Cover of the 7 habits of highly effective peopleLoved reading the book “The 7 habits of highly effective people”. Opened my eyes and changed quite a few things. Want to get excited too? Check this short video about the book.


Second rule of authoritative conduct: the teacher

Authority can be quite impressive The first rule of authoritative conduct was a relative easy discovery for me. The situation was clear and the rule flowed from it naturally. This time I attempted a harder situation, curious to hear what you think about the rule I draw from it. I am taking my inspiration from how a good teacher handles authority in his/her class.

Before I go into the situation I’d like to describe what I personally hope to be able to use these rules for. I’m trying to define rules very specifically about authority to know when I should use authority. I’m doing that, so that I can act in a less threatening way in all other situations. There are 3 things I hope these rules will solve. First off, I won’t have to feel bad about throwing around my weight in the cases where authority is warranted. I am 2.05m (6ft 7in) tall and weigh in at 104 kilograms. That’s quite a lot of weight to throw around, so I want to use it sparingly. 😅 I also want to feel comfortable about it afterwards, knowing I did the right thing. Secondly, I won’t need to hesitate too long. I can use authority directly where being friendly and open is really counter productive. Thirdly, having these rules with a bunch of tips around them, also helps in having a discussion about it afterwards.

My issues with authority (3 of 3): rules for commanding!

Happy new year! It’s been a while since my last post and it has been a great holiday! ūüėČ The first working week has also flown by, time to wrap that up¬†with this final post in my¬†authority trilogy.¬†In the last post I flirted with anarchy, as authority itself seems to have some damning consequences. I also stated I don’t see a life without authority, it is necessary sometimes. The last few weeks I’ve been musing about when to command and obey. During this period I¬†bought the book “Reinventing Organizations” by Frederic Laloux and I think his¬†theory¬†applies to my investigation. Combining Laloux’ theory with my own thoughts,¬†let me try to define what I think we should use authority for.

My issues with authority (2 of 3): time for anarchism!

Last week I wrote about the issues I have with authority. This week I have been doing research into the topic. My research led me into anarchism as a potential solution. I never considered it, but it seems quite attractive!

I began the week by investigating how to learn about authority. I asked two of the psychologists I know. I got a few very good pointers and then combined that with my own googling. The first pointer was to investigate the Milgram experiments. It turned out to be a golden tip.

My issues with authority (1 of 3)

authority instilled in an individual breeds expectations from othersIn the first post in this challenge series, I came up with 3 frustrations. I will start with the issues I have with authority. Giving somebody authority leads to obedience. It will lead to team members bowing down against their own judgement. I have personally experienced this on both sides of authority and am frustrated with authority and obedience. Time to turn frustration into positive energy and do something about it!

I will write 3 posts about authority. This first post will be an explanation of why I think there is an issue to begin with. The second post will contain general research about authority. The third post will hopefully provide inspiration and maybe even an answer about the issue I will describe below here.

My challenge with leadership

My challenge is about transforming myself from Agile Team Coach to Coach of whole Organizations. I have been working with and leading teams during Agile transformations. At this point I have become quite frustrated with the leadership models in the last few organizations I’ve worked with and in. As a result, I am starting a journey to find a solution. My frustrations:

pressure coming from leadershipPressure

Managers somehow always provide either too much or too little pressure on accomplishment, resulting in either bored or burned out employees. This pressure should not come from management, but from individuals themselves. Give people a great goal, the means to achieve and help them organize themselves!

creativity being killed by overruling decisionsDecisions

There is way too much debate about decisions that a team or individual can very easily make themselves. This leads to frustration of creative individuals being overruled by their “betters”. Halted creativity and initiatives will start to¬†fester and kill the atmosphere and productivity.

team hero - a problematic leadership styleLeadership

Leadership is assigned¬†by¬†managers to individuals that they decide¬†are their “favorite” sub-leaders.¬†This authoritative method of delegation brings a team to a “Hero” model as described by Belbin, which will mostly not work. It’s not about that one individual, let leadership flow!
Update: I’ve written a trilogy on my issues with¬†authority.

Now what?

As mentioned I feel a strong need to bring change on these points surrounding leadership. I am taking my first steps to do something about them by taking time off, no day job¬†for me in December. I’ll use this time for 3 subjects:

  1. Studying up on leadership and alternative leadership models such as Sociocracy and Holacracy.
  2. This site, I will write blog posts at least weekly and will fill the site to become my personal card.
  3. Networking, I’d like to find a cool position where I can apply what I learn starting from Januari.

If you’d care to keep updated on what I am doing, follow me here, on LinkedIn and on Twitter.