Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Ignorance Journal #1

As an assignment for one of my classes, I am to write a journal not about what I know, but about what I don't know.

This week's topic? Leadership.

Read it.

Edit: The topic was supposed to be communication in leadership -- updated to reflect.

There's a lot that I don't know about leadership. Motivating people is something that is infinitely complicated, because people are infinitely complicated.

One thing I'm not sure about is image. It seems as if some people have the ability to create an image of themselves and stick it in the minds of others without seemingly much effort and without regard to what they actually do. I do not know how this is done, and for leadership it can be an invaluable tool.

Another thing I don't really understand is how to motivate individuals in an organization who simply don't want to be there. The ideal solution is to kick them out; the common solution is to punish them when they don't follow regulations or meet requirements. I think there ought to be a way to get them motivated and involved, but I have no idea how that is done (I've never seen it done successfully).

I also don't know how to present involvement in an organization as a desirable thing rather than a "goody-two-shoes" type of stigma. It seems when someone sincerely attempts to follow rules (especially popular ones) they are usually branded as a tool or a loser, someone who cannot think for themselves. I think an organization where following the rules, embracing the culture is "cool" will be a successful one.

Communication is an integral part of leadership also. If leaders don't have the right information, it is unlikely that they'll make good decisions. I don't know how to guarantee communication. It seems that the more you try to regulate communication the more likely you are to slow it down. I would like to be able to quantify the value of communication speed vs. accuracy. I wonder if, at times, it is actually possible to have speed without accuracy to be the preferable result. I would guess it would fall into the 80 percent rule -- that is, an 80 percent solution now is better than a perfect solution when its too late.

I don't know how you can spot communication failures before they impact a problem. Communication failures seem to be subtle until they cause massive amounts of havok. I wonder how it would be possible to spot them early, or nip them in the bud.


Matt said...

I can't believe it... there are things that you DON'T KNOW?? You've gotta be kidding me. This is going to be a tough assignment.

k2aggie07 said...

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.

There's lots of stuff I don't know.

Matt said...

Isn't that a quote from rumsfeld?

k2aggie07 said...

Yes indeed. Bravo for recognizing it. Good article on his verse here.