Leadership–Theories in Action™

November 9, 2012

Leadership is driven by Theories in Action

There are a lot of theories on leadership, and leaders themselves have lots of theories.  Because they’re smart and curious people, leaders like to draw connections and make assumptions based upon what they’ve observed. They also enjoy the intellectual work of testing theories. They want to see how these theories hold up in action.

Once a theory has been in place for a long time, though, people tend to resent and reject alternative theories. That’s due, in part, to the consequences. Longstanding theories tend to harden into facts. They become the pillars upon which other theories rest. And leaders may have a lot riding on these particular theories.

Leadership has the morale courage to accept alternative theories

When Galileo proposed to the Vatican that the Sun, not the Earth, was the center of the universe, he was not only chastened, but imprisoned and squelched. Even with his discovery of the telescope, Galileo wasn’t able to persuade the Inquisitors of the Copernican universe.

Of course not all theories are as revolutionary or controversial as Galileo’s. The stakes may be considerably less–world’s apart, as they say.

Do you know the RIGHT way to tie your shoelaces? After watching this short three-minute video from TEDtalks, you may find that your Theory in Action needs revising:


After watching the video, are you going to tie your shoes differently? I would love to get your feedback in the comments. Thanks.

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