision making 99% is in your head? That is what I thought. So what else is going on? Where is it? Where? Male voice:

It is moral.

Whitney:

But, what’s that?

4


Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Ages Gleaves Whitney

September 22, 2009

Male voice:

It is in the heart.

Whitney:

Heart, heart. Do you mean….. tell us your name, please?

Male voice:

Andy.

Whitney:

Andy, do you mean that it is really right here?

Andy: hurts.

It is a decision that depending if you make the wrong one, it physically

Whitney:

Where does it hurt you?

Female voice:

Stomach. {audience laughter}

Whitney: Stomach, ooohhh. We are shifting anatomy. Stomach. What else do we say about the stomach when you are making a decision? Male voice:

A gut feeling.

Whitney: Gut, a gut feeling. So we got the brain, right. We got this part. That is up here in the analysis. A little deductive reasoning, maybe induction, using the cannons of logic to weigh the evidence. Yeah, we all figure that out. But now you are telling me something else that is very interesting, and you don’t know where it is. That is the most interesting thing about your discussion. You can’t tell me where it is. What else do we say in English? If you feel something in your …… Female voice:

Bones.

Whitney: Bones. Okay. Brain is the easy part. I could identify when I am just thinking and there is no emotional reaction. Do you know what an emotion is? Everybody here know what an emotion is? An emotion is some response that makes a physiological reaction and we feel fear. This part of your whole body starts to feel different, doesn’t it? When you feel joy, this whole part of your body starts to feel different and you can identify it, and from the time you were a baby, you learn to identify these feelings inside of yourself, and this became part of your emotional intelligence. But isn’t it interesting that in English, when we talk about making a touch decision, ultimately when somebody asks you to rationalize it, very rarely do you say the decision was in my brain. No, because you realize you know as Andy said that there is usually a moral component. It is involving another person’s life, so it is in the heart. Sometimes you say, I knew it in my heart. I had a gut feeling. I could feel it in my bones. You see the confusion in our very language about decision making? So that is going to limit actually what we do when we discuss this. But you are on to something, but I want to take you a step further in this first process here. You are gathering this information, you are thinking about it, and you are feeling through it using your intuition, which is not the same as emotion. Intuition is a sense that we learn to trust, and yet it is very hard to put our finger on. We are using yet another piece of anatomy. I can’t put my finger on it. So you have all of this going on inside of you, but what

5


Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Ages Gleaves Whitney

September 22, 2009

actually happens when you come to that touch decision? What actually happens? Somebody else? Let’s get somebody else to jump in here. Will have a tough decision for somebody else. Please, feel free to speak up. You, sir. You are giving me good eye contact. You are thinking. Can you share with us a tough decision you have had to make in your life. It can be personal or professional. Male voice: college.

I believe the toughest decision I have had to make is where to go to

Whitney:

Okay. Where to go to college. And your name, sir?

Male voice:

Michael.

Whitney: where to go?

Okay, Michael. Share with us how did you know at the end of the day

Michael: Umm, at the end of the day, I had to weigh all the information and deal with my feelings and personal views of each university, figure out which one would give me the best outcome. Whitney:

Okay. So you are using your head but you are also using the word feeling.

Michael:

Right.

Whitney: together?

Okay. And at the end of the day, can you tell us exactly how it all came

Michael: Yeah. Ummm, well, I toured four campuses, looked at the cost for each one. A big part of it was just like a general feeling when I was on the campus where I felt at home and was comfortable. That was a big part and why I chose coming to Grand Valley. I just felt more welcome, more comfortable here from the very start, so that was why I was able to make the decision to come to Grand Valley. Whitney: Okay, very good. Very good explanation, Michael. Now, did you have a rival, like say a second place, just like you know when professors design these multiple choice questions, they write two questions that are absolutely absurd to make sure that the person, you know, did the reading of the chapter, and then it usually comes down to two questions where you pause on the third one and then you reason your way to the fourth usually. Did you have a rival that was very close? Michael:

A rival of college?

Whitney:

Yeah.

Michael:

Ohio State.

