Chris Evans and the charismatic denial

June 27, 2015

charismatic-leadership

When Jeremy Clarkson was fired from Top Gear in March, Chris Evans was always favorite to rescue the BBC’s biggest-earning show.

At first, Evans made unequivocal statements about his lack of interest in taking over, and then announced he been had signed up to replace Clarkson.

His behaviours capture aspects of what might be called the charismatic denial.

Background

Jeremy Clarkson’s high-speed career had crashed spectacularly. You might say he had been building up penalty points on his license to perform, even while he was transforming the BBC’s Top Gear TV programme into a global hit, transmitted to over 200 countries. Multiple controversies and his persona of the superstar petrol-head were essential elements in a show which was brilliantly filmed and produced.

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The $39 dilemma: should I start tweeting by buying a few thousand followers?

June 23, 2015

Twitter teems with offers through which you can buy followers by the thousand.  This seems the social media equivalent of the sub-prime financing of mortgages  

A few months ago I started tweeting more regularly. This relatively harmless occupation was rewarded as I connected with a small number of discriminating tweeters who followed me, and I them. Tit-for-tat following was part of social media practice.  It also explains how ‘like attracts like’.  My followers and following grew steadily month by month. The scale was still manageable.

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“Not today, not tomorrow and probably not anytime soon.” The tragedy of Charleston

June 19, 2015

 A foreign journalist captured the view that legal steps to deal with gun violence in America were only a remote possibility.

BBC journalist Anthony Zurcher wrote an article in the wake of the Charleston massacre this week [17th June, 2015] He outlined the events involved before a young man perpetrating a race-hate crime with the hand gun he obtained as a 21st birthday present, a few months earlier.

As Kurcher put it

“At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries,” Mr Obama said on Thursday morning.

He continued: “I say that recognising the politics in this town forecloses a lot of those avenues right now. But it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it. And at some point it’s going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it, and for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.”

At some point – as in not today, not tomorrow and probably not anytime soon.

The outcry of pain and anger was none the less poignant for being over-familiar.

Deeply held and contrary belief systems were expressed with little evidence of willingness to understand contrary beliefs and fears. Clint Eastwood’s tweet was retweeted over a hundred times.Another tweeter expounded the dangers of churches being declared firearm- free zones.

Glenn Reynolds, a law professor with nearly 400,000 tweets to his name was cited by Kurcher as commenting that the President could always try being honest for a change.

The American Dream 

Around the world,  the American dream is increasingly being scrutinized with a mix of puzzlement and despair I have little to add to what I wrote briefly about the Sandy Hook school massacre last year. 

Tweeting 140 characters is as inadequate as writing another blogpost or even another book on leadership.


The World is beta

June 16, 2015

Just occasionally, an article speaks for itself

I would like to nominate this as my article of the month [June 16, 2015]. In it, the authors argue:

In the race to automate, there’s a big risk that some organisations will neglect talent management. We believe that the priority should not be forming a digital strategy for your people, but creating a people strategy for the digital age.

I hope LWD subscribers will enjoy it as much as I have.

Congratulations to PwC.

Click here to see the article


The Three Iron Laws of Political Coups: From Ed Miliband to Sepp Blatter and Rupert Murdoch

June 12, 2015

TriangleJournalist Steve Richards examines how political leaders are overthrown. Is he offering suggestions relevant to other kinds of leader such as Sepp Blatter or Rupert Murdoch?

Steve Richards writing in The Independent states that there are ‘iron laws that apply if a party wants to dislodge a leader’. While I would prefer the term working principles, the three ‘laws’ he propounds make a great deal of sense.

He argues that for a successful coup:

 1 There has to be at least one popular alternative candidate

2 the risks are considerably lower than those for retaining the incumbent leader

3 The coup must not generate bloody internal battles.

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Roger Altounyan: Personal recollections of a medical pioneer

June 8, 2015

My interest in Roger Altounyan began in the late 1970s, during a two-hour car journey as we drove back to Manchester from a conference in Nottingham on innovation processes.

This account adds a human dimension to his discovery of Intal that has benefited millions of Asthma sufferers around the world

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Book review: Seeing What Others Don’t

June 7, 2015

Bisociation KoestlerOne of the most contested aspects of creativity is the act of creation itself. Research psychologist Gary Klein is the latest author to examine the process

The act of creation has been associated with insight arguably since the origins of the myth of Archimedes and his eureka bathtub moment. Even the prestigious and very serious American Association for the Advancement of Science calls its breaking news site EurekAlert.

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