What did you expect?

The boy was confident; despite his mere twelve years, he betrayed no sense that he might need to moderate what he said to an adult more than four times his age, and one of his teachers at that.

“I don’t concentrate because Geography’s hard. It’s not fun and I don’t like it”.

My heart sank a little; whatever our views on teaching, this is not really what we want to hear. But the reasoning is worth exploring further:

  1. I expect lessons above all to be fun;
  2. This subject is difficult;
  3. Therefore it is not fun;
  4. Therefore I don’t like it;
  5. Therefore I am justified in not engaging with it.

I had held him back after a lesson because he has been presenting low-level issues with poor attention and work-rate. He is something of an attention-seeker and one of the many children I encounter who, I would consider, have a self-confidence vastly inflated beyond the normal egocentrism of childhood.

But my teaching has clearly not engaged this pupil, and that gives cause for reflection. Needless to say, my reading of the situation was different. Consistent with the views of colleagues who also teach him, the lad’s reasoning needs to be reversed: being an attention-seeker, he tends to ignore the rules of the classroom, and he needs regular steering in order to keep him on task. He tends to shrug off gentle reprimand and needs firm treatment before he begins to take notice. He is of moderate ability and has struggled to understand the work as a result of his inattention.  His need for instant gratification means he lacks the tenacity when the going gets difficult. In short, he is not equipped for the secondary-school classroom.

There is a clash of expectations here that says much about the central conflict within education.

Given that the pupil concerned has been in this school for less than a year, much of his outlook has probably carried over from his earlier experiences. Whether the attention-seeking is simply temperament, the effects of over-indulgent parenting or a sign of something more complex is not yet clear. Whatever, this boy clearly perceives his schooling as something where his response and effort are conditional, rather than – as I would prefer – an opportunity at which he has a duty to try his hardest. How to turn this round?

He appears not to distinguish between himself and adults in terms of knowledge or authority; while not disrespectful, he shows no embarrassment when reprimanded, and considers it acceptable to respond with his own view.  This may be part of regular childish immaturity, but the over-assurance of the response perhaps is not. It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall of his home.

No matter how unacceptable I find this boy’s attitude, I am nonetheless required to address it. Indeed, it is going to be necessary to break through it before it is possible to educate him effectively. By the age of twelve, it may already be too late, and the degree of progress possible is unclear, for all that I will continue to correct his behaviour. Maybe the lad will find the teacher who ignites him, but I’m not holding my breath.  Any change is more likely to be gradual and partly a matter of how he matures. We cannot claim sole credit for that…

The progressive movement correctly identified this problem: we cannot, ultimately, control the autonomous actions of our pupils – only influence them (however strongly). But it arrived at precisely the worst conclusion – that therefore we need to curry our pupils’ favour by making school ‘fun’. The problem with this is its denial of the conditions necessary for learning. Most subjects vary internally in their appeal, but learning is also matter of hard work. Then there is the historic fact that children have disliked school throughout the ages – probably because of the loss of freedom that it represents as much as anything more specific. Believing that one can address this by changing the nature of lessons is a step too far.

Failure to face the difficulty of learning causes avoidance of precisely those elements essential to advance it.  This is not the approach advocated in other fields – for example it is accepted that prowess at sport requires graft, and musicianship likewise. So why does collective wisdom insist that academic learning must primarily be ‘fun’? We should be showing children that it’s more important than that.

I’m not sure that Geography is inherently ‘fun’ anyway. It has its appealing topics – but in the final reckoning, it is what it is – the rational study of the complex world around us. Developing an awareness and understanding of that is a profoundly important activity – but in my experience, the only way to make it self-consciously ‘fun’ is by using activities that distract from the content by masking it with trivia. Real interest requires a mindset that is prepared to find the world interesting, and which enjoys challenge. It is not something that can be generated by jelly-carving or puppet shows, and I suspect that the same is actually true of most subjects. By the time children arrive at my door, they need at least an implicit acceptance of that.

Interest (rather than ‘fun’) comes from the role- and knowledge-model that I present to my pupils. One can sometimes ‘hook’ children by reference to prior experiences – but this is restricted to things they already know about. Formalising our ‘study’ is just as good – and there are other ways: my classroom persona and wit are helpful tools for engagement, as is narrative, as is my ‘desk-side manner’ – all parts of the teacher-craft that conventional performance measures tend to diminish. Communicating the importance and ‘bigger picture’ of education plays a part too.

But what are we to do about pupils who are already lost to this? While much of the problem may come from beyond school, we do need to examine the expectations that the school system itself is creating. Children’s expectations of school inevitably come principally from what they encounter there, both formally and through peer contact.  I suspect that the call for ‘fun’ comes largely from unstructured primary school experiences, which may explain the difficulty some children find in coping with more formal situations.

In secondary schools, we should be careful with the messages we send: if we create specific expectations regarding teachers’ methods, it is hardly surprising if pupils respond accordingly. Almost as bad is the emphasis on engagement over all else; by highlighting this, we are all but legitimising disengagement. This also affects how teachers decide to teach. If enough opt for the high fun/low learning approach because that is what has been stipulated, then it is hardly surprising if pupils struggle when they encounter a teacher who makes more formal demands. It is hardly fair to judge the teacher alone on the consequences.

I am not suggesting that teachers should give no consideration to how they present their subject – but we need greater realism about the purpose of secondary education, and it is essential that pupils are equipped to cope with it. It is of course incumbent on teachers to teach as well as they can – though what that means and how it is defined is much wider than the mechanics of what happens in a specific lesson. But how, and to what extent they can be deemed responsible for the learning that results is another matter, especially when they are facing ill-prepared pupils. Neither am I convinced that less able pupils need ‘more fun’ in the name of differentiation – I have seen plenty of children of modest ability who coped perfectly well with formal learning; what makes all the difference is the expectation.

I was satisfied with one comment from my pupil: he is finding the subject difficult. Were that not the case, then I could stand guilty of pitching my lessons too low. But how we change the highly limiting perceptions he expressed is much less obvious. He needs to work harder and concentrate more – but how to ‘persuade’ him when that is not already engrained belief is much harder. It is not, I think, a bone of contention between traditionalists and progressives that the most effective learning requires intrinsic motivation; the problem is what to do where that does not already exist.

I may be required to address the situation as I find it – but what success might reasonably be expected for issues that range wider than – and possibly predate – my intervention is far from clear.

33 thoughts on “What did you expect?

    • Many thanks. The more I think about it, the more I am realising just how overbearing the whole engagement argument has become. Trying to engage children is one thing but subjugating everything tot is another. Sometimes they just have to be taught things…

      I am reminded of Sir Humphrey’s comment on the matter 😉

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeF_o1Ss1NQ 2’00.

  1. Be truthful and lay out his options and the likely consequences of mastering the material or not mastering it. Allow him to solve his own problem and to make his own choices. If he asks for help, give it to him.

    By the way, as a teacher, you should be able to objectively explain to him what he must accomplish to ace your course. If he chooses to fail, then that is his problem, not yours. Your problem is making sure he knows what you require of him to succeed.

    • Thanks for your comment. I was really using this exchange as an extended metaphor for the many other similar encounters had over the years.

      The problem is, the lad may not want to solve his own problem – too many of them now arrive thinking that’s *my* job! And at least in the U.K., we face the view that children cannot be allowed to fail – and that if they do, the only admissible reason is inadequate teaching.

      • How are they to learn to handle failure (or to become autonomous masters of their own selves) without the experience of failure. One of my teachers had several quotations posted on the wall above the blackboard. My favorite was “Discipline Thyself or the World will do it for You”.

  2. This ‘fun’ thing is on my mind… There are people now, more and more of them, leaving their successful careers in whatever because doing that thing every day that they got as a ‘prize’ for working hard in school and university is not fun. And they’re asking; isn’t life too short to give 8 hours of it, every day, plus emotion, plus intellect on something that isn’t fun? And to put another spin on this; I was the twelve year old who listened and tried because I believed that doing well in school is necessary for a better life. At twelve I was as a sleepover with some classmates just being my usual quirky & chilled self. They all turned and said “You’re so different in school!” and the simple fact is; if we believe in school, we must become who we need to be to do well, even if that’s not ourselves and even if this practice is a great way to disconnect from who we are. Final angle; the most successful and happy people do not talk about work verses pleasure, their work is a pleasure. What if knowing ourselves comes first, so we can follow what’s fun for us, and then ‘success’ takes care of itself? What if this is true?

    • It’s a difficult word, Leah. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of fun in its place, but it’s all a matter of balance. Besides, time has taught me that the truly rewarding things in life are longer-term and tend to require some effort. My main issue with fun is that it is generally trivial, and tends to get used to substitute for the more complex activities by virtue of sounding appealing and requiring minimum effort.

      I’m not sure I advocate people living life as though it’s some kind of punishment (although an insistence on ‘having fun’ may lead people to neglect the more serious/responsible aspects of life) – but I would rather believe that life is about more than the trivial frittering away of time.

      And in the classroom, fun is really just an excuse for doing something that is not challenging. What I want my pupils to see is that there is more to the good life than trivial time-wasting.

      • Ooooh, followed these comments with interest and do understand now. Firstly on fun: there’s mindless fun to numb ourselves from life and adults are guilty of this too. Then there is ‘this work is unbelievingly important to me’ kind of fun. The second takes courage and is far from trivial. This is no easy option for an individual and, as far as I can see, the more people who allow themselves to lean into this kind of fun, the more chance we have of sorting out the dia global issues going on all around us. So, this second kind of fun is what I’m trying to protect for people and magnify in any way I can think how. One of the first things I’d like to say is that we need to be careful to not group and demonize all ‘fun’ because there are these different kinds, and we need more people unapologetically unleashing themselves into the second kind of fun, real fun. We need this, as far as I can see.

        Secondly on this metaphor about more privileged students in school… this is interesting because students naturally just find friends in groups they feel comfortable in, but the teacher is supposed to reach every student. I’ve seen your writing and know you have a message and lesson for your students beyond ‘please learn these things to do well in the exam so I can keep my job’… you have more than this to give and I understand that it’s frustrating if a student is not getting it. Maybe you’ll find this comment about one of my most influential teachers encouraging; (https://atlaseducational.wordpress.com/2015/06/12/23-lines-a-gifted-child-loves-to-hear/comment-page-1/#comment-193). All the best!

      • The thing is, Leah, human beings are capable of a vast range of experiences and behaviours, from the mind-bogglingly crass to the incredibly profound. But it seems to me that the most rewarding aspects of life ultimately lie at the more profound end of the spectrum, despite – or perhaps because of – the fact they take a lot of reaching.

        I suspect that pretty much anything significant that humans have ever achieved has had some kind of profound underpinning, even if it was not always obvious at the time. But more importantly, to live a good life, one needs to have given some thought to what that entails, both for our own sakes, and in order not to trample on the needs/rights of others to do the same. I would say that insight is just as important for being a good spouse/parent/friend/citizen as it is for making a world-changing invention.

        Apart from anything more conscious, reflective people are more likely to be empathetic to the needs of others, and also to be able to defer their gratification when needed; the latter is precisely the problem with classroom ‘fun’ which simply evades the issue. Knowing this may also result in our wasting less time and energy chasing things that ultimately don’t deliver.

        I’m flattered that you ‘read’ me in that way; it is certainly what I would hope. Yes, you have sorted out the difference between fun and something more profound; I’m not sure I use the word fun for it though. I prefer the Greek word Eudaimonia, or flourishing. Look that up, and you will see that it does involve making the *effort* necessary to flourish.

        What concerns me greatly is that education is now taking the easy way out and trivialising itself too, as much of the rest of life has already done. Fun – or getting a well-paid job – or meeting your exam target – is so much easier as an aim for education than flourishing, and it is probably easier to measure too.

        I’m sure it has become more difficult to persuade people of the importance of such things in a society where all their material needs are (instantly) met, and in a country that I fear does not widely value the life of the mind for its own sake. But if we in education sell out on the one activity that can expose people to the possibilities of a higher life, then we really have lost any route to the better aspects of human existence. In my opinion that is an utter betrayal of the purpose of education and it is likely to condemn people to a mundane, trivial, self-serving existence that will fail ever to reward them, or their peers, fully.

        It is also worth saying that we do (sometimes) have ‘fun’ in my lessons – but it comes from my relationship with my pupils, the silly humour, little ‘asides’, anecdotes and more. That way it oils the wheels without getting in the way of the serious stuff.

        May I suggest that you have a look at the book Flow by Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi? It repays the effort!

  3. It’s a shame that the English curriculum requires pupils to take subjects that they have no interest in and therefore that we have to teach these to disinterested pupils in the first place. I accept that he’s probably disinterested in a lot of things, but we really could do with the power to say, ‘You chose this subject!’

    I only have to deal with them up to the age of 11 – but I see this in at least one pupil in every year group. My tack is usually to be completely straight with them. Perhaps you should print out your blog post and give it to him?

  4. The pupil in the post was only used as one example of a more widespread problem. The difficulties with children from disadvantaged backgrounds are well known – but less so is the problem trying to break through the arrogance and entitlement complexes of the more privileged. This is what is being bred in the more economically fortunate parts of the country – and it is a hidden, serious problem for the future.

    I work in a town where conspicuous consumption is the norm, fuelled by the salaries and attitudes of the many parents who work in The City. Many of my pupils come from backgrounds materially vastly better off than my own. In many ways, they have everything going for them, and one might expect a relatively positive attitude to school.

    But we encounter increasing numbers who are utterly incurious, breathtakingly ignorant and lacking in both the basic skills and any pride in what they do. They are utterly self-obsessed and yet seem to have no conception of the link between their own effort, attitude and behaviour, and any consequences a teacher chooses to impose. They are so used to being indulged that they simply do not perceive the need to do anything whatsoever for themselves. And they have the view that any input they choose to make is contingent on the teacher first giving them what they want.

    Hence my emphasis on expectations.

    They also utterly lack any compassion for people less fortunate than themselves – which I would consider the very least obligation that should be placed on the wealthy.

    This is a wide problem – not least because we cannot compete with many children’s obsession with the latest high-end gadgets and commercialised expectations. They seem to understand little else, and this can only come from the values that have been instilled in their earlier years, whether by home or school.

    It is extremely difficult to educate a child who is already looking down on you as an impoverished idiot.

    • The child looking down on you should be the easiest to educate, because they can educate themselves. When they discover they need help, they will see you differently.

      I’m not sure where you would address their snotty attitudes about others. It would seem to me that it might occur in a social studies or sociology course. Or perhaps a study of the French Revolution. 🙂

      • With respect, I think you are underestimating the intractability of arrogance as a barrier to learning. There are plenty who do not manifest this attitude and do make progress – but those who do never find any reason to change that can’t be explained away by their own prior world view.

        When one is trying to teach children who have not been equipped with the least sense of responsibility for their *own* behaviour, it is very difficult to tackle the illogic in that by resort to any kind of reasoning. Some do not even seem to understand the concept of being punished for transgressions.

        As you say, maybe they will eventually learn – but it will probably be long after I have finished with them. And unfortunately, I’m short-term accountable.

      • You are in charge of the experience. Shape the experience to shape the child. Don’t worry about trying to shape the child directly. When a kid goes to a new playground there are things to climb and master. Present the class as a playground for the child to master and the child will master it.

        And, no, I do not presume it to be easy.

    • “In many ways, they have everything going for them, and one might expect a relatively positive attitude to school.”

      You’ve got exactly to the heart of the matter here, and yet… there is a certain logic in the way that a certain sort of very advantaged pupil interacts with a certain sort of school.

      If your life experience has been about affluence and ease, why on Earth would one willingly embrace effort? Especially when the material rewards are so ropey-looking? The sort of joy of really getting to grips with ideas has always been a niche interest, and that might be for the best. (I spent some years working in that sort of environment. I loved it to bits, but it wasn’t a model for how to run the world).

      On top of that, in some cases, it actually requires some courage for young people to move away from a materialistic values set, if that’s what they have experienced from their parents. My impression is that some indy schools manage this better. I don’t know why this is- it could be as simple as getting (literal) buy-in from parents. Alternatively it could be “ethos”- a shared sense that Learning Is Just What We Do Here that is strong enough that it’s easier to fit in instead of kicking against it. Whilst I’ve seen individual teachers achieve this in crazy situations, it’s much easier if it’s being continually reinforced at school level.

      This may be another way of saying that everything all comes back to Behaviour as deep co-operation. If teachers can arrange experiences that they just know pupils will co-operate with, then everything is possible. If that co-operation is absent or conditional, then everything becomes exponentially harder.

      • Interesting comment – thanks.

