A Stake in the Ground

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership

The Elephant: I guess that most of you know the story that describes how a fully-grown elephant is kept in place by a relatively small spike in the ground. Simply stated, an elephant baby is steaked to the ground with a substantial stake, chain, and ankle cuff. The baby elephant isn’t able to pull the steak up or break the chain, and after wearing itself out by trying, it learns that it is useless to tug at the restraint. An adult elephant could easily pull that steak out of the ground or break the chain—without even trying. But the elephant remembers the lesson, so when the chain gets taught, the elephant stops tugging. Having a memory like an elephant isn’t always a useful thing!

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Diversion

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership

SciFi: I finally succumbed to the need for diversion. Generally, once or twice each year, I will indulge in a science-fiction book. The challenge for me is I get so involved in the book once I pick it up that many other things come to a halt.

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What’s Going On Upstream?

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership

Babies in the River: I was chatting with a good friend and colleague this past week. We touched on several personal subjects and then gravitated to business topics. At one point, I was remarking about how some leaders find systems thinking to be so difficult. That triggered an oft-told story in his mind about the “River Babies.”

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Self-Serving

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership

Annoying the Customer: Well, okay, at least annoying THIS customer. One of my favorite vendors (there are precious few) has upgraded their browser software. The vendor shall remain nameless but frequently goes by the initials of MS. I use their operating system on my computers, and I use their office suite extensively. I avoid their cloud storage because I see it as intrusive and has been undependable…

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Sound Judgment

Common Sense is Nonsense?

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership

Definition: According to Aubrey Daniels, common sense is “the unreflective opinions of ordinary people.  Unreflective opinions are based on unanalyzed experience.” He goes on to opine that “contrary to popular belief there isn’t too little common sense in business, there’s too much.” I believe that the meaning of common sense has changed from the original dictionary definition. Now common sense …

Of Raindrops and Mirrors

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership

Bad Decision: I have made plenty of bad decisions in my life. The worst ones are the ones where I know what I’m doing or about to do is foolish, but I do it anyway. It almost always turns out bad. The most recent one involves raindrops, an obscured mirror, my car’s rear bumper, and outside stairs. I’m over it …

In Three Words

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership

Robert Frost: In 1954, Robert Frost told a reporter, “In three words, I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.” That statement seems especially poignant right now. Many folks I speak with are struggling to understand how “life goes on” after this pandemic. First, many people are dealing with the death of loved ones, and indeed, …

Power vs Empathy

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership

Empathy Loses: Studies have shown that participants raised in wealth or positions of power showed fewer neurological markers for compassion. The studies demonstrated that a person arbitrarily appointed as the “boss” started taking advantage of his new role within 30-minutes. In his book, The Power Paradox, Dacher Keltner likened these effects of power to “a form of brain damage, leading …