The Trump Accountability project is not a governmental entity. C'mon Dave, be serious here. And hierarchies do have levels of authority but they do not need to be maintained by bullying and fear (which is what dominance means in this context - something that I've stated over and over again).

Quoting from the story that I just linked you, "Another type of hierarchy is one of actualization. This is an organizational structure where the leaders not only expect support and respect from those whom they have authority over, but they also give it back reciprocally. Organizational goals get achieved through collaboration and relatedness, rather than paternalism or threats.

A leader in this type of hierarchy is someone who recognizes people’s potential and develops it in alignment with the greater goals of the organization."

I've been a leader in an organization that used hierarchies of actualization as it's organizational were structure, and I absolutely did not use domination to lead although I was the head of a department and in some (but not all) cases the final decision around some things was mine to make. I still made those choices with the advice and consent of my team and often, my larger organization because although I was the Director of that department, the input and buy-in of the greater whole was what made the organization function so well. But you have to have a shared ethos that is built around trust and connection to your teammates in order for this to work.

I once got really challenged by a subordinate who was not happy with me and didn't understand my choices around something. By the end of the discussion, she was my closest ally, because instead of telling her to shut up and toe the line because "I'm the boss" I took the time to engage with her perspective and to elicit her greater understanding of mine. It was tense, but it was always respectful, and as I said, by the time we were done, she was my staunchest supporter. We were only able to accomplish that because we held a common ethos of how to approach conflict, and we both had a good skill base for doing that. In a society based in a dominance hierarchy, most people don't have those skills or the first idea about how to work through something in that way, but it doesn't mean that it's impossible to lear, or to lean more in that direction (which is what companies everywhere are experimenting with- to greater or lesser success, to be sure).

We've talked before about Seal teams and how they use a partnership-oriented organizational style because it is easier to make quick decisions that way, when each person has a high level of autonomy and authority to make decisions related to their job but also a high level of trust in their team. There's still a team leader, however. Seal teams don't function through anarchy. That's what I'm talking about.

And didn't you just say a few minutes ago that you were a bit of an anarchist? So is anarchy good or is it bad? I'm confused.

Written by

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store