Online Edition - January 2000
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
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
-- 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.