Dr. Eric Guthey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management, Society, and Communication. He has a background in humanities and cultural history which fosters an interdisciplinary perspective on leadership, management, and cultural dynamics. His primary areas of research include leadership, organization studies, leadership development, and management. His current research explores “the ebb and flow of fashionable leadership concepts."
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Note: Voice to text transcriptions are about 85% accurate.
Scott Allen 0:00
Today on the program, I have Eric Guthey, he is an associate professor in the Department of Management, Society and Communication at the Copenhagen Business School. Eric, I am looking forward to this conversation. I want to take us in all kinds of fun, interesting directions. But maybe before we jump in, you are at your farm in southern Denmark right now.
Eric Guthey 0:26
Scott Allen 0:27
And we had to delay the podcast a little bit because you had some trees, some work on some trees, what? And you sent me this photo of a rainbow and beautiful farmhouse. So So tell me that tell our audience, I should say a little bit about you. Wow.
Eric Guthey 0:44
Yeah. So I am what I call a recovering American, in the sense that I have lived in Denmark for 20 years on September 1, actually. And I've been at Copenhagen business school the whole time. And I am a naturalized Danish citizen. So I've doubled citizenship and love it. My kids are mostly Danish, and I have come over the years, I mean, even right, immediately to love, both living in this country and being a European, academic, and leadership scholar. And, in fact, one thing I say, hopefully, this, we just bought this farmhouse, it's an old place from the 1800s. that's meant to be sort of a vacation home for now and eventually where we will retire. But I'm proud to say that already two prominent and leadership scholars who are good friends of mine have already been here, Mary Uhl-Bien has been to this island last year, and, and Jonathan Gosling just came through last week and spent a couple of days of the farmhouse. So hopefully, it'll be you'll hopefully you'll eventually come here when Americans can come to Denmark again. So...
Scott Allen 1:54
I am in!
Eric Guthey 1:55
you'd be most welcome.
Scott Allen 1:56
Now, real quick couple of your favorite things about Danish culture, what have you fallen in love with?
Eric Guthey 2:03
I love taxes, I love paying taxes. I love the services that I get from paying taxes. And I think Americans have lost their minds. Because, you know, the rhetoric, the anti-tax rhetoric in the US, has literally gotten to the point where people are cutting off limbs to spite themselves. Because, you know, the way that government works is by collectively providing services that individuals can't provide otherwise and that businesses will never provide us. And so I'm watching the destruction of the postal service in the US with chagrin because I believe in social democracy and a welfare state. And that is one of the things I love about this country. And then on the on the flip side, and this isn't something you can get in the US as well, while the tree service guy Rico was working in my yard, the farmer who owns all the land around us showed up because he was curious about what was going on and the kind of the, he's a wily, old Danish farmer who's very nice to us, but also really watches over his properties. And so the rural community on this island where we bought this house is just stunning. Everybody knows everybody, and everybody watches out for everybody else, which I quite love.
Scott Allen 3:18
One thing as I was reflecting on our conversation today, a place I'd like to start, of course, this podcast other than having Steve Kempster on, it's been very US-centric.
Eric Guthey 3:31
You had Susan on, she's another recovering American.
Scott Allen 3:34
I did. I did. You're correct. You're correct. So Susan, and Steve, both in the UK. So so we're widening our reach with with with Denmark now. Making our way through Europe, I guess.
Eric Guthey 3:47
And they've both been here too, by the way,
Scott Allen 3:51
So what do Americans need to know about European scholarship on leadership? What do we miss? What are we not seeing? What are some of your perspectives in that space?
Eric Guthey 4:07
That's a very interesting question. I would say the overall distinction is somewhat structural and institutional, but also sort of an aesthetic or an intellectual distinction. And so, what you have to understand about Leadership Studies in Europe is that it's sprung out of sociology. And specifically in the UK, developed out of a number of scans goes for management studies as well, a number of scholars who were at the left end of the sociological spectrum, I guess I could say, labor process theorists and others who had basically schooled themselves in, you know, Marx's materials theory of things, but they have a finely tuned sense, and continue to have a finely tuned sense of the social dynamics of leadership whereas in the US, leadership springs largely out of psychology and social psychology. And that lends itself to both an individualized leader centered focus that is very strange to many scholars have a European sensibility, and lends itself in my opinion also to those wings of the leadership industries that are, that are basically synonymous with the self-help industries. And so there's an interior focus in the US, that is very different from the way that scholarship on leadership is primarily. And then you've got the fact that you know, and I and I, part of my research is on what I call the leadership industries. I mean, there are many countries in Europe, where there was no word for leadership before the leadership industries arrived. To tell people you know, in France, if you talk to a leadership, leadership consultant, they call leadership "leadership", because there's no word in French that translates. And in Denmark as well, there wasn't a word called Leadership, which is what we use now for leadership and Danish. Until the leadership industries were actually specifically Anthony Robbins' coaching franchise arrived first. And it was only after that time, that people started distinguishing between management and leadership in the way that they do now. So and that, to me also speaks to the idea that you can talk about some of these organizational and interpersonal processes without moving in such an interior or, you know, I personally, I would say, even "quasi therapeutic" direction. And so that's a major distinction that I would see. And does that making sense?
