Monday, September 17, 2007

Belated: Things I learned in my first week as a PhD student

Last week was my first week of classes. I'm learning a lot about leadership problems from Ronald Heifetz's book, "Leadership without Easy Answers." He talks about technical or solvable problems--like an accounting error vs. adaptive problems-like the war on drugs, that cannot easily be solved. Adaptive problems often include a lot of anxiety, however anxiety to an extent is healthy and necessary in order to move things along. Adaptive problems are often figured out by bringing the power back to the people, this provides more anxiety but ultimately, people come up with a solution that works for them.

Heifetz also talks about a concept of getting on the balcony and being able to see how our own perspectives affect situations. Something we discussed in both classes is the concept of perspective and how our perspectives are shaped by everything around us and to be open to new perspectives of seeing things.

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