The Power of Difference #

SynapShots cites Everyday Leaders: The Power of Difference by Debra Meyerson

“Nearly everyone feels at odds with the organizations they work for at one time or another. Managers who are also parents struggle to succeed — and be there for their families — in companies that don’t offer flextime. Women and people of color want to open doors for others like themselves — without limiting their own career paths. Teachers want to motivate students and make their material relevant in schools or school districts that require strict adherence to curriculum. Environmentally conscious workers seek to act on their values and climb the executive ladder at firms more concerned with profits than pollution … I have spent more than a decade studying people like these, men and women who want to succeed in their organizations, yet want to live by their values, ideals, and identities, even if they are somehow at odds with the dominant culture of their organizations. Rather than assimilate away their differences or leave because of them, the people I studied take a middle road, constantly balancing between the pulls of conformity and rebellion, and many opt to use their difference as a fulcrum of learning and change. I call these individuals ‘tempered radicals.’ In my book Tempered Radicals: How People Use Difference to Inspire Change at Work [2001], I describe in detail how tempered radicals make organizational change. In this article, I focus on their importance as leaders.”

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Julian Elve
Proactive application of technology to business

My interests include technology, personal knowledge management, social change

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