Group Think


Leadership Tip of the Month by Ron Jasniowski


Sometimes committees come up with bad ideas and cause big problems (congress is no exception).


A bad idea is put forth by a respected or dominating person and another respected or dominating person voices their total support. Then as you are about to counter with your words of wisdom, another person voices their support! As you question yourself, you realize you are outnumbered and remain silent. This is called group think and this is what caused the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster (among others). Another factor also takes effect. I call this the momentum of the moment. This occasionally sucked me into something I knew was not right. My way out often was one-on-one with another respected committee/team member and challenging them about the wisdom of the recent committee discussion. Then, after the initial momentum of the moment elapsed, we together raised our concerns and offered a solution. I found this works more often than not.


Understanding group think and momentum of the moment can help keep us out of trouble and lead others more effectively. If you find yourself in a meeting that is headed in the wrong direction, voice your opinion. If you see the momentum of the moment persists, stalling until the momentum of the moment elapses might be more effective than an immediate all out confrontation. Cooler heads usually prevail.


But be careful, leadership is not about getting our way … leadership is about helping others.


Tom Landry, the former coach of the Dallas Cowboys said, Leadership is getting someone to do what they don't want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.


Future issues will provide you with more details on how you can reach the next level of leadership success.


You may want to print this and discuss it at your next leadership team meeting.


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