Scott Allen 6:36
It does it makes perfect sense, so much more focused on the individual, the leader, as David day might call it, the leader development and kind of putting that person that individual on the pedestal and as the subject of conversation and research versus the social process?
Eric Guthey 6:56
When did David Day write that? Yeah, it was years ago, right?
Scott Allen 7:00
Eric Guthey 7:02
I mean, think about it, he wrote that 20 years ago, and it's not like it made a dent in what I would call the, you know, interior leadership industrial complex. I mean, it's still, you know, some people make the distinction, but by and large, I mean, I listened to your podcast with Barbara Kellerman, and although she herself makes the distinction, she's still all of her...the way she talks is still very much centered on the leader. And, I mean, she obviously recognizes both, but it's just the inclination in American soldier cultures in American circles is still to move in that direction. Now, I would say that, because of the way academics work, because of the power of you know, we just had the Academy of Management and ILA has been coming over here as well. There are many more European scholars who are moving in a much more sort of, and again, I don't want to culturally generalize, but in a more what has traditionally been called an Americanized paradigm. Of late.
Scott Allen 8:06
Any other distinctions that come to mind for you that Americans should be aware of that? Maybe we don't see?
Eric Guthey 8:14
Well, there's a much more vibrant and strong and accepted. I mean, Critical Leadership Studies is largely or primarily a European phenomenon. And you don't have the Mats Alvesson in the US that the way you do here. And so you know, and that's for good, and for ill. I mean, there's, you know, I think that there are many more, well, and I did, you know, this is an anecdotal statement, but there appear to be many more interdisciplinary approaches to leadership on this side of the Atlantic Ocean to me, and that, I mean, frankly, that's why I ended up here. You know, aside from, from basic, practical reasons, I was not trained in Leadership Studies, I was trained in American cultural studies. And so, many of the ways that when I moved into business schools, like, I couldn't understand why people were talking about leadership, the way that they were, you know, and thrived when I got here on a conversation that was much more multidisciplinary, and, and bringing in lots of, you know, so I have more freedom here to do the types of things I want intellectually.
Scott Allen 9:23
So we can talk a little bit about at least one of the streams, the leadership fashions. Talk a little bit more about that one of your streams of writing.
Eric Guthey 9:31
Yeah, we actually have a piece out for review. Well, you know, I have been trying to get published a piece on leadership fashion since 2012.
Scott Allen 9:46
Eric Guthey 9:46
It's been nearly impossible. And I'm, you know, you could speak to my, the low level of my scholarship, or it could speak to the fact, which I'm open to, or it could speak to the fact that you know when I submitted? Well, we'll talk about this openly...the piece that I wrote about leadership fashions I tried to go way at the top person and submitted it to the Academy of Management Review. And it got through the first round, and it was dinged in the second round. So I turned it around and tried to fix the things they told me to fix when it was rejected from there and send it to leadership quarterly. And I received a six-page editorial letter telling me that I had insulted all the great scholars of leadership and the leadership was a science and I had nothing that I was talking about, I was told I was crypto cynical, and that I needed to "shut up" basically. So, you know, that it's, I would argue that I touched a nerve there that had less to do with the quality of my scholarship at the time, then with the fact that I was tweaking some sacred cows, because part of the point of that piece has always been that we, leadership scholars, are integral parts of the leadership industries, and we kid ourselves if we think otherwise. And there's, you know, I would, when I talk about the leadership industries, I distinguish between different as in, you know, basically, I think there's a general and a restricted field of leadership production and the general field tries to appeal to the most people possible this it comes out of, Bourdieu's work on the way that cultural fields work, operate, but restricted fields of cultural production work by speaking...preaching to the choir, and making oneself so rarefied and difficult understand that only the elite can under can can get what you're saying, well, and I think that many academic fields participate in that dynamic and to legitimize themselves. And so, you know, that was pointing up that divide was something that wasn't to welcome. So, but and we're very hopeful to get it published. I think it's important to understand the way leadership fashions work. We define them as a social and industrial process that functions to continually redefine the norms and expectations attached to leadership and to argue that certain norms and expectations are better than others. And so that's, for us, that's the, the dynamic that keeps churning out so many different, you know, leaderships because it's in no one's best interest in the field of leadership production, to put a stop to it and to fight. And when you had Kellerman on, she was interesting, but she was basically arguing that we need to professionalize by finally deciding what leadership is and teaching it the right way. But that in itself, from the perspective I'm talking about is a form of product differentiation and an attempt to erect barriers to entry, so that other people can't get in. And so I'm much more sanguine about the fact that it's always going to be this way. That since leadership is a cultural product in a symbolic good, there's always going to be bouts in the field about you gain an advantage by introducing by innovating and introducing a new idea. And that's a lesson you learned from studying madmen fashions basically back, you know, all management fashions introduce themselves by saying, now is a time of unprecedented change. Everything's completely different than was before, and so we need a new, we need a new idea. Yeah. And, you know, that's what Frederick Taylor said back in the 19. Whenever we're 26 or 20. So it's almost, you know, you can read the preface to Taylor's Scientific Management is almost verbatim, which, which one was it? Oh, the reengineering book, what was that called? The first book about business process reengineering is basically has the exact same preface, because it basically makes the same argument that "things have changed so much, we need to change the way we approach organizations." And so leadership scholars are constantly doing that to saying, you know, times are so tight, they're so different. Now, we need a completely different approach to leadership.
