Saturday, April 30, 2005

We Don't Know What Other People are Capable of Achieving

If it is so hard to know what someone is, and it's irrelevant anyway, why do we do it? We classify people in order to know what to expect from them and how to handle them. When we first meet people, we don't know much about them. We listen carefully to what they say, we watch what they do, and see if they do what they say. But at some point, we decide that we know them and put them in a box with the other people like them. And they act like the other people in the box, or so it seems to us. But people don't fit in boxes, especially small ones.

Classifying people limits our expectations of them and the opportunities we give them. Think of a slug. Once you know it's a slug, you know it can't dance. It doesn't do any good to teach a slug to dance either, because they're not capable of it. And even if you say a slug dancing, you wouldn't believe it, because slugs can't dance. But, then again, have you ever seen the sea slug called Spanish Dancer?

People shouldn't be limited by their classifications. All of us have lived with our own limitations our whole lives. We know how to compensate for them. We know what we can do and what we want to do and what hidden talents we have.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

People Are What They and It's Irrelevant Anyway

Smart, energetic, rational, stupid, lazy, crazy. We describe people these ways sometimes. We say, "He is . . ." or "She is . . ." But none of these are full time jobs. Everybody does something smart and something stupid, daily. Everybody is energetic in some situations and lazy in others. Most people are rational most of the time and most of us are also a little crazy always. And we are other things as well. How would anyone know all the things we are if they haven't been around us our entire lives?

And, then again, what good does it do us to recruit the most intelligent, experienced, well trained person in the world if they would rather be someplace else, doing something else, and aren't going to contribute all that they have? Wouldn't it be better to have someone who has to stretch to do the job but who really wants to do it?

Because, in order to achieve our goals, we don't need for people to be something, we need for them to do something.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Learning to Be a Leader

The things I am going to tell you now I don't tell you because they are true. I believe they are. I have observed that leaders act as if they believe they are. But that's almost irrelevant. I tell you these things because they work. You can decide later if they are true or not.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

What a Leader Knows

A leader knows that people are awesome, strong, courageous, interesting, intelligent, wise, and beautiful. I know that is true about you. It is true about me. If you can believe that about everyone, then you will automatically become a leader, because you will talk and act in accordance with that belief and treat everyone so well that they will naturally want to follow you.

But maybe you are having a little trouble with this concept.
Maybe you can’t quite convince yourself that everyone is as wonderful as that.
That’s okay. We can look at it another way.

---People Are What They Are and It's Irrelevant Anyway
---We Don't Know What Other People Are Capable of Achieving
---People Are Not Accountable for Their Thoughts and Feelings
---We Don't Know What Other People are Thinking and Feeling
---People Are Accountable for Their Words and Actions
---Assume Everyone is Doing the Best They Can
---Assume Everyone Has a Good Reason for What They Say and Do

Monday, April 04, 2005


Welcome! My name is Marianne Powers. have been studying people who work in offices for 35 years.

This research has taken place in more than 50 offices, where my nominal reason for being there was that I was an employee, manager, temporary worker, or consultant, and has included working in Washington DC, Maryland, Nevada, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota, and traveling in all of the 48 contiguous states.

The first 30 years of this study was devoted almost exclusively to complaining, joining and leaving various shifting alliances, and fighting, which was very interesting but not very productive.

The last 5 years, my studies have become more philosophical and more productive, addressing such issues as why we fight and what might happen if we stop fighting and put all our energy into achieving our goals together. Getting here, I discovered what a leader knows.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Educational Session

I will be teaching an educational session at the Toastmasters District 23 Spring Conference on April 23 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

What a Leader Knows

A leader creates an environment that inspires individual people to work toward a common goal. The inspiration comes from how the leader makes the people feel about themselves and what they are doing. And that comes from what the leader believes about them. Do you know what a leader knows? Come and find out!