Friday, May 04, 2012

Avengers, Leadership, Teams & Introverts

If you're interested in creativity, leadership, teamwork and/or collaboration I encourage you to read Christopher Borrelli's review of the new "Avengers" movie in today's Chicago Tribune.

In one section he introduces readers to Susan Cain, the author of "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking," He wrote, Susan "told me, "In a group you can't truly explore your own mind, you can't fully examine your own ideas." She said: "I am not opposed to teamwork. I am opposed to how enamored of collaboration for its own sake our culture has become." And because teamwork is often strapped with a leader, "too often the most charismatic — or maybe with a superhero, the strongest — is viewed as the smartest and most creative."

I looked up Susan's web site and found this Manifesto on her web site.

This reminded me of an article I saw a while back titled 'Want To Be A Leader? ‘Learn To Be Alone With Your Thoughts’ in which says William Deresiewicz, "Speaking to a plebe class at West Point, said that without solitude, it’s hard to arrive at thoughts that are your own, and hard to develop the moral compass and moral courage necessary to act on those thoughts."

In another article, I read about how it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in any field. This blog writes about the book "Outliers", by Malcolm Gladwell,which "puts forth the premise that to be an expert in your field requires a devotion to one’s craft for at least 10,000 hours."

I've spent more than 10,000 hours since 1975 leading a tutor/mentor program and much of that time has been spent in solitude, learning and reflection. That's where the ideas I share in the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC come from. I use graphics like this one to illustrate how creating programs and services that consistently help kids overcome poverty and rise through school and into jobs and careers is a process of learning and constant experimentation. It's one that requires constant investments of talent and time, which means a constant flow of dollars.

As I come across great thinking I point to it in articles like this, and archive links in the Tutor/Mentor Connection library so others can find and learn from the same ideas I'm learning from.

Most of what I'm thinking about relates to influencing the flow of resources to non-school tutor/mentor programs in high poverty neighborhoods. Most of these ideas can be adopted to the same problem in other social sectors. If we can influence the flow of resources and keep talent in programs longer, we increase the organizational knowledge and the ability of each organization to constantly improve their impact on kids and the volunteers who become part of these programs.

I'm sure others are spending their own time thinking about this and may have their own master plans and strategies. I hope we can connect on Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, the Tutor/Mentor Connection forum and/or the Conferences that I host in Chicago every six months.


Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Here's a course using Lord Of the Rings to teach ethics.

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Here's a related article, focusing on teaching strategic thinking to junior officers in the military. Title is: Who Are We Teaching – Future Second Lieutenants or Strategic Leaders? Education for Strategic Thinking and Action – Scott A. Silverstone & Renee Ramsey Link is

Sheri42 said...


Thanks for linking your information with the ideas from Popculturefreaks Sociology Science Fiction and Superheroes.

I think reflection and solitude are needed along with deeper conversations on difficult topics from the news, books, articles, and movies [including superheroes] from which we can construct what we believe in and for which we strive in making the world better, like you do.


Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Hi Sheri. I agree. I posted a new idea today (1/31/18) that points to an article I read yesterday about complexity and problem solving. It relates to the Avengers article because if too few people are reading these longer articles, or books, then there won't be enough who understand and are committed to this process.