Scott Allen 9:50
Even my friend Mary, complexity leadership theory, which is one of my, you know, I respect the hell out of that theory. And I use it all the time. And I think it's one of the, you know, I teach it, I use it in my research, but it's introduced, as times are so much more complex now than they were before that we need to understand complexity leadership theory. Well, you know, there's I can't remember the name of the economist is Robert Gordon? There's this economist who has argued that the most disruptive technological innovation ever was not a computer chip, or those mobile phone, it was indoor plumbing, the toilet.
I thought, maybe you're gonna go to oxygen.
Eric Guthey 14:29
But he basically said when modern times I guess the toilet changed everything. Yeah. And, and you know, all this stuff about how you know, product cycles are faster than ever. And, you know, it's a mantra of my students at Copenhagen Business School, we're constantly handing in papers where they say, you know, the, basically, the first two paragraphs of their papers are always that mantra that they're taught in business schools about how things now are completely different than they ever were before. So think in different ways and just not logically tenable that we're constantly, completely different. And so that's why it's interesting to study leadership fashions.
Scott Allen 15:08
Well, and you've had some adventures lately, I'd love to jump into some of your, your adventures in the restaurant industry you sent out a video, it was a wonderful video, I have the permission to share that video with...
Eric Guthey 15:21
Oh, certainly. There's more of those, in fact, so that was just the the primmer for this collection of videos that we made with us with the chefs.
Scott Allen 15:30
So you've been engaged in actually moving from talking, and of course, we all, we all straddle these different roles, but you've taken an active role in helping shape the scene and
Eric Guthey 15:44
interesting accidentally, completely accidentally.
Scott Allen 15:48
Well talk about it, tell us about your adventures. This is a lot of fun.
Eric Guthey 15:51
Actually what's ironic is I mean, it's moving into the realm of both the research and, you know, practical action and trying to help an industry facilitate anyways, I can't help it survive the COVID crisis. But basically, it came out of teaching, because I got, I got very bored with conventional kinds of teaching many years ago and started and moved heavily into case teaching, primarily, because what I really want to do in the classroom is invite students to solve problems together, and I find case teaching could be the best way to do that. And, you know, I have to use a certain amount of theory there. And the theory is illuminating. But oftentimes, it gets in the way, because, especially in a European context, European academics, this is another distinction I would make, and especially in education terms, are highly theoretical. It's like you have a bunch of continental philosophers running around. And so I was rather impatient with that, and also thought that our students needed at least a bit of an alternative from time to time. And so I moved heavily into case teaching, and that's what I like to do. And I was constantly looking for ways to do it differently. And so when I started bringing, when I, when I brought CEOs and executives in the classroom, I never let them give a speech, I basically made them read the case and participate in problem-solving with students. And the ones that are the ones that are good will have to do that. And they, there was one guy, he was the CEO for about six years of a Danish biopharmaceutical company. And he ended up hiring my MBA students every year because instead of talking at them, he would work, roll up his sleeves, and work with them. And so in that context, I was looking for different ways to do that and was at a wine festival with my kids. I love having grown-up kids. And it turned out the guy who owned the wine bar that it shut down a street in downtown Copenhagen. Turned out, he's one of my former students. So we started talking. And we started brainstorming ways to do things together. And so one of the first events we did this is actually with Jonathan Gosling, we, Henry Mintzberg, was coming into town, and we through an event where we filled up Christian's Restaurant with half CBS faculty, and half CEOs and other executives and Henry. And we served a delightful meal and had a flowing wine and made up small groups and had people really work on some problems together. And it was such a great experience that we kept doing it. And eventually, through that connection, you know, one of the premier restaurants in Copenhagen is Noma, which has been sometimes touted as the best restaurant world. And they started an academy for chefs and they wanted to do leadership. And so last year, I actually worked with a bunch of chefs from around the world about what leadership means in the kitchen. And in a culinary context.
Scott Allen 18:49
Wow. Which is a context right? I mean, that's a very command and control. And yes, chef?
