ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition - January 2000

---Issue Highlight
---Peter Block on Meetings & Evaluations

"Evaluation is not about ratings, it is about
learning. It should be a conversation among

In This Issue...
Ken Blanchard

Year 2000 Recruitment

Teamwork at NASA
Team Effectiveness
----In Health Care

The Downside of

Peter Block Column
Views for a Change



Book Reviews with an Atitude

How Come Every Time I Get Stabbed In the Back, My Fingerprints Are On the Knife? And Other Meditations on Management Rating:

4 Stars Jerry B. Harvey

--I must confess, I have never heard of Jerry Harvey, but once completing the review of his newest book, I have found him to be a compelling and somewhat controversial writer.

--Harvey states that participation results in our own backstabbing due to our own desire to be accepted and our reciprocal fear of being rejected. We fear rejection from Potential Perpetrators (the backstabbers) and Messengers (those who pass on information and want it kept secret) when we confront them with what we believe or know to be true. We must confront ourselves about our role in the process because by doing nothing, we willingly becomes victims. To avoid victimization, one must risk rejection and being ostracized.

--This is an interesting twist to an all too common business activity many are subjected to each workday. Favorite New Idea: An introduction to Elliott Jaques' Stratified Systems Theory (SST); it is a complex discussion of organizational structure and functionality-an idea worthy of review by anyone striving to understand leadership principles.

Message I'll Remember: Harvey reviews the role of Judas in the betrayal of Jesus Christ. This potentially controversial discussion suggests that the betrayal was willingly allowed to happen by the other disciples. By taking no action on the betrayal, the disciples become willing parties. To cover their involvement, they become "spin doctors" and ultimately placed Judas as the sole conspirator. He concludes the chapter with an invitation to readers to meditate on the lessons he draws from this story.

--It's a thought-provoking conclusion to a potentially maligned subject-one reader might find downright sacrilegious.

Favorite Quote: "When individuals in leadership roles take actions that create the anaclitic depression blues in themselves, in potential followers, or both, they weaken or eliminate the emotional linkages that are required for them to be effective leaders. At best, their capacity to lead is compromised; at worst, it is destroyed."
-- This idea was one of the more interesting in the book because one sometimes wants to dismiss the emotional link to those we lead.

Advice for Leaders: Spend time thinking about the ideas Harvey has on effective leaders. He defines a leader as someone who can set purpose or direction for one or more individuals and have them follow with competence and full commitment. He contends that this type of leadership requires emotional bonding with those that are in the lead. Harvey describes a lack of this bonding as the cause of Anaclitic Depression Blues (ADB) in the workplace. To emphasize his point, he discusses conditions found in a foundling home for newborn infants run by Rene Spitz in 1946. Because of understaffing, the infants were seldom handled, stroked or given loving support.
-- The result was the ultimate loss of one-third of the infants. From these events, Spitz concluded that to survive and thrive, infants require attachment. Harvey ties this phenomenon to ADB in the work place. When leaders fail to bond with those they lead, followers can suffer from ADB just like the infants in the Spitz home.

-- The author closes his discussion by reviewing methods on how ADB can be eliminated in the workplace and leadership restored to its proper position.

Reviewed by: Billy Arcement, EHS & Quality Manager, Melamine Chemicals, Inc., Donaldsonville, La.

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