        Yes there is a logic to affluent attitudes – but my experience is that they often don’t have much *besides* their rather ignorant form of wealth. I’m not convinced that their wealth provides particularly rewarding lives, though if they’re happy with them, I suppose on one level we can’t object. On the other hand, the effect of such people on others, as they take steps to sustain/protect their position is another matter entirely. And it really doesn’t make a good case for education in the first place does it? Ironic if the empowerment brought by material wealth leads them to reject the one thing that is supposed to bring empowerment…

        I’m not suggesting that everyone should become academics – but the value of thought extends well beyond that – see my reply to Leah above.

        Ethos is very important – my reference to expectation meant from everywhere, in every direction. I’m not certain that schools like mine don’t simply reinforce those priorities – but then why wouldn’t they? They are a product of the societies they serve. Teachers are often also parents…

        I’m not sure about co-operative experiences: what happens if the things my pupils value enough to cooperate with are completely at odds with what I need to get them to do? Or even if they fail to tackle the difficult longer-term aims we have with them?

  5. The matter is really very simple:

    1. Adults know things, and have perspectives that children don’t.
    2. This is why we have teachers and give them authority to teach.
    3. Children who in their early lives have their egos over-inflated lack the humility to accept the above.
    4. Children who consider (however immaturely) that they have already got life sorted will never see that they have much to learn. It is the classic case of empty vessels making most noise.
    5. Allowing children to treat their education like a playground is precisely why so many have lacked the structure needed to acquire meaningful knowledge, understanding and skills in recent generations. The only kind of playground that these lazy, indulged children would accept would be one that never involved any effort.

    • Yes adults know things and have perspectives that children don’t. That is why you are in charge of the playground. That is why you design the exercises they must master. And because it feels good to succeed (and you need to manage the reward system so that it does feel good to succeed) the child will pursue work for the fun of it.

      The child’s ego will be rewarded if he succeeds and will not be rewarded if he fails. Design the work and the rewards to educate the child’s ego. The work will transform the child’s ego.

  6. Well I’m completely in awe at the conversations and questions coming out on this thread. Thanks for pointing me to Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi’s work. I’ve just watched his TED talk and will keep an eye out for his book. In fact, I know I already understand what he means about flow since unapologetically putting myself into this state of working since the last few months. Honestly; my mind is active like it never ever was in school or university… and I worked so hard in school/university, and ‘did well’ and all that. One thing I’ve learnt about myself, that I will also be protecting as best as I can for the rest of my life, is that I do not work well with routine schedules e.g. set ‘wake up’ hours, over long periods. As it is, since my previous office job turned into ‘flexi hours from home’ every morning I’m waking up (sometime 4-6 am, other times 8-10 am) with ideas, so many ideas! The day is then about making some of the best ones real. A few weeks ago I thought I was going to draft an article on revelations I’ve had around money (having spent my life being very serious about saving) and it came out as a poem! http://leahkstewart.com/money/ Total surprise. The same themes are coming up here on wealth so, if anyone would like a look, feel free. I’m less scared about sharing it now after some friends coaxed me into reciting it in a pub a few days ago!

  7. I addressed the issue of “engagement” somewhat in one of my early episodes of the Huck Finn letters (See http://oilf.blogspot.com/2011/02/letter-from-huck-finn.html#sthash.IhcgnRgz.dpuf)

    One angry response I got to that episode was the following: “I think it’s ironic that you don’t recognize that you have done exactly what you mock your ed psych professor for proposing—you have constructed your own knowledge despite her teaching. Either that, or you already had your mind made up about what you “know”. I wonder what you are going to do when, as a teacher, you encounter students much like yourself, unengaged and already know it all? But then you’ll no longer have your college of ed to blame . . . you’ll probably blame the students or maybe your cooperating teacher (s/he doesn’t know how to teach), or maybe even their parents. I hope you’ll develop a growth mindset and take a look at your own thinking and teaching. Maybe you’ll find that college of ed wasn’t so far off the mark.”

    I’m all for engagement of students, but at some point students need to “engage” in hard work, and it isn’t always fun. Teachers cannot “engage” their way out of topics that have some degree of difficulty.

    • Thanks for your comment. You’re right, this is certainly a divisive issue – hence my post. The problem is, behind the issue of engagement lies (or can be placed) the issue of accountability. So failing to ‘engage’ a pupil can be read as poor teaching, even if the chances of engaging a particular pupil were next to nil.

      For some of the rifts within present-day teaching to heal, I think it is essential that some kind of settlement is reached on this. I cannot see how teachers can be held responsible for the failure of autonomous minds to engage with a particular task, only (within reason) how hard they try. And even then hard work is never going to be attractive to many immature minds.