Eric Guthey 18:57
Well, yes and no. I mean, it certainly is traditionally that way it grows out of there's a model that was developed the model for the way kitchens work was, was the French military from the 19th century really. But there is a whole generation of chefs that are really rejecting that model, or at least reconsidering it, and in conjunction with the sort of the rise over the last 15 years or so of, you know, foodie culture in a big way. I mean, Copenhagen has become a food Mecca. So through that context, I came to know several chefs from amazing restaurants around town. And then the crisis hit in February, and I was at the time the first thing happened to me was that I got sick and only as I told you, only last week, did I find out that I actually had COVID myself. So at the time, but when I was in the hospital, they told me that the desk came back negative, so they thought I didn't have it. Ever since March, I've been walking around seeing people that I had all the symptoms that I didn't have. But now it turns out that I, in fact, did have it. But after I got better, we started getting together on Zoom, some restaurants, Christian, this guy who had been my former student, and I brought in some of the chefs that I knew we started having conversations about the tragedy that was going to happen to the restaurant industry. And now if you look anywhere, The New York Times and all in place, you can read all about what's happening to restaurants all over the world, because they're places where people come together. That's the whole point of restaurants. It's not, you know, the point. And when you talk to these people, one of the things you learn is it's not, you know, it's about the food, but it's really not just about the food, it's about an experience, some of these guys said that our businesses, the business of love, you know, they really into creating experiences where people come together. And all that was is has been threatened by the crisis. And so we, we started, we kept having meetings, and then we've realized one of the chef's amazing, he's American guy in Copenhagen, and Matt Orlando, he had been on a Zoom focus group with some another chef from New York with, they gathered together a bunch of restaurant-goers from around the world, to find out what they thought about the idea of possibly going to, this was back in April, March, April. And so we said, well, we should replicate that in Copenhagen. And then we decided instead, to first do a survey. So I got a bunch of students from Copenhagen Business School to put together a survey about people's attitudes towards going back to restaurants, in the face of COVID-19. And the five masters students, I got to do it involved, completely free did an amazing job. We put the survey up on a Monday afternoon, and within three days, we had over 4500 responses, people were dying to respond and to help. And so we out of that develop this sort of mini social movement that is still brewing, and then I managed to get my bosses at CBS to sort of to partner with it. So what we're trying to do, is a) figure out how to help the industry during the crisis b) figure out how an academic institution of higher education can facilitate or help in that process and c) how we can partner together to develop new forms of learning and education. I mean, there's so many things that happen in and around a kitchen that are of would should be of interest to other types of organizations, I mean, they are able to, for example, achieve a form of collaboration and flow and peak performance on a regular basis that other industries and companies would die to have.
Scott Allen 22:37
Eric Guthey 22:37
And they do it in a completely sort of intuitive and unarticulated way, they just know how to do it. But when you talk to these chefs, they're amazing people who have amazing sort of self-knowledge of what they do. And so we're figuring out ways to develop vocabularies and literacies that we can use to both help them and figure out what how they can help other industries. We had an amazing experience, last year when we were running the Chef's Academy when we...I got together, I did it twice, actually, there's a Harvard Business School case, about a string quartet that I have used in the past and about how they achieved artistic flow. And so what I did was, I got all the chefs, and a string quartet to read the case. And then we got together and had the Quartet play and talk. And then we broke them into small groups and analyze the case. And, and they found out how many things they had in common and what was different, and you know, how they could achieve creating, you know, both the quartets that we use to different quartets and, you know, some of these chefs, they both are in a situation where, their craft is so high, that neither you wouldn't know the difference. But they would take a plate and throw it out, if or the musicians would, you know, we could hear it maybe I don't know, an accomplished musician you are, but no, musicians can be so good that only people who know well enough what they're doing would know the difference. And so they had this, amazing sort of, you know, symbiosis between the chefs and the cooks about the discussions about that. And again, that's the type of thing that many teams and many groups would love to figure out how to crack and do. And so it's been really, it's been edifying and humbling to work with these types of people. And ah...
Scott Allen 24:39
Do you think in that context, sometimes there's some semblance of just really clear role clarity, that with if it's an orchestra or if it's a quartet or if it's, I had a conversation once with a friend who was on a SWAT team? Yeah, I asked. I asked about leadership in that context, and His response was, I don't, it was almost like he was taken aback like that there was some leader. He said, we all have very clear roles on what we are about value. And we fulfill those roles. And one of the episodes you might enjoy is a conversation with Sharna Fabiano, she's done some work with Iowa Taylor, who you know, and she comes out of dance. And we had a really fun conversation about leaders and followers and that relationship. Yeah. So is that a piece of it in that context? Is it?
