|The Quiet Persistence of Everyday Leadership
Debra Meyerson is the author of
Tempered Radicals: How Everyday Leaders
Inspire Change at Work (Harvard
2001) and an associate professor of Education
Organizational Behavior within Stanford
Schools of Education and (by courtesy) Graduate
School of Business.
Many Leverage Points readers will
recognize aspects of themselves in the everyday
leaders profiled by Debra Meyerson in her
describes tempered radicals as "people who
succeed in their organizations yet want to
live by their
values or identities, even if they are
somehow at odds
with the dominant culture of their
These men and women of all races, religions,
origins, ages, and sexual orientations from
corner of the globe...are quiet catalysts who
back against prevailing norms, create
lay the groundwork for slow but ongoing
organizational and social change." Their
principled action and humble, long-term
make them natural systems thinkers. It was
reason that we invited Debra to offer a keynote
presentation at the Pegasus Conference in
this November. We think you will enjoy her
worldview at the conference and in the following
excerpt from chapter 9 of the book:
Possibly the most fundamental thing to
about successful tempered radicals is that they
know who they are and what is
their sense of self. They realize that they
selves, some aspects more enduring and "core"
others, and they are clear about the ways
values or identities are at odds with the
culture. Though tempered radicals stay
their core commitments, they must also remain
flexible about how and when to fulfill them.
Tempered radicals favor action. Some
people act with modest and self-directed
others act with more bold and outwardly focused
ambitions; and most move back and forth along a
spectrum between these extremes, choosing their
actions based on circumstance, interests,
even energy level. Regardless of how quiet or
their actions, tempered radicals sustain
and avoid conforming by acting. Even as they
action, however, tempered radicals must also be
notably patient, willing to wait for
|2007 Pegasus Conference Brochure Now Available
Download our conference brochure for the
details about Amplifying Our Impact:
Unleashing the Power of Relationship, the
Annual Pegasus Conference, Seattle, Washington -
November 5-7, 2007
Six Outstanding Forum
Presentations Will Help You Sharpen Your
Appreciation of Relationship:
Hastily Formed Networks: Organizing for
Jeff Clanon, Sol; Carol Gorelick,
SOLUTIONS; Susan Higgins, Naval Postgraduate
Learn about a form of organization that is
accomplishing difficult tasks and developing
capabilities for rapid learning in response
Leveraging Diversity and Inclusiveness to
Create High-Performing Organizations
John Jefferson, Shell US;
Weiss and Greg Clark, Ford Motor Company; Frank
Hear how top companies have engaged
employees' hearts and minds while pursuing
diversity and inclusiveness as a key practice
How Relationships Shape Our Brains-and
Elaine Johnson, Marylhurst
Explore the shaping power of relationships on
the human brain and consider how people can
unleash that power most effectively.
Transforming Our Systems Through Social
Tracy Huston, Menlo Lab, and
Lou Cox, Consultant/Psychologist
Discover emerging approaches to collective ways
of "seeing" and "being" together in change,
based on tools from the worlds of improvisation,
intra- and interpersonal dynamics, and collective
Connecting with Your Creativity to Build
Teams Across Cultures and Generations
Peggy Taylor, Charlie Murphy,
and Young Artist/Facilitators, The Power of
Learn how to use easy-to-lead activities from
the arts to transform the culture in
classrooms-while discovering your own
Conversation as a Radical Act
An exploration led by Juanita Brown,
co-founder of the World Café.
Save $600 when you register by April 20 for
Even lower rates are available for teams of
four or more.
Call us at
discuss team registration options.
|Whom Do You Trust?
by David Newport
something about trusting people-and having people
trust us-that is exciting. Yet when it comes to work,
all too often trust-real trust-is in short supply.
Trust has essentially two meanings:
- To have confidence in someone, or
- To expect/hope/suppose that someone will
act or something will happen.
In the workplace, we need to consider this distinction.
Real trust is about the first definition-the belief in a
person's ability to perform a specific task under
specific circumstances. It is a positive statement
about the relationship between two people.
This form of trust implies interdependence and is
crucial to the development of a healthy
The second meaning connotes obligation. It
implies dependence in the relationship. This
attitude blocks the development of an equal
partnership, where both parties can feel fully valued.
Unfortunately, this latter definition of trust is all too
prevalent in many organizations.
Why is real trust so important? Studies have
shown that it improves task effectiveness,
because it reduces the need for people to check up on
each other. Great teamwork requires real trust
because members need to feel confident that their
coworkers are fulfilling their commitments as they
work interdependently toward the same aim.
When an organization fails to achieve desired
performance, managers have a choice. They can
set in place mechanisms designed to reduce the
performance gap. Or they can trust their staff and
colleagues and support them by having a clear
common purpose, coaching and encouraging them,
and engendering a collaborative learning culture.
Eight Great Years of The Systems Thinker!
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When you subscribe to The Systems
Thinker, you tap into a regular flow of
inspiration and useful resources to support
your leadership journey and help you make
sense of the increasing complexities of
organizational life. A quick
look at just a few of the articles featured
during the past ten months reveals the depth
and diversity of ideas readers have come to
Among other features, Volume 17 includes:
- Margaret Wheatley on changing leadership
- Michael Goodman on cross-functional systems
- Michael Fullan on resiliency in school
- Eamonn Kelley on taming change within
- Zaid Hassan on Theory U
- David Gershon on changing organizational
behavior and empowerment
In each issue, you also find a variety of
stories from the field, book reviews, and useful
tools for creating shared vision, managing
conflict, leveraging complexity, and
capacity for leadership.
Buy Volumes 10-17 for
less than $89 per year!
There is no better or faster way to start an
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10-17 include all of the leading-edge
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being able to see the many levels of the
space and time and taking them into account when
making a decision.... It's all about context.
your context is, the more intelligent your
It's about being able to think at different
levels of reality
at the same time."