6


Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Ages Gleaves Whitney

September 22, 2009

Whitney: Oh, you made the best decision to come here [audience laughter]. We wouldn’t want to lose you to Ohio. Okay. You have used some interesting verbs and nouns. You have talked about your analysis, your weighing, outcomes and feelings. At the end of the day though, do you know precisely where that decision comes from? Did it come from your head or was it just something that generalized? Michael: logical. I can’t say.

Generally I would say it was an emotional decision. I wouldn’t say it was

Whitney:

Okay, you can’t say.

Michael:

…gives me the best college.

Whitney: Okay. It’s a hunch, it’s a hunch. This will reveal something very interesting, and with your decision that you made, how did it come together at the end for you? The decision you actually made. Did it stay in your head or was it a feeling or was it just sort of this general thing that, well, this is… Female voice: I think a lot of it was feeling like, this is the right thing to do in this situation even though it is not necessarily what I want to do. Whitney: Okay. It seemed right, but it is hard to locate it. Ladies and gentlemen…… Is there a sense in which these tough decisions involve everything that you are talking about? Brain, heart, feeling it in your bones…. Even yes, yes, the gut, because you get a sensation with an emotion. That is what an emotion is, remember? It produces a physiological sensation. So yes, even your gut is giving you a reading, right? In a sense, isn’t your whole body involved in a decision? Have you ever looked at it that way? You are putting your whole self into it, the touch decision that makes a difference in a future that you are going to pursue or somebody else is going to pursue, right? Okay. When you actually come down and make the decision, what I am suggesting, the decision making is more than the sum of the parts. We have looked at the parts. Brain, heart, stomach, gut feeling, bones, but it is more than the sum of the parts when you make the decision. Even an interesting verb here. You make a decision. You know, in other languages, you don’t necessarily make decisions. It is as though you are crafting. You are creating a decision. Something that is absolutely unique in human history and in time. You are making something. It is a decision. Now, I would like to suggest to you that the whole is greater than the some of the parts. And thank goodness we have had people think about what this involves. There was a very smart man in the 19th century named John Henry Newman, and he wrote a book called the Grammar of Ascent. And in the Grammar of Ascent in chapter 9, he speaks of something called the Illative Sense. The Illative Sense is ultimately what you use when you make that tough decision. It is not just your brain, not just your gut, it is this combination. It is the whole process and it is more than the sum of each of those parts. Okay, that is step two. Everybody with me? What would be required of you after you have made, you know, you have analyzed, you have gathered the information, you analyzed it, you actually now come to the decision, which his

7


Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Ages Gleaves Whitney

September 22, 2009

almost anticlimactic, this is where the drama is, this is where you are feeling bad or triumphant or just interesting, you make the decision, you know when you have made the decision usually. It occurs very quickly. Sometimes there is a revealing event, and it is almost anticlimactic. But then there is a new struggle. Part three to this. What has to happen after you make a decision? Several voices:

You have to stick with it.

Whitney: Uh, yes. You have to have what virtue? You have to do it. You have to do the decision, right? Whatever you decide…. How many times have you made a decision, but you really didn’t make a decision because you didn’t do anything and then it wasn’t a decision. You only know you made the decision when you do the decision. When you choose. You had to choose, Michael, to come to Grand Valley. That is doing the decision. And what virtue is required to do it? To say, I am going to eliminate every other option. Michael:

Executing the decision?

Whitney: But you need a virtue. You need something in your character. You need courage. You need the courage to say I trust this option and I will eliminate every other option. Now there is something…. This is the virtue. The courage to do the decision you make. Now, for those of you who have had experiences with courtship, this is why marriage is such an awesome decision. Because in our culture, not necessarily in other cultures, but in our culture, you are making a decision, thinking about courtship, using all of this, and you are deciding, I will choose one person to be with to the exclusion of all others and you need courage to make that decision. Very few human beings are just so absolutely clear that they lack, you know, the sense that there are alternatives out there. You need courage to actually do the decision you make, and I am using these verbs very carefully, very deliberately. You make a decision, you are crafting a decision, and then you do it through courage. Now, you fire the person. You choose the college. You choose your mate. You marry the person or you engage. What is a next phase in your decision? You have kind of edged toward it. Christine? Christine:

Stick with it?

