Leadership #5

In 1975 I was asked to speak to a group of professionals about staff problems. Because of my talk and an hour plus of questions, people asked if I would visit their office and work with their staff. The idea of traveling to all parts of the country and spending a day in a workshop on relationships and communication interested me. Having spent the previous 27 years working with children, training many employees, and having an excellent reputation for our work, I believed I was qualified to help them with their staff issues. It is what I did, so why not do it for them and be paid?

It began this way and went reasonably well until I realized nothing changed from workshop to workshop. Why? Was it me, my approach, or the material I shared with them? I searched hard and had an inkling that it wasn’t me or what we talked about. It was then that the idea hit me that it might be because the leader was more a witness to what I did and not a participant. Remember, I have been a leader for 27 years and know that I never thought of myself as a leader or what power I had to influence my staff. I was their boss, to be sure, but not in power over them. I always saw my job as a provider and nurturer of my staff, but being or using power in any negative way? Never! At least, I thought so.

The point is that we are not as aware of ourselves and how we come across to others as we believe we do or are. Others, certainly those close to us, see and hear us even if they may not understand us. We have no mirror that shows ourselves to ourselves, so we “think” we know but do not, and others think they do and may not. In either case, actual knowledge of selves requires a vulnerability that makes the difference in every meaningful relationship.

Who I am is not—I only think I know me—You may know my “me?”

Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *