Monday, March 17, 2014

5th in a Series on Change: Tempered Radicalism by Meyerson

So this article gave me the name for a role I relish but did not have a name for, Tempered Radical! Nice! 

tempered radical is "an informal leader who quietly challenges prevailing wisdom and provokes cultural transformation”. They:

1. "rock the boat without falling out” 
2. leverage their differentness in the organization for constructive change 
3. effect significant change over time through moderate, local, diffuse, (in)visible, flexible, persistently patient means. 
4. walk the fine line of dedication to the company (status quo) and change. 
5. work largely alone, but are savvy at uniting others
6. listen and converse to bring people around rather than pressing their own agenda
7. see potential friends where most others see embattled foes
8. set an example from which others can learn   

On describing the characteristics of tempered radicals, and I hope you see yourself here, the author talks about the tempered radical’s tactics along a continuum from the personal to the public. 

1. disruptive self expression, most personal means, where one quietly acts in ways disrupts expectations and improves performance
2. verbal jujitsu, where one redirects negative statements & actions into positive change
3. variable term opportunism, where one is open and ready to capitalize on unexpected opportunities for short-term change and to orchestrating deliberate long-term change
4. strategic alliance building, the most public means, whereby clout is gained by working with allies, and especially in the form of opponents, who are "often their best sources of support and resources”.

I love the author’s allusion to the tempered radical’s effect as, “like steady drops of water, they gradually erode granite”.

May we all see our potential as tempered radicals to effect the change we desire in the world. 

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