Whitney: Stick with it. That is right. Or intelligently adapt. You stick with it and you have to learn to deal with something called regret. We all know regret. Actually, when you make that major decision, a part of you mourns for everything you have lost. Economists have a word for this. How many of you have studied economics in here? Okay, three of you….. It is called, opportunity cost. Do you know what opportunity cost is? What is opportunity cost? Male voice:

In order to do A, you are given up the opportunity to do B.

Whitney: Exactly. To do A, you are giving up all the next best things in B and C and D and E and all of those other options. Opportunity cost specifically tries to focus you on

8


Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Ages Gleaves Whitney

September 22, 2009

the next best alternative, and you lose the opportunity cost. You lose your choices. Now that goes against the little bit of our grain, because what we want to do people, and this goes all the way back to Socrates and Plato and Aristotle. We want to gather in as much good as possible. And so, we are stubborn about these things. We are greedy about these things. Truth be told, you want all of the benefits of A from your decision, but because you are human, you also want B and C and D and all the benefits that come with those, but decisions mean that you are foregoing those other things and that is at the heart of leadership. Leaders have that character which doesn’t just sort of float around between A and the opportunity of cost to be lost B, leaders say, I can make a decision. First of all, I am a competent adult. I can gather the information. I am not afraid of multiple perspectives. I can look at the costs and benefits. I can weigh the options. You go through this process, you know that your whole being is going to be involved in a big decision. And, you will learn, leaders learn, this is very important, we talked about trust. Leaders actually learn to trust their own ability to make these decisions, okay, and then they make the decision. They craft the decision based on the information they have. And it is absolutely the reason we say the word make in the English language is because absolutely unique in time. No one will ever be in your shoes making exactly your decision. You make a decision. And we know that in making it, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. You were using the Illative Sense which is the gathering of all of the parts of your being to make that big decision. That is why it is not just a head thing, and it shouldn’t be just a gut thing. Ultimately it is a whole Michael thing, a whole Sharon thing, a whole Cathy thing, a whole Andy thing, a whole Kafa thing. It is big, it is that big to make the decision. You trust that. I am going to put in big letters here, YOU TRUST IT. You trust your ability and do it using Illative Sense, and then you have to have the courage to implement whether it is executing the criminal, firing the person, choosing the college, joining the Army or marrying your beloved. You have to then do it. Sitting on the sidelines is not an option in life. Now everybody else and everything else is making decisions for you. That is not leadership. It is not even followership. Good followers don’t do that either. So you have the courage actually to implement the decision and then you have to be able to deal with buyer’s remorse, second guessing and opportunity cost. Those are the words we use in English. Buyer’s remorse, second guessing and Monday morning quarterbacking and opportunity cost, okay? To make a decision, ladies and gentlemen, is an awesome thing that happens to you. Mentally, physiologically, morally, it is an awesome thing, and leaders have that ability. We send people to city hall, we send people to Lansing, when we elect somebody to lead our church, when we elect a president of the United States, we are asking them to use their highly developed sense of decision making, to trust their decision making, and we are placing our trust in them, and they better not betray our trust and process, but this is all that happens in decision making. Makes sense to ya? Any questions? Okay. Yes, Cathy? Cathy: What if you, I know you are supposed to stick with your decision, but what if you just realize after some time that it was just absolutely the wrong decision? Whitney: Then you are faced with a new decision and you go right back. Cathy Rent asks a key question. Brian and I, in all of our leadership studies that we use at the

9


Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Ages Gleaves Whitney

September 22, 2009

Hauenstein Center call it adaptive intelligence. Because we are intelligent creatures, because we always are taking in information, Cathy asks, what do you do if, okay, you have made the decision. You choose, let’s say you chose Ohio State, and you got down there and like any intelligent person, as soon as you got on campus, you felt, this is a mistake [audience laughter]. I am sorry. During Buckeye, I actually, one of my dearest cousins is a Buckeye, so I am only kidding. You go back to this. You say, well, what’s wrong here? And do you know what it is? And leaders will tell you this. They do say that something feels different here. I should feel this. Because, if you have made the right decision, and will go ahead and put it up here, okay, because this would short circuit having to revisit. If you have made the right decision, there is one thing that will overcome you that you will welcome. Do you know what it is? What will you have? Male voice:

A blatant sense of peace.

