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The subtle reasons why leaders ignore their own advice

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https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200420-the-subtle-reasons-why-leaders-ignore-their-own-advice

bbc.com

The subtle reasons why leaders ignore their own advice
In order to minimise the suffering caused by Covid-19, global leaders are asking everyone to make sacrifices. People around the world are giving up, for a period, many of the things they love doing: visiting friends and family, travelling, shopping, congregating with others.

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Following the rules

Following the rules

If there is one group of people you expect to set an example and follow the rules, it would be the people issuing them. In New Zealand, the health minister Dr. David Clark was demoted after he ...

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Pleasing different stakeholders

The simplest reason leaders are inconsistent is that they think they can get away with it. Although that may be true in some cases, most people like to see themselves as virtuous.

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Different cultural views

In countries that emphasize the needs of the group over the individual, like Asian and Latin American countries, inconsistent behavior is not immediately associated with hypocrisy.

In colle...

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Stockpiling virtue

A reason leaders behave inconsistently is a phenomenon called 'moral licensing.' When people do or say something virtuous, they seem to feel licensed to act in ways that might otherwise...

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Humor during a crisis

For ancient Greek philosophers, humor was something that had the potential to undermine authority and the good order.

Today, in democratic societies, those in power are mocked and their p...

The power of laughter

  • Humor, in a way, protects us from life's grim reality. We joke because if we didn't, we'd cry.
  • Humor and laughing are also a social vocalization that includes some and excludes others. Jokes establish who is inside the group and who is not. We laugh with people to belong, and at others to exclude.
  • In our current crises, humor is everywhere because fear is too. Laughter binds us together against a common enemy.

When to joke

Poking fun at the ills of the world is only funny if they are considered benign. No one is making memes about child abuse that may increase during periods of enforced domestic isolation.

Observations about people's behavior can be funny if they poke fun at a social norm in a relatively inoffensive way, such as hoarding toilet paper.

Benefits of self-sufficiency

The current pandemic will make many of us see the benefits of relying on locally sourced food and goods—instead of products demanding long and distant supply chains.
Self-sufficiency is power -...

Adoption of solar panels

The current pandemic hasn't had as consequence a power outage yet, but there is this risk, in certain places.
Solar panels mark the move away from a more or less centralized system supplying electricity. The benefit of decentralized systems is, simply put, that they don’t have central points of failure (and a way to do the right thing for the planet).

Adoption of drone technology

Drone have been known so far mostly for their surveillance potential.
Now that the ability to get goods without human touch is a more appealing value proposition than ever. During the pandemic however, we could use them to deliver all sorts of products (food, medicine) to the doors of any self- or forcefully quarantined person.

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Acknowledge your mistakes

Never try to cover up or blame others for what went wrong. If you messed up, admit it and own it. 

Admitting your mistakes earns you the respect o...

Learn from your mistakes

Once you learn from your mistakes, don't repeat them. 

The best leaders know creativity often means breaking rules, making mistakes and learning along the way. Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes; leadership is learning from them.

Teach others from your mistakes

When you make mistakes, make a point of teaching others what you've learned. Doing so builds connection and trust. 

The best leaders are the great teachers, coaches, and guides who show us the way after they have been down that path.

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