Eric Guthey 25:37
I think it is, I think it is a piece of it. Although, and again, I'm humbled by these types of people, from my understanding, and actually Ralph Bathurst and Donna Ladkin could have wrote a wonderful piece about this that I use. Sometimes in conjunction with that case, I'm trying to remember the name of it right now, there's an article that they wrote about musical performances. First of all, there's a tendency, both with chefs and with musicians to over-romanticize what they do. And what I like about what you're saying is that it takes an awful lot of incredibly hard work and, you know, mind-numbing boredom to get that good. But what I understand from these people is that they move beyond that role clarity and break, they literally destroy it, and break it down. So they, you know, they have to, and I've actually had the same discussion with, I had the privilege one couple years ago, one of my, MBA students was from the Italian Special Forces. And another a PhD student at CBS is teaching at the Danish Defense College. So I've had and actually this guy, Christian, I mentioned, who owns a restaurant company, and he's a former Army officer as well. And so we've we've had them in the classroom at the same time, and worked on some cases. There's a wonderful case from Harvard about a friend of case about friendly fire with US military, shoots down its own Blackhawks in Iraq. And there too, when you talk to Special Forces, people, and I'm way out of my league here, but they achieve what you just said, but it's not just staying in your lane and knowing role clarity. It's, resting on that and moving to something that's even more emergent. And, you know, it's not just real clarity. And to borrow a word from Mary Uhl-Bien, it's about interconnectivity. Well, you know, rich interconnectivity, where, where the roles are interacting with each other in a way that they transform themselves in reversible ways.
Scott Allen 27:29
Well, and Sharna, I'm gonna get this incorrect, but the episode I believe, was called Connect, Collaborate, Create. And she said that you get is almost similar to what you just said that where you get to such a state of flow, that you can create with one another. And, and to your point, you just said it beautifully. Some of that just wrote, role clarity kind of washes away, and we get somewhere new.
Eric Guthey 27:57
Well, I think that's happening. Actually, I don't want to I don't want to self romanticize but because I'm humbled by the opportunity to work with these people. But the way that we are collaborating in this consortium of chefs and scholars and friends is very much like that, in the sense that, you know, clearly, there are roles, and I respect greatly what these people do. But the way we're collaborating is very much about I mean, you saw that one video where my student assistant Victoria, is sitting next to one of the best chefs in the world, and he's totally happy to talk to her and she's contributing, and it's like, the roles are being shed, because we're, we're really getting about the business of collaborating and letting connections emerge. And that's, you know, so it's not the discipline is maybe I guess, necessary, but not sufficient, is what I would say.
Scott Allen 28:43
Yeah. What else are you thinking about Eric? Dr. Guthey, what else is rumbling through that head in the south of Denmark, on an island?
Eric Guthey 28:55
I think about a lot about my four acres of property and how we just because we didn't, we didn't know that we had about 22 Mirabelle trees, and so it's a massive waste to see all in fact, I'm gonna this afternoon after we get off, I'm going to go out and take some more plums and take them up to one of the chefs who said, "I'll take some of those plums" so next year, we'll be ready to harvest a massive fruit, you know, to reap a massive, massive fruit harvest on this on this. So I think a lot about that stuff. But I also think a lot about I think you met my current primary co-author, Nicole Ferry when we were at ILA a couple of years ago. And she and I collaborate a lot. And so I'm actually learning from her. She's a junior scholar in Seattle, but I think a lot about gender and gender dynamics and gender politics these days and thinking a lot she and I collaborate on all this work on the leadership industries. But she brings to the table a very acute and critical sense of gender politics. We just, we just actually won the Academy of Management's award for critical work on gender and work organization with a piece that was from her dissertation, it was called it was called There is no Lean In for Men. And it was basically about the idea that you know, we it's it's great in a way that we celebrate women's leadership, and there's a whole wing of the leadership industry is called women's leadership, but there's no such thing as men's leadership where there is, but it's a bunch of fringe wacko right-wingers and men's group movements. But basically, the word leadership is assumed to be a gender-neutral term. But in fact, she gives the analogy, you know, there's a marked and unmarked term. When we say gay marriage, we're basically assuming that marriage is heterosexual. So and by the same token, when we say women's leadership, you know, what is leadership, then? It's not. So we're thinking about the ways that the leadership industry themselves are heavily gendered and trying to figure out, you know, I think that, you know, building on the fashions work that we did, that there's something about the discourse of leadership that has to do with affect and emotion. Leadership is the realm of management where, where we're allowed to talk about emotions. And the leadership industries have picked up on that, and that's largely why the leadership industries are in many ways, synonymous with the self-help industries.
