Two good articles on OB ("organisational behaviour") which is a sub-discipline of business studies (a.k.a. the MBA).
First up is Tom Peters saying that leadership is about respect for those you have under your control.
Consider these two compelling quotes from MAJ Gavrilis:"We behaved as if we were guests in their house. We treated them not as a defeated people, but as allies. Our success became their success."
"We were friendly and respectful whenever we met a Bedouin or farmer, often sharing tea with them in the middle of the open desert. Our behavior sent the clearest message: We cared more about the people of Ar Rutbah than did the Fedayeen. ... After all, we had done everything possible to limit damage to civilian infrastructure and private property. ... We treated enemy wounded and distributed contraband food. I stopped our final assault to institute a day-long cease-fire as a gesture to the people of the city."
Second, an old article by Jo Freeman from the 70's womens movement. Her thesis is that unstructured groups don't exist, and pushing unstructured or free open group concepts must become a facade for the informal but real power structures.
...Thus 'structurelessness' becomes a way of masking power, and within the women's movement it is usually most strongly advocated by those who are the most powerful (whether they are conscious of their power or not). The rules of how decisions are made are known only to a few and awareness of power is curtailed by those who know the rules, as long as the structure of the group is informal. Those who do not know the rules and are not chosen for initiation must remain in confusion, or suffer from paranoid delusions that something is happening of which they are not quite aware.Posted by iang at November 13, 2005 11:03 AM | TrackBack