Man of the Street

He was a man of the street with the intelligence to go with his street sense. He knows how the “system” works and makes the most of gained knowledge. He is and always has been his own voice. And he is comfortable with power. As I saw him, he had difficulty sharing this power and empowering others. He did not fight or create obstacles for others to have their own voice, but he did not nurture this in them. 

In our Inner Circle meetings, he often took charge of what was being discussed and, although not directly apparent, controlled the talk. Unconsciously he liked being in charge, but as I experienced him, he gave the impression of being a participant. I rarely thought he was because he had his own, sometimes unexpressed, way of controlling the meeting.

When working on flattening the pyramid, it is essential that when anyone speaks, the other participants are present and hear what is being said. And then confirming the speaker by sharing what they think they hear being said. This has nothing to do with agreement but only that the speaker feels heard and understood. My ideal leader listens to understand and confirms what the speaker is saying.  As I’ve often emphasized, agreement is incidental to dialogue.

During our meetings, and even when I was not teaching, dialogue between participants was the goal. This leader may have heard what others had to say, but more likely, he did not since he had his own agenda. A very complex man and very capable of surviving in a difficult world.

Listen, hear and know—Not to agree, but to know—Dialogue the way

Some love power—But not to harm, just to lead—Know the difference


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

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