Scott Allen 31:11
Eric Guthey 31:11
So you know, I'm not about the business of just dismissing that. I really just want to understand it sociologically. You know, what's going on there. So, the next thing we're doing in that stream of research is we, we published a piece earlier this year in the Journal of Business Ethics, that's called Start Em Early. It's again, based on Nicole's dissertation research, it's about undergraduate. Well, actually, you would know about this, but more than I would, but it's about leadership development workshops in undergraduate programs. And I know you've done some work there, but there was taking a very European critical approach to, you know, basically, we were arguing that in a nutshell, the argument was this, it's a bit hard to understand why self-governing adults in a democratic society submit themselves to, oftentimes very intrusive forms of leadership development that ask them to open up about their personal lives. I mean, in Europe, we have a very different sense of negotiated sense of where the line is between personal and workplace. But even here, you know, my neighbors are all I have....my next-door neighbor, is constantly about the business of saying, you know, my company has no business, demanding that I go, you know, sleep in a tent in my underwear with my colleagues, that's not part of my job description, you know, as part of her leadership development. And so, that article basically argued that, well, why do people do this? They do it because we start them very early. When they're undergraduates. We put them in leadership development programs, that submit them to all sorts of sort of disciplinary practices. And we focus specifically in that paper on paper on them icebreakers and assessment tools like Clifton Strengths Finder. And so next, we're going to write a grant, we actually want to do a study of the business of the leadership assessment industry, not the scientific validity of the instruments, but the financial and market dynamics of why these things are so popular and how they spread so fast. . So sure. And no one, to my knowledge, no one's done. There's been a couple of great things written about assessments. Peter Case, has a piece about how Myers Briggs Actually, I thought it was just a joke at first because it was about alchemy. But there's actually a historical link between the way Myers Briggs works and the way alchemy works, you know, sort of...quasi mystical astrological, and, you know, and so, I can't remember exactly the argument works now, but, what we want to do is, figure out why these things are so massive and so popular and what type of effect that has, you know.
Scott Allen 33:57
I'm working on a paper right now with Dave Rosch and Ron Riggio that we're going to submit. And we're looking at the adult learning literature and the adult learning literature, if you look at some of the historic orientations of adult learning, you have, you know, cognitivism, so the mental processing and the theoretical components and you have behaviorism, that skill-based domain and social cognitive, the social learning theory Bandura, who are role models, and then you have the constructivist, which would be making meaning from experience. But then you have humanistic and humanistic domain is where I think a lot of that...what you're speaking of kind of exists, right that self-awareness, identity, motivation, values. And so if you have programming like to your point, like a Tony Robbins, or a Landmark Education, the old EST then
Eric Guthey 34:55
Scott Allen 34:56
You're right in that Werner Erhard, kind of Have, you're right in that space? Right?
Eric Guthey 35:03
So are you writing about Landmark? That piece or...
Scott Allen 35:06
We mentioned Landmark we mentioned we mentioned Tony Robbins only because we can't think of another kind of adult...in the States, the humanistic domain most often occurs in student affairs, or in religious kind of context, at least that's kind of our right how we're thinking about it right now is that that, those kind of areas, focus really heavily, just like business school would focus heavily on the cognitivist domain. student affairs programming, or religious programming, oftentimes kind of focuses in that domain as well. Interestingly, we could have anything really from an adult perspective, that, you know, an adult would pay money to go to, that's a leadership development program, other than some of those types of experiences. And to your point, they start...
Eric Guthey 36:06
When I think about that, I mean, I saw coming off the top of my head, but my impression is that it is really prevalent, I mean, but maybe, you know, we have to put the, we have to put our money where our mouth is in and empirically, sort of show that the leadership interviews are about self-help. I mean, that's why one of the things I'm actually trying to develop, and this might be something we could talk about down the road is, I had a master student a couple of years ago, that was that knew how to scrape the web with robotic process, automation, that she could send robots out that would run around the web and catch things. And for while we were talking about using that to find out about leadership, and specifically, what I want, one of the things I wanted to do is find out how many damn colleges and universities in the US basically, you know, if I were to use the, well, if I were using the terms that I would use over a beer, I would say, "force Clifton Strengths down their student's throats," because what they do is they send out the Clifton Strengths tool to students before they even arrive on the first-day campus. And then they create total campus environment, total strengths, environments. Yeah. And, you know, that's a form of, that's a decision that no student has actually made. There's a very powerful institution that's telling them, "this is the right thing to do." So I think you're right that it is, in fact, Student Affairs where that happens in spades. I mean, and schools are spending massive amounts of money, sending money, you know, and Gallup is a privately held an organization that is reaping massive amounts of money from American higher education, because all these students are being told the way you become a leader as you consume this commercial product that these people have made.
Scott Allen 37:48
Well, and in reality, if if, again, let's go back to cooking real quick. And I've said this before on this podcast, but if you want to create a world-class chef, you probably need all five of those domains of learning this individuals, you have to have the knife skills, they're going to have to have the education and the cognitive ability and the mental processing to do the work. They're going to have the experience and have made meaning from that experience. And they're going to have had mentors. And of course, if you have a self-aware individual who that humanistic domain probably is less prioritized kind of like maybe with a surgeon, for instance, or, or a pilot, for instance. But it's an important domain, but when it's the only domain, so I would, I would pick on Student Affairs if that's the only domain if we're doing leadership development, or leader development, and the humanistic orientation is really the only one we hit, I think you're limited, or the Boy Scouts for me, again, you have a great experience, potentially, and we can make meaning of that experience, but if I don't have any cognitive structure to kind of bump up against or I haven't really been intentional about what I was practicing. Because I have the theory in my head, I might be limited, or I believe sometimes in business schools, everyone, every mission statement says we're creating leaders...right? At the top 25, in this paper, we looked at the top 25 US News and everyone but to in their vision, mission or purpose had to create leaders, or AACSB, it's leadership, leadership, leadership. But in business schools, we tend to focus on that cognitive domain. So I love what you're doing, because it's much more experiential, and it's multifaceted. It's integrative. It's not just unit dimensional, because you're not going to have a world-class chef, if you've put them in a classroom and discussed case studies for a semester. That's one dimension of the learning, for sure. But you're not gonna have a chef.
Eric Guthey 39:52
Yeah, although let me just jump in there briefly. Because, yeah, I mean, just to clarify, there's two different conversations that are not unconnected, but they are different in the sense that we're not about the business of creating a world-class chef, what we're trying to do is create a sense of, first of all, we're trying to help them survive. We're also, what's been fascinating to me is that these chefs, who are themselves chef-owners, are all vitally concerned with employee welfare and choice. And so they want to create a more equitable, one of the things we're gonna be doing is working out a kind of a workplace charter for how people should expect to be able to be treated. Yeah, gate and culinary workspaces. Because, you know, the history has been horrendous. And so there's a difference between and this speaks to the undergraduate experience as well. You know, and maybe this is also a thing about another European slash American divide. I mean, I can I, I try to approach my students as self-governing adults that can make their own decisions about how they educate themselves. You know, and, and so for me, it's not about creating world-class chefs, but about helping, you know, helping members of the culinary community be informed citizens of that community, and, you know, and participate in the governance of that community. same as in
Scott Allen 41:15
You are intensional, about that purpose, which I think is the key. Right? because I think a lot of in, in, in, at least what I've experienced, I think sometimes we have leadership educators or people who think they're developing leaders, they really kind of believe they are, when in fact, they're developing one dimension and then putting people out there in the world with this. Oh, "I'm a leader now." And yeah, I think it's it's setting people up at times for failure, but you're intentional about what you're putting into motion?
Eric Guthey 41:48
Well, you're giving me a lot of credit. Maybe I don't.
Scott Allen 41:54
But I think that's me, right? I mean, if it's a business school, and if it's, if it's the cognitive domain, let's Okay, we're gonna, yes, we say we're developing leaders. But are we at least even aware that we're, we're developing one dimension of your growth, and it's an important dimension. But it's also a little bit of a stretch to say, "Hey, Jimmy, you're ready to go!"
Eric Guthey 42:20
Yeah. Although I would, again, my emphasis has always been, I think we had this conversation when we first met to, I mean, what I am interested in is developing leadership as a collective capacity, or even a social movement, not as an individual capability or skill. I just, you know, that may be a thing. I actually just, you know, what I tell my students, I mean, this isn't a visual podcast, but if you picture my arm like a meter, you know, the meter has been pushed so far over to the individual side that I consider it my, you know, sort of contribution with students to just push the needle meter back the other way so that maybe it'll balance in the middle at some point in time. Yeah.
Scott Allen 43:00
Yeah, the whole leadership development right?
Eric Guthey 43:03
I'm much more interested, you know, in just, first of all, I like working with people. I mean, some of the scholars you've had on your podcast, and the people we run around with, I just enjoy running. You know, we decided several years ago, Steve Kempster, myself, Mary Uhl-Bien several others, we just started putting ourselves in situations we didn't understand to learn things that we didn't know, we would learn. Yeah, we went to, we did a bunch of work with refugee communities, we did a bunch of work in South Africa, when it was possible for us to do that. We threw a workshop in we got a, we worked with the Center for Creative Leadership and got a bunch of money to throw a workshop in Geneva about post leadership and post-conflict and post-war zones. We had no business being there, but we did it because we wanted to learn and we had military types and diplomats together, it was fascinating. And so this restaurant work as an extension of that, I mean, yeah, I'm, I'm totally serious when I say making it up as I go along. Because, you know, you're, I'm now in the last 10 years of my career, I just want to have fun and learn things I didn't know, I would learn so, and who wouldn't want to, you know, work with people that often, you know, once in a while, I'll feed you an amazing meal from being one of fascinating people, you know, and generous people and, but, but also really professional people. So it's more a question of, you know, maybe it's selfish, like, you know, putting myself in a position to learn, rather than, you know, but yeah, so my point would be, to me, that's a collective endeavor.
Scott Allen 44:34
Eric Guthey 44:34
The, for me the most fun. Yeah. Working with so for example, working alongside a guy is fun as Steve Kempster. You know...
Scott Allen 44:44
So, such a good man. Such a good man. Well, Eric, let's, let's wind down here. Oftentimes, I'll conclude with a little bit of a speed round. And so I'd love to know what your streaming...
Eric Guthey 44:58
Oh, I have a request. I mean, I've loved your previous podcast, but I have to tell you, I'm totally disappointed.
Scott Allen 45:04
Eric Guthey 45:05
For the following reason. I noticed that you started, at least to their podcasts by coming up with two words to describe the person. I was like, I wonder what's God's gonna say about me? And you didn't do it now? Like, I didn't rate I didn't I'm not the two-word guy...
Scott Allen 45:25
Eric. Oh, so you were gonna come back at me with some words. So Eric, I will. I'm going to add yours in, I'm going to add yours in the reflection. So literally, when you listen to David Day I recorded that while you were having your tree done, my reflection from the podcast with him. Yeah, yeah, I did it this morning.
Eric Guthey 45:47
You just recorded David Day this morning?
Scott Allen 45:49
No, I recorded David Day a couple of days ago, but I always edit it and then reflect on it and provide a little bit of a summary. And sometimes those three words come then so you're gonna have to wait!
Eric Guthey 46:02
Wait, I'll wait.
Scott Allen 46:04
You can tell you You can tell me my three words though if you'd like but...
Eric Guthey 46:07
It's only two actually...The first one is was "surprising" because, and, you and I've had this conversation. Yeah. I'm a kind of a jerk, so when I meet people, I decide whether I like him or not. And I met you and I was like, I'm never gonna like this guy. And I was pleasantly surprised. I think I really enjoy hanging out with you. That's my first one. And the second one I told you already. You have an amazing radio voice. My friend when I first heard that will turn on the podcast is like, Oh, yeah. Scott's voice., that's really soothing. So it might be that big ass microphone, you got...
Scott Allen 46:46
I'm a little tired of listening to it. At this point. I'll tell you that. That's for sure.
Eric Guthey 46:50
Your daughter's voice is very nice.
Scott Allen 46:53
What's the tell me what's your streaming, reading, or listening to what comes to mind? Anything interesting?
Eric Guthey 46:58
Oh, what am I listening to? This week? I've been listening to Slate Podcasts has something called Hit Parade. And there's a scholar that, you know, no scholar, but this guy who does this amazing. He's a critic, cultural critic, and it's a series of podcasts that are amazing dissections of the history of interaction between different musical genres in the top 40.
Scott Allen 47:24
Eric Guthey 47:25
So I just listened to one this morning about the bands that benefited the most from Woodstock. Oh, interesting. Uh, who was the top one? Well, the top one was Santana. Okay. The second number two was Crosby, was Neil Young, and Crosby. Stills, Nash. Yeah. But it was a really interesting sort of capsule history of Woodstock. Oh, yeah. I can't really guess. But it's called Hit Parade.
Scott Allen 47:47
I think that was almost a second performance - CSNY.
Eric Guthey 47:50
Yes, exactly. And they were the Neil Young didn't even go on until halfway through because. And they were up there whining about how they were new and didn't know what they were afraid. And then he came on stage and blew them away. So, so good. That same podcast has a really great two-part history of rap. And it's, it's, its relationship with the top 40. So it's really good. So that and a lot of other podcasts and
Scott Allen 48:19
Well, David Day talked about a television show called The Bridge, which was Scandinavian Noir that he actually loved.
Eric Guthey 48:28
Yeah. It's fantastic. And it's about it's a, it's it's about, it's as much about the relationship between Danes and Swedes. It is about the murder mystery that's happening. It starts out with a body is found on the bridge between Denmark and Sweden. And when, by the end of the first episode, you discover that it's actually the top half of one body and the bottom of another body. So what is Danish and what is Swedish.
Scott Allen 48:53
I'm gonna have to put a spoiler alert there, Eric.
Eric Guthey 48:58
Yeah. Well, here's the thing about Denmark. It's such a small country that I've run into the two top male leads from that there are two different guys that play the cop in that show. And I've run into both of them because it's such a, one of the great perks of living in a country of 5 million people is that you run into people all the time. So really interesting, guys, Kim Bodnia and we'll see the guy's name Thure Lindhardt is tough name to say.
Scott Allen 49:23
Eric, you got to get back to the farm. I do have to go pick some plumbs. and wish you were here to help. I do to Eric. I do too. Very much.
Eric Guthey 49:32
Well, I mean, are you virtually participating in the IRA conference this fall? I am. I am. I will virtually. Yeah, virtually. Nicole, I have a paper there. I'll virtually See you there.
Scott Allen 49:44
Awesome. I'm looking forward to it. Thank you so much for the conversation appreciate it
Eric Guthey 49:49
Oh, it's gratifying to be included. So thanks. great to talk to you too.
Scott Allen 49:53
Okay, be well.
Eric Guthey 49:54
You too. Take it easy.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai