Tannenbaum – self change

Roland Sullivan • I am spending the Memorial Holiday fasting, in silence and in meditation.
That is how I change my self.

My mentor, Dr. Bob Tannenbaum coined the phrase “self as instrument of change”. His last writing is in my Practicing OD. Second edition. Wiley tells me it is now on line. His chapter is not in my third edition. I think I must bring it back to the Fourth edition.

The last paragraph of Bob’s last published words. He is writing about great performers.

“It certainly isn’t magic; it just seems that way. It is really art. And although there is a simplicity and apparent effortlessness in their interventions, it is often hard work. At their best, these practitioners are artists. They certainly are not perfect in any respect, and they have their lows as well as their highs. But they do have high batting averages. They are not all-wise, but they have a professional wisdom. They are not all-feeling, but they are appropriately ¬sensitive. And no matter how competent they are seen and experienced by peers, they do continue to monitor themselves, and they continue to seek new learning.
Being an artist in this work means not just being a sum of your parts, but something much more than that. Your being and its expression in action reflect this little-understood process of integration into an effectively functioning professional and person. As you move toward such integration, such wholeness, you are indeed moving toward artistry.”

Thus, I have taken his concept of “wholeness” and expanded it beyond the individual to the entire organization. Yes the whole organization must monitor itself and continue to seek new learning.

Bob changed my life. Let’s you and I change other people’s lives.

Bob may to this day have the most reprinted HBR article. He introduced participative leadership way back maybe in the late 50’s or early 60’s. He was a man ahead of his times.

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One Response to “Tannenbaum – self change”

  1. Freddie Berg Says:

    An inspirational message promoting the hope for wisdom to infuse all that we do.


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