Whitney: Peace. Andy, you nailed it. You have peace, and you keep that peace after you have made the decision and you have implemented it, but if you are not at peace, if you are stirred up, you go back and you revisit the decision you make. Why did I over look that fact. The fact was staring me in the face and I am overlooking it. I didn’t want to see it. We use that all the time with love. Love they say is blind. We overlook, but love should never be stupid. Love is blind but it should not be stupid. When you have a situation that is not good, the guy turns out to be an abuser or something or an addict, and you saw signs but you just didn’t let it sink all the way in, and then all of a sudden you have to revisit. You have a tough decision to go back to and you go through that whole process again, and that is called adaptive intelligence. So you are at peace or you are troubled. And in that trouble, it will drive you back to one. This is the fork in the road. Okay, any other questions? That was a great question, Cathy, thank you. Any other questions? I seek your comment. Is this true to your life? Does anybody have an alternative to this? I would like to hear it. How about you? Does this ring true? Female voice:

Yes.

Whitney:

Does it ring true to you, sir?

Male voice:

Yes.

Whitney:

Ma’am? Ring true?

Female voice: It does, although when you are meeting people, you have to be very careful to get their buy in as well. You can think one thing, but they are feeling something else and walking a very tight line. Whitney: That is a great point. Leaders have to, and I mean we will broaden this discussion, but leaders do have to broaden the scope, the arena. It is what both Eisenhower and Truman said at various points in their careers. The art of leadership is getting people to do what they ordinarily would not choose to do because now they want to do it. And that is what coming to work for a good boss does. You don’t want to get out of bed. You don’t want to go to work. I mean, this is what you know you take your vacation, you go golfing or you go scuba diving or whatever, that is what you would really rather do. But, if you have a situation at work or say a

10


Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Ages Gleaves Whitney

September 22, 2009

teacher in a classroom who says, you know what? I probably my lazy side wouldn’t go to that class, or I certainly don’t want to go to work, but you know what, I can do some good. I like our mission. I buy into it. You are getting the person to overcome their first nature, to adopt a second nature. This is why all generals, all employers, all bosses, all teachers, they are really very Aristotelian. Aristotle said that the root of so much of our behavior is overcoming our first nature which is selfish, petty, totally centered around I, me, mine, and getting us to put that aside and learning to act, to serve others, to serve a bigger cause, to be something for somebody else and not just I, me, mine. That is Aristotle. He wrote that 2,300 years ago in the Nicomachean ethics and philosophers are still dealing with that awesome fact, that we put aside that first nature. That is what education is. That is why you are Grand Valley. That is why you work for a boss who maybe disciplines you. That is why a president will sometimes do the painful thing, and say, maybe we have to fight that war so that in the long run we will be better off, or maybe we don’t fight that war so in the long run we are better off. Discipline is part of the entire process. This is very Aristotelian now but it is absolutely essential to putting that first nature aside which has a lot of, I mean, I will speak for myself, I have a lot of rough edges. I will be learning until the day I die. Thank goodness I have had bosses and teachers and, you know, spouse, kids, all those institutions and people in my life who challenge me to be a better person. Leaders have to be open to that. So does that make sense? Okay. Any other questions or comments…… [Intermission] Whitney: Now for part two, what I would like to do is ask you to engage a little thought experiment. I have never done this with a group before, so I don’t know how this is going to turn out. I know how I think it is going to turn out. Let me give you a little background. I was having dinner with my then 15-year-old son, and he was telling me about this fantastic computer game, and the premise of the game is that the superior beings that are really like machines, have the power to exterminate all human kind, and humans have to send essentially an ambassador before these machines, this uber beings, these uber machines, to try to justify why they should exist. Why should humans exist? So I am going to call this little exercise today, why people? Now, let’s put ourselves in this framework. We are meeting because the United States, well the whole world, is being threatened by some alien race of creatures, and they want to do us in, they want to finish us off, so, one of you gets to be the ambassador. Who would like to be the ambassador to this alien race? You will have a safe escort, I promise you. Oh come on [group laughter], we need a decision maker in here. Okay, Andy, you are going to do it. Okay, now Andy, would you come up then please. You get to be, we are, you are tall, we will all see you. You will intimidate the machines, that’s right. What I am going to do is I am going to give you a marker, these markers aren’t working great. This one is really trouble. This one is better. Okay, now, what our job is for Andy who is going to be our ambassador, is to tell him why we should be saved, why human beings are worth saving, and yes, this does have to do with leadership, I will tie it together in about 15 minutes. Okay, why should we exist? Female voice:

Because, we have intuition and machines don’t?

11


Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Ages Gleaves Whitney

September 22, 2009

Whitney:

Intuition. Human beings have intuition.

Female voice:

We care about each other.

Whitney: We have compassion and we care about each other. Why else? What do we have that we don’t know exists anywhere else in the cosmos. Male voice:

We have creativity….

Whitney:

We have creativity. What else, what else.

Female voice:

We use our whole body when making a decision?

[laughter] Female voice:

Inquisitiveness?

Whitney:

Curiosity. We are working on some C words here. Curiosity, what else?

Male voice:

Capacity for self sacrifice.

Whitney: Capacity for self sacrifice, good. Andy, we have to keep the C’s going…..[audience laughter], capacity, no I’m just teasing you. What else? What else do human beings have that no machine could ever possibly have and we have no evidence it exists elsewhere in the cosmos? Female voice:

Soul.

Whitney: Soul. A lot of people would argue we have a soul. What is a soul? Tell us your name, please? Female voice:

Sandy.

Whitney:

Sandy, what does a soul say to you?

Sandy:

Umm, I think that is what is left when the physical body is gone.

Whitney: So there is a core to the human person who endures no matter what happens on the outside. Soul, good. What else? Female voice:

Discipline.

Whitney: Self discipline. That would be, I think what Kate was saying, very closely related to self sacrifice. We can sacrifice the pleasure now by enduring a little pain for a longer term benefit. Okay, what else?

12


Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Ages Gleaves Whitney

Male voice:

There was one other….

Female voice:

We are adaptive.

September 22, 2009

Whitney: Adaptive. That is that adaptive intelligence we were talking about. We can go down one road, and that is kind of like our creativity is in some way, isn’t it? It is related to curiosity. Another C word that we had up on that board last hour….. Female voice:

Courage.

Whitney: Kate, did you say that? Yes, courage. What else do we have? I mean it is close to….. Cathy, did you say compassion? Cathy:

I said intuition.

Whitney:

Who said compassion?

Female voice: each other, yeah.

Well, I did, but I did not say compassion exactly, but like we care about

Whitney: Yes. Another C word might be apt here. We feel compassion or we want to show concern….. Female voice:

Caring.

Whitney:

Yeah, that is compassion.

Male voice:

Have an L word, love.

Whitney: Love, that’s right. The C word I am thinking of is an amazing array of communication. I can communicate with words, numbers, symbols, a wink of an eye. Communication. We communicate with meaning. Communication. Complex communication in fact. Anything else? Female voice: What about reasoning? We can reason. Machines can’t do that and think things through like Cathy was mentioning earlier, we think with our whole selves. Whitney: Well, computers do have a kind of reasoning, but if you are saying we have the Illative Sense, it is the idea that we do make decisions with our whole body it seems. Heart, mind, soul, in our bones, feel it and know it in our heart. Female voice:

Moral value.

Whitney:

Yes. Describe moral value. Yes.

13


Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Ages Gleaves Whitney

September 22, 2009

Male voice:

What was the last one?

Whitney:

Yup, Manny just said we reproduce [audience laughter].

Male voice:

We are fruitful.

Male voice:

Okay, will run with that.

Whitney:

Yeah.

Male voice: We are flawed so probably more interesting than the superior beings but also drawn on that we have capacity for sympathy and for empathy. We can put ourselves in each others shoes. Whitney: We are flawed, I love it. Let’s put, self conscious of flaws. We are not perfect. It teaches some people to be self conscious of flaws related to humility. What a great list. You are very thoughtful. Okay. Male voice:

Loyalty.

Whitney: We have loyalty. What a great sentiment. Andy, I think we have a better and better chance of surviving from an onslaught of machines because of all the words you are putting up there. Male voice:

I was going to say we work towards self improvement.

Whitney:

Yes, related to the self, being aware of flaws. Anything else?

Female voice: Related to creativity and curiosity and such, there is that ability to be innovated to be entrepreneurial, to think of new things that we don’t know if anyone else has ever come up with. Whitney:

That is part creativity, isn’t it?

Female voice: It is. It fits in with those, but it is something that machines are not necessarily going to be able to do. Whitney:

Right. Creativity, entrepreneurial…..

Female voice:

Innovation….

Whitney:

Innovation….

Female voice:

And to wanting to explore the cosmos, just to explore the cosmos.

Whitney:

Explorers….

14


Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Ages Gleaves Whitney

September 22, 2009

Female voice:

You know, that is all kind of the same.

Whitney:

That comes out of curiosity.

Female voice:

It is all that inquisitiveness about everything.

Whitney: Right. We explore out of our curiosity. We are entrepreneurs. We have vision out of our creativity. Male voice:

We say we are explorers and creators.

Whitney:

Yes and discoverers.

Male voice:

Discoverers, yes, that is the third.

Whitney: They say that artists create and scientists discover the laws of nature. Create and discover. Anything else you want to add up there? Male voice:

What was the other one? Explorers…..

Whitney:

Oh, we discover…..

Male voice:

Discover, that is…..

Whitney: We take joy in discovering. This is why we are motivated to go to school and learn. We actually get the physical sensation of joy somewhere in this part of our bodies, and we learn something new that intrigues us. Male voice:

I would say we are driven.

Whitney: We are driven, we are ambitious, we have a passion. All right. Thank you. I think this is very good. You did well, and I think we have a chance of surviving. This is a very good list of what human beings are. Would this also be a list of what a leader is? Is there anything on here…… think of the greatest leaders you know, from your family, your church, your university, your training, your job, people you have read about. Is there anything on here that a leader wouldn’t have? Male voice:

Might not be fruitful.

[laughter] Whitney: It’s true. If you look at the news, a lot of them want to be very fruitful or at least play as if they are being fruitful. Female voice:

They are not all humble.

15


Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Ages Gleaves Whitney

September 22, 2009

Whitney: They are not all humble. Okay. We are going to draw circles around the ones that you are going to throw some question around. Now I am talking about great leaders, leaders that would inspire you. Anything else? Ladies and gentlemen – you have just done something very interesting. You have taken the essence of the human person. You have put forward in this setting what you think are the finest qualities of the human person. All of us have them to some degree, and you have distinguished basically that leaders have this. There is a conclusion you can draw from what you just did. Where am I going? You are leaders. You have every one of these qualities. Now here is what I want you to think about. You don’t necessarily lead today, but you might lead tomorrow, and certain things have to happen in your life if you want to lead tomorrow. You have to be self confident. You have to know that you have the capacity to lead. You have to have a vision of improving something that needs improving. You have to have the passion to want to bring about that change and to overcome all of the obstacles that will be in your way before you can actually make the improvement happen. Those are some of the foundational things. But it is interesting. All of the things that you have put up here that you admire about us as humans are things that exist either highly developed or in seed form in you. Now, let’s look at what happens. Let’s break these apart just a little bit. What happens to leaders who are not humble, who are not willing to admit they have flaws? Female voice:

They lose followers….

