What does it mean to "lead without authority"?
In this Big Think Live session with Keith Ferrazzi, moderated by Bob Kulhan, Ferrazzi will dive into management and leadership methods, explaining what it means to "lead without authority."
How can we rethink the organizational structures that keep us in unproductive silos and learn to build true teams instead? How can we be more emotionally intelligent in meetings? And, as an exclusive for Edge subscribers, Ferrazzi will teach a lesson on collaborative problem solving.
Keith Ferrazzi is the founder and CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, a management consulting and team coaching company that works with many of the world's biggest corporations. A graduate of Harvard Business School, Ferrazzi rose to become the youngest CMO of a Fortune 500 company during his career at Deloitte, and later became CMO of Starwood Hotels. He is a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Fortune and the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Who's Got Your Back, Never Eat Alone and his new book Leading Without Authority. His mission is to transform teams to help them transform the world.
Bob Kulhan is an elite improviser, an adjunct professor at Duke Fuqua B-School, author of Getting to "Yes And", and the founder and CEO of Business Improv® – a 21-year-old consultancy linking improvisation to business through behavioral sciences and ROI for blue chip companies. BI is a world-class leader in experiential Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) Digital Asynchronous Learning and Open Enrollment programs.
What worked in 2019 is dead, says Chris Fussell, former Navy SEAL and president of leadership consulting firm McChrystal Group.
The COVID-19 crisis has launched us headfirst into a new "normal", and the organizations that survive and thrive will be the ones that can lead their remote teams effectively. That means more than merely transitioning to Zoom meetings.
In this live session, Chris Fussell will leverage his experience as a Navy SEAL and his expertise in leadership to detail how you can design an operating rhythm, articulate a strategy, and maintain your culture for an extended remote world.
- How U.S. Special Operations teams evolved from a segmented operational model toward a team of teams model.
- A checklist of leadership behavior changes that are critical for remote work environments
- 6 Navy SEAL qualities to embrace in uncertain times: grit, refusal to quit, team-orientation, focus, ability to deal with disruption and pivot, acceptance of reality.
Chris Fussell is the co-author of NYT best-selling book Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, and its sequel, WSJ best-selling book One Mission: How Leaders Build a Team of Teams.
Want to solve problems faster? Learn to unleash your connectional intelligence.
- Erica Dhawan explains the five C's of connectional intelligence: curiosity, combination, courage, community, combustion.
- Using case studies from Colgate and Frito Lay, Dhawan explains how networked problem-solving can create million-dollar opportunities.
- Connectional intelligence is a teachable skill set that leads to big-picture thinking. Expertise doesn't come top down from ivory towers; genius ideas are everywhere — if you know where to look.
A chorus of new science is showing that evolution has orchestrated life to leave no room for solos. A grander view of life is revealing higher-level, need-centric relational logic patterns (as in David Haskell’s The Songs of Trees).
1. “The fundamental unit of biology is... not the ‘self’ but the network,” says David Haskell in his mind-quaking book The Songs of Trees. He’s right. That other basic unit of biology, the selfish gene, gets too much glory. All life needs relationships.
2. Trees show that life’s seeming individuality is “a temporary manifestation of relationship.” A tree “is not an individual made of plant cells, but a community of cells” from many species, “fungus, bacteria, protist, alga, nematode, and plant.”
3. Many ocean-going microbes have evolved so that "their DNA cannot meet basic needs… The smallest viable genetic unit… is… the networked community" (separation means death).
5. These life-enabling collectives are called holobionts. “Every natural animal and plant is a holobiont consisting of the host and diverse symbiotic microbes and viruses.”
6. Genome gaps, and holobionts, show that evolution has discovered the joys (and woes) of specialization and division of labor — and its resulting interdependence (life teems with unseen teamwork).
7. That a “smallest viable genetic unit” often isn’t all contained in a single genome complicates the idea of evolutionary fitness. We’ve long known about beyond-your-body genetic interests in “inclusive fitness”: Kinship alters “selfish gene” calculus (loosely, it’s worth risking your life ”to save two brothers or eight cousins”).
8. But holobionts and Haskell’s networks suggest further kinds of inclusive (or collective) fitness, based on degree of dependence (not kinship). Somehow the logic of genes must embody and enact relational fitness (or collective survival knowhow) to handle extra-genomic relationships essential to survival (see extended “survival vehicles”).
9. At these higher or networked levels of life organization, collections of relationships sink or swim together (see bacterial social contracts in “Survival of the Friendliest”).
10. These networked communities exhibit intelligence and behavioral responses at individual and collective levels (at nodes, and in relationships, and systemically). Nodes that damage their networks, harm themselves (see needism).
11. Haskell says "to claim that forests think is not an anthropomorphism" (they collectively take in, process, and react to environmental information).
12. Gene-centric views have struck too selfish a note, and other perspectives can reveal richer patterns. For example, a gene’s-eye view casts bodies as short-lived ways for (“immortal”) genes to replicate. But Haskell’s networks of relationships also outlast bodies. And the logic of extra-genomic relationships constrains the “immortality” of genes (see unnamed natural laws that constrain evolution).
13. Haskell’s grander view of life helps reveal new need-centric relational logic patterns (see extending Turing to the logic of “universal survivors”).
PS Even physics is getting relational.
Illustration by Julia Suits, The New Yorker cartoonist & author of The Extraordinary Catalog of Peculiar Inventions
Director Diane Paulus delivers a crash course in team dynamics, how to nurture creativity, and the importance of obsession in a good leader.
As she explains the architecture of her creative process, Diane Paulus provides a crash course in leadership and team dynamics. Paulus knows collaboration well: she’s the artistic director of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University, and has directed numerous Broadway productions. Teams work to their full potential when each member has genuine input and space to be creative – the director has to steer the project, but nothing squashes motivation like micro-management. Directing a project – even beyond the theatre world – requires you to remove yourself from what the project ideally will be, and ask tough questions while it’s under construction to keep it on track: like ‘Why should an audience care?’ and ‘Why are we doing this?’. If you’re not satisfied with your answers, your audience (or product user) won’t be either. "In the arts… there can be a lot of blaming the audience for the lack of engagement," Paulus says. "I'm a producer and an artist, I actually have a chance to take a little responsibility for maybe why the audience has left the building." There is a bounty of wisdom to be gleaned from Paulus’ experiences in the theatre: never stop learning and adapting your product, don’t just see what you want to see – find flaws, know that too much hierarchy will make your team stale, and be obsessed – positive mania is infectious in a team. Find more about Diane Paulus at www.dianepaulus.net.