During academics, sociology classes were always top of interest, and this is why I choose to write this very first post choosing this topic. Just about yesterday, I fall asleep reading some pages of a great book on the topic, written by Pierre Bourdieu and titled; “Un sociologue chez Renault: De Pierre Bourdieu à Carlos Goshn”. Right before falling asleep, I reached that couple of lines that got me thinking at night, and stuck with me all day today.
To sum it up, Pierre – if I may call him Pierre, is in the pre-phase work of an auditing that aims to analyze the training needs for the on-site customer service at the dealership, after a quite fun event occurs in one of them, with a dealer solving a somewhat technical issues, only with a quite ‘unusual’ method and communication. A highly interesting audit then, with high potential value before that Pierre is happy to tackle. So, when Pierre enters the meeting room with the goal of introducing his pre-work, he know faces the Program Director and his assistant, and the fisrt things he listens to is this:
“You really think that these people will understand what you are here for and the questions you will ask them? We are talking about a tech population, not intellectuals…! You’ll never get suitable data, they’ll freeze at you…”
We have all heard or witnessed something similar at some point in our career right? I told you, it really got me thinking…
For those of you not so familiar with sociology, here is a quick catch up that will provide something of a frame for what is coming next:
Sociology is defined as the scientific study of society and human behavior, and it is part of social sciences. The study of sociology aims at analyzing the patterns of human behavior, deriving their causes and speculating the future of the behavioral patterns in society. It intends to understand the ways in which different elements of society influence each other, how a society is formed, how it functions, and how is evolves. Hopefully, a concept that you are familiar with that you intend to reflect on every now and then, in both your personal and professional life!
Why is sociology important?
- Sociology attempts to study how and why people are organized as a society
- It analyzes the structure of a society and studies the factors that contribute to the creation of social groups
- Sociology includes the study of behavioral patterns, interactions, and relationships among the individuals of society, as well as their ethical and moral values
- It tries to examine the organizational structure of society and the influence it has on the social, political, and religious ideas of its members
- It attempts to analyze the creation and management of social groups as well as the factors which lead to their breakdown
- The study of sociology can help us increase our acceptance of the differences in cultures, religions, and values.
- Last but not least, it enables us to look at these differences objectively, thus earning a better understanding of people and their behavior
The social nature of leadership
What makes a leader (H/F)?
For centuries, the practice and theory of leadership have engaged the most profound layers of our society’s interest, no one can escape #leadership on social medias, or can you?!
For the Netflix fans, I strongly suggest you have a look at Merlí, a TV series about a philosophy teacher in Barcelona, which brings us all the way back to Aristotle who firmly believe that some men/women were endowed by nature with the capacity of leadership. And we all have heard up until recently that some people still wonder if this is true or not…? Come on, admit it…
Well, I hate to break it to you, but it’s not ancient time anymore! It’s 2020, a year you shall us remember, one way or another. So, CEOs were asked the question, and here below are some very interesting insights on the skills (and mindsets) to be taught to future leaders:
Leadership does not result from individual traits, it lies in the interaction between individuals
Okay, I’m smashing one last reference here, be ready… Robinson Crusoe! Yes, I did it!
While I am sure it will bring joy to some of my elementary school camarades, let’s focus a minute on Robinson, would you?
Going back to Aristotle, back then, some individual traits that were associated with leadership were bravery, brightness, courage, adaptability, resourcefulness, honestly and so on. Nowadays, it may look like something involving transparency, communication, inclusion and… team work, would you agree?
Well, would it be totally crazy to say that Robinson most likely possessed all these personality traits? After all, her was brave, bright, resourceful, a good communicant, and for sure, a team player! However, it is pretty clear that until Friday came along in the picture, Robinson could not possibly have been able to exercise leadership…! And since leadership implies influence upon others, since it involves collective interactions, leadership can only be expressed in a society. QED
Leadership as a business leader using the benefits of sociology
Going back to Pierre Bourdieu, it’s quite fair to assume that the Program Director is in a leadership role. His career and actions got him here. However, it seems like he has lost faith in the ability of its own coworker to take on ‘intellectual’ challenges, or at least impulse valuable actions involving an intellectual work. However, Pierre, who at that time is not in a leadership role (on paper at least), is able to see through and deliver on his analysis! Like he states, he found his success in one simple process:
“Let’s think about people not like a cost or a liability, but rather like capable of creating value”
To conclude, in our modern society, it’s neither written down nor taught in business economy basics that we should invest in people. We’ve most likely all grew up seeing the same thing happen over and over again, specially in times of recession, the first layer that pays the price is people. Like climate change, leadership starts right here, with our own self, and self-awareness…!
If you are willing to map your cultural orientation and interaction preferences so you can better influence your surroundings and navigate through diversity, then you should probably check this out!