Whitney: They lose followers because they are arrogant; they lose trust because they lose really a connection with people. I had a very interesting conversation….. yesterday I had a conversation with our provost. We had lunch just a few hundred feet from here, Gayle Davis. How many of you know Gayle? She is a wonderful provost at our university. She addressed the leadership academy recently as several of you know. Gayle and I were talking about the role of brokenness in leadership. She is somebody who has risen to a great leadership responsibility here at this university. She came from a very, very difficult background. There was a lot of fear. You can watch this on You Tube on our site. There was a lot of fear, a lot of alcoholism, there was a lot of things that would break a child in her family. She and her brother somehow rose out of it. Her brother ended up winning two Pulitzer prizes in journalism, she ends up being a provost to the university, the second highest officer in this university, coming from an environment that would have broken many, many children and young people. So we had this very interesting philosophical conversation over a hotdog yesterday. That is all they were serving in the faculty dining room yesterday, hotdogs. And, I asked Gayle, I said, do you think that being very aware of your flaws, struggling with those flaws even to the point of having been broken somewhat in life, makes leaders stronger or weaker. And she said something which I thought she would say coming from her background. Absolutely makes them stronger. And the medical analogy here is if a bone breaks, and poor Kathy Rent knows this because of her unfortunate accident this summer, if a bone breaks and a doctor goes back and resets it, and sometimes will even add metal to reinforce it, it is going to be a stronger bone in the end than the bone that did not break. It is ironic, but all that scar tissue, all that tissue fusing everything back together sometimes is stronger if it is reset correctly. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what happens to us in life. We get broken by life. We get challenged sometimes to the point of breaking. And it is in the breaking that we have to fine the resources through the love around us and through whom we are inside us to put ourselves back together. Now, two things happen when that

16


Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Ages Gleaves Whitney

September 22, 2009

occurs. If you have been broken, and every good leader at some point in life has been broken by something, you put yourself back together and two things happen. The first thing that happens is you know you have the strength to overcome terrible obstacles. You have now self confidence because you are strong, and the second thing that happens which is very important, it is not inner directed, it is outer directed; the second thing that happens is that all of a sudden you have compassion for others. Maybe not so judgmental about other people’s lives. You have compassion for their brokenness, what they have gone through. This makes you a much better coworker, boss, colleague, President of the United States, whatever you want to be. If you know the people around you are self conscious of flaws, they have been humbled by life, you work with them. It makes it so much easier to bring them along because you show compassion rather than just hitting them like a hammer on an anvil. So leaders who go through this process, if you look at our generation of leaders who fought in Vietnam for example, and they come back and they know what soldiers go through. It is often said generals are the most reluctant people to send young men and women into war. How many of you have served in the military? Is it true? Female voice:

Yeah.

Whitney: It is the civilians who have never fought a war who are often the quickest to say, let’s go to war. That has been our experience in the United States. So often it is the generals. If you look at the debates, the key debates in our history, it is the generals, especially after Vietnam who said we have to have everything in place. That way, fewer men and women will die. If we don’t have everything in place, we might be in a tragic situation where more Americans die than should die. That is very typical of the way a general would think, because they know the pain of war. How ironic is that, that the people who are trained for war actually counsel peace very often, and the people who are not trained in war are often the ones who are most eager for us to become an empire. Not to politicize this discussion, not to politicize what we are about in this, but I think we saw a lot of that in America’s past where people who have not had much military experience have been very eager sometimes to spread American power at the sacrifice of loss of life of both Americans and people abroad. So we need to be aware of that. People who suffer, who struggle, often are very wise. This goes all the way back to the ancient Greeks. It goes back to the Bible, the Old Testament. The idea is that we only really learn the lessons that count through suffering. This is something that Escalus wrote about in all of his plays, it is something that comes out of Ecclesiastes, it comes out of the book of Jobe in the Old Testament, whatever your tradition, sacred or secular, whatever your tradition. It seems the wisdom of the species is that we only learn through suffering. Suffering comes out of our brokenness. If everything always went our way, Gayle and I agree, it is possible you could have a good leader. You could certainly have a very good leader. People who came up in a very great family, did not experience wars, did not experience poverty and hardship, but when crises came along, you are not sure that they are going to have the strength to overcome the weakness inside themselves or the compassion to deal with others, and that is the test.

17


Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Ages Gleaves Whitney

September 22, 2009

So, I think just about everything up here that you have mentioned applies to leadership. Great leaders have all of these and are willing to sacrifice themselves for something that is greater than themselves. They have to be willing to work harder than anybody else around them, then they are not a leader. If they are not working harder, you know, people sense that and people will not follow somebody who is not working hard. People pick up very quickly on self sacrifice. People admire the creativity. When they are down and out, they appreciate the compassion. We have talked about the courage from our previous discussion, the adaptive intelligence, the self discipline. Leaders have to get up no matter what they feel like, they have to get up and put their game face on. They have to continue to go back and not reveal to the people around them when they are having a horrible day. Maybe they are physically sick, maybe something has happened at home. They have to put their game face on and just bull through it. Leaders have love, they really do. They love a cause, they have passion for what they are doing. They also have love in the Greek sense of philia. They look at the people with whom they are in this common endeavor as friends or family. It is another good Greek word for love, storge. It is like family. They have this capacity to express compassion for each other, to motivate because they generally do love the people around them. Not in the in love sense, obviously, but in these more refined Greek senses that the Greek language has taught us to the point of agape. The old Greek word for that self sacrificial love that a parent shows for a child and by analogy we are taught in theolistic religeons, whether you are Jewish, Christian or Muslim, agape is that love that God shows for us as people. Self sacrificial love. Leaders do a lot of self sacrificing. That is a great mark, and that is a form of love. We talked about the Illative Sense complex communication of course is fascinating. You know, leaders understand that they communicate their vision, their passion and their courage through words but also through their actions. Actions do speak louder than words. What does the leader actually do? Leaders also understand the importance of symbolic communication. They understand the respect for traditions. They understand how to work with symbols to inspire people. We are meaning making creatures. This is why all of our founders use the Roman Republic to draw symbols from. This is why we have something called a Senate. This is why we have veto power. These are Latin words referring all the way back to the Roman Republic which overthrew a king to establish the Republic. All of our founders use the analogy with Rome. Symbolic power of this country becoming launched as a great republic that could throw off a bad king, a bad leader. George the III was a terrible leader. So leaders understand complex communication. We have gone over the Illative Sense, the moral value. Leaders have a pretty good sense of what is good and what is not good, and in that decision making, they will choose the good. They will listen to people who can correct them if they are going down the wrong path. Fruitful, well, that depends on the leader. Self conscious of flaws – we talked about this. They are humble. They do not have, let’s use another Greek word, they don’t hubris which is outrageous arrogance. It is what people who cannot handle power do to other people. You know, some people just want to be a boss or to lead so that they can just tell others what to do. It is like what they can put on their resume. True leaders do not think that way. Leaders want to do something. They want to accomplish something. They want everybody on their team to be part of that effort, to accompli9sh something, get something done. They don’t care what is on their resume…. It is, we are going to do good today. We are going

18


Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Ages Gleaves Whitney

September 22, 2009

to march to this improvement. We are going to make the world better today in a way we are given the opportunity to do it. Is it hard work, you’re damn right it is hard work if that is what we are doing. So, you know, you have a real sense of leaders having that sense of mission. They are driven. They do not have hubris though about it when you go about that. They know that they are replaceable, and if they are doing a good job, they are teaching everyone around them to step into leadership. A good leader is teaching everyone, not, you little low worm you, no. It is, you have much to learn. What can I do to help you? What discipline do you need? What skills do you need? And bringing them up. That is the importance of leadership. Self improving, curiosity. Goes back and explores and discovers. These are great qualities of a human person. We treasure them in each other and we treasure them in our leaders. Do you have any questions? Okay. Well, Brian, I am going to turn this back over to you. I want to thank you very much for being a part of our first official Hauenstein Center Workshop. There will be many more workshops. Brian will be giving a workshop a little bit later. I have many more talks in me as well and interactive presentations that I hope to see in the future and we can go through this some more. Thank you very much for coming today. [applause]

19


Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Ages`