21st February 2018 , 6-8pm
Professor Jonathan Gosling
Purpose, Motivation and Trust:
the elusive trinity of leadership
Leadership is a paradox because its most potent features are not really centred in the leader. We can be directed, pointed in the right direction, but we won’t make much effort to go there unless we can sense some purpose in it, generate sufficient internal motivation, and trust that our colleagues share this purpose too. But purpose evokes more transcendental ideals than corporate goals or objectives. We want leaders to motivate us, yet motivation resides in each of us, it’s not handed over from the leader. And trust is so fragile that as soon as one says ’trust me’, we sense the opposite.
Professor Jonathan Gosling suggests three ‘self-destruct’ dynamics that profoundly undermine purpose, motivation and trust: these dynamics arise in the tensions amongst friendship/betrayal, self/others and success/emptiness.
To overcome these, we have to understand why they are inherent to leadership – they can’t be wished away, nor can they be erased by even an exceptionally gifted leader: the solution doesn’t lie there. Rather, we have to accommodate them, equipping leaders and others to accept and own these paradoxes. Evoking the resources for such an accommodation, and designing the structures that make this possible, are significant aims of ‘process consulting’, Organization Role Analysis and other interventions in the ‘Tavistock Tradition’.
Participants might like to consider the implications for contemporary politics, inclusive cultures, international businesses, and newer forms of constantly emerging and re-combining networks, where purpose, motivation and trust might be just about the only things holding a movement together.
This seminar is based on (and developed from) Jonathan Gosling’s 2017 ‘Eric Miller Memorial Lecture’ delivered in London.
About Professor Gosling
Trained as an anthropologist, Professor Jonathan Gosling worked for several years as a mediator in neighbourhood conflicts in London, founded the UK‘s first community mediation service and was the founding Secretary of the European Conference on Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution. After taking a mid-career MBA, he moved into management education at Lancaster University, where he directed the MBA and other programmes for British Airways and other major companies. He co-founded, with Henry Mintzberg and three other malcontents, a new approach to management education, the International Masters in Practising Management. 2009/10 he collaborated with Jean-Paul Jeanrenaud to co-found the One Planet MBA, the first MBA designed explicitly to build on the implications of a fundamental but seldom-questioned assumption: that we have just one planet - and we’ve all got to get along on it!
Read more at http://business-school.exeter.ac.uk/about/people/profile/index.php?web_id=Jonathan_Gosling#AwVgSubru7V1ED1Q.99
Venue: Room: 427, Level 4, 253 Flinders Lane (CAE Building)