Jack TenneyExtra Point

by Jack Tenney, Publisher

April 2008

Crosswords

You don’t hear much about czars, anymore.

Use to be, every time someone was appointed to be a special project leader, he was called the “special project” czar. When more than one person was given a special task, the term “blue ribbon” was tagged onto “commission” or “panel.” Often the czar would lead the blue ribbon panel to a conclusion, which would be published in a white paper. 

None of that seems to be happening anymore. Maybe it’s a style thing. For instance, being a manager was pretty good for a while, but then managing was thought to be not so hot. One shouldn’t aspire to manage, for goodness’ sake, one should lead.

Leaders were thought to be vastly superior to managers. Leadership connoted a top-down thing, which too often overlooked the potential of the followers (the formerly managed people who did the work). 

Then leadership gave way to collaboration. The mom-and-pop approach. Inside and outside. The producer and entrepreneur, teamed with a skilled administrator and integrator. 

Successful business leaders began to think of themselves as mentors and coaches who managed by wandering around. 

When encountering a problem, they thought outside the box.

What?

Which person or group of people is more likely to think outside the box when faced with a problem — that is, analyze the problem from a different perspective?

Czar?

Manager?

Leader?

Collaborator?

Coach?

Mentor?

Do you think it the slightest bit amusing that there is definition and implied advantage to thinking outside the box? 

See answers outside of this box.

Thank you.