Or the curious phenomenon of not wanting something that you really want.
Leadership is full of this stuff. We don’t want charismatic leadership, it is démodé. And you should say it in French to be really démodé. But if you have a crisis, you are looking for the charismatic tab in your digital database.
You don’t want to be told what to do, but sometimes, if these goddam ( as my American colleagues would put it) leaders could tell us what exactly they want us to do!
We want spontaneous, creative, out of the box people but, would it be nice if they were less enthusiastic, ‘less creative’ ( as in pushing for strange things) and often ‘in the box’. Just a bit.
I was struck by some smarts lines in Ariel Levy’s book ‘The rules do not apply’, quoted in a paper’s review. The New Yorker staff writer’s explains her many contradictions in her memoir of miscarriage, divorce and a few other small life difficulties. They resonated as examples of the same ‘can-I-have-both-please’ that I have applied to my leadership examples above. She says: We want a mate who feels like family and a lover who is exotic, surprising. We want to be youthful adventurers and middle-aged mothers. We want intimacy and autonomy, safety and stimulation, reassurance and novelty, coziness and thrills. But we can’t.
That sucks! Seriously. Do you mean we have to choose?
Innovation and repetitive processes? Trial and error and zero defects? Unconventional and rational logic?