Changing Another Person LO19923

Richard Karash (
Thu, 19 Nov 1998 11:16:28 -0500

Replying to LO19885 --

>Rick asked:
>>Can one person determine what another person is to hold as belief? And, if
>>so, is it ethical to do so?

Gene replied:
>You bet. The boss determines what people believe is important to the
>organization and to their own success. He or She do it whether or not they
>know or have expressed their own beliefs.
>They do it by way of the questions asked and the agendas established.
>The saddest part about it is that the boss can be completely unconscious
>of this power and it still happens. There are of course exceptions. Some
>people leave, some complain but most never question the priorities set by
>the official leaders for their mind or time.

Gene, I think we should draw a distinction on whether the boss is in
control of this process, that is, whether the boss is the the more or less
sole determinant of the outcome (whether the boss is conscious of this or

I think the boss does not determine, in two respects:

1) The boss is part of the system and is affected by it. The boss's
actions are determined in part by the interaction with others. The young
peopple push the boss one way, the old timers another way, problems at
home have another effect, and the boss does something. Over time, the boss
and the org culture are affected by the people. Boss, non-bosses, the
culture, and the connected world all evolve together.

2) I think the boss's actions, thought powerful, don't determine the
response of the people. People might buy in, as desired. They might
stonewall. They might comply, but not believe any of it for a minute! They
might rebel. And, of course they do quit when things get too far out of

I think when people are part of the system, no one party can reliably
determine the outcome of the interactions. I think it's a different
mindset, different mental model, that might result in better mental health
for the bosses and more exciting, creative organizations.

-- Rick


Richard Karash ("Rick") | <> Speaker, Facilitator, Trainer | email: "Towards learning organizations" | Host for Learning-Org Discussion (617)227-0106, fax (617)523-3839 | <>

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