      • This.

        It’s one of the things that I think we can learn from the medical profession.

        In a previous part of my life, I was involved as a scientifically-knowledgeable-but-medically-lay interviewer of people who wanted to study medicine at university. The medics on the panel always had a question about how applicants coped with failing at things. It was considered important, because medics fail- really fail, patient-not-got-better-fail – all the time. Ultimately, people die, which is about as big a failure as you can get. And the people working to help them need to be able to cope with that failure. It’s why medics have and develop such a strange sense of humour; they need it to cope.

        [Actually, my suspicion is that mainstream medicine isn’t the best model for teaching, but I need to think that through and ramble about it for myself sometime…]

        This acknowledgement of the inevitability of failure doesn’t stop everyone involved in medicine from caring, or trying to do best they can. It bothers me that the possibility of failure has become a taboo phrase in schools. It isn’t lazy, complacent or the other words that polemicists o both sides of the ed. argument use. I doubt that there will be agreement on where the limit of teacher responsibility lies for the choices made by autonomous-but-immature minds. It would be helpful to agree that such a limit exists.

      • It seems clear to me that the (supposed) 100% intolerance of failure in education has less to do with what we want for our pupils than it does about the consequences of our own failure as defined largely by the government. It is propagated mostly by those who have most to lose, namely management.

        Any rational mind will see that it is impossible not to fail in an activity like ours, some of the time – and that’s assuming we can even agree on what success and failure actually mean. Regrettably, the I-want mentality of parts of the profession over this are more a sign of immaturity and a *lack* of sophistication than the opposite.

        I also agree that medicine is not an especially useful model for education – I’ll have more to say on this in the near future.

      • On accountability: only a person who hates themselves or doesn’t know there are other ways to work would choose to be accountable for the learning of students who they don’t understand (or even like, sometimes, we are people) in topics the students have no interest in. How strange that we have an education system that makes this kind of accountability inevitable for people who choose the profession of school-teacher by randomly grouping students and saying ‘here they are, teach them’. How much is lost in a system that’s confused the right to learn, with the right to teach? P.S. That last line is circling on twitter now after I posted it on a different thread… any thoughts on this idea in here?

      • Leah, I’m afraid one also needs to consider the internal professional dynamic of schools – something rarely seen by the ‘clients’… In other words, schools operate through complex control structures, and increasingly, people are held narrowly accountable for their actions within them. The penalties for failure – or perceived failure – can be severe, especially for those at the top.

        The effect of this has been to push the same harsh process down the hierarchy, while simultaneously making the judgments cruder and more mechanistic. The simple fact is, managers can do more about the teachers than they can about the pupils – so that is where they focus their attentions. But they often neither know nor care about the subtleties and complexities of individuals’ situations within those systems – mainly being concerned to protect their own positions. Such is the effect of management…

        So this is why teachers are now held accountable for things they can only partly control.

        I often bore people with my references to the Swiss system – but the thing I most admire about it has little to do with the enormous resources that that country can wield, and more to do with its common sense and pragmatic approach. The Swiss (and Germans, Scandinavians etc.) seem much more realistic about the limitations of the education process, and more accepting of its diverse objectives and imprecise nature. They still trust teachers with the education of their children – because they realise you have to; they also give those teachers much more freedom to operate as they need.

        Pretty much completely the opposite of the hysterical quick-fix and image-obsessed approach in this country.

      • ijstock, thanks for the reply. As a student I looked hard for what had such a hold on my teachers, because it didn’t make sense to me that they’re held so much. Though I understand it now, I’d never have been able to put the issue of back-end mechanics as clearly and succinctly as you have just done. Bravo. I’m hoping that a system where a persons level of freedom to serve is in the hands of a leadership team, is not sustainable and that we’ll see an evolution of this. It was seeing this same thing in the ‘real world’ corporates that shocked me, I wasn’t expecting such power struggles there. So I’m a bit displaced in the world right now, but I’m sure I’ll never have a boss again, or work under any leadership team. Although my work record inside hierarchical structures is excellent (i.e. I’ve helped managers make money and look good) I’ve called time on being told -explicitly/implicitly, with carrot & stick- what to care about. P.S. Chris was right, your blog is so interesting.

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