Showing category "Power" (Show all posts)

Dialogue with the Author - Leadership and Self-Deception

Posted by Sarah McCann on Tuesday, May 22, 2012, In : Power 
After I posted about Leadership and Self-Deception I was contacted by a representative of The Arbinger Institute, the author of the book. We had the following dialogue via e-mail. If you have any thoughts about the book, the ability of addressing people as people or power dynamics, please comment and add to the dialogue!

Mike Rener of the Arbinger Institute wrote the following:

As you are right that we have a power within us, I would just flip it and in that we have the power to act on a choic...

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Open mic

Posted by Sarah McCann on Thursday, May 17, 2012, In : Power 
This poem could potentially be the first poem I perform at an open mic, if I ever build enough courage and find the right venue:

Trying to engage power
In a conversation
It doesn't want to hear
Because abusive power
Is ugly
And looking at the reflection
Of ugly use of power

But it hurts less
Then continuing on
An unreflective path
A disconnected life

It hurts less 
Than becoming an island

Ugly abusive use of power
Pushes everyone away
When you stand alone
What choice will you make?

In a world o...
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Leadership and Self-Deception

Posted by Sarah McCann on Saturday, May 12, 2012, In : Power 
I recently read a book titled Leadership and Self-Deception by the Arbinger InstituteThe preface of the book began with a metaphor about a baby crawling backwards under a piece of furniture and getting stuck. Everything the baby tries to do only manages to get it even more stuck. With its mounting frustration were the baby able to articulate its problem, it would say the furniture is the problem, not the fact that it is its own lack of vision that is preventing the baby from seeing how to a...
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How to Speak Truth to Power

Posted by Sarah McCann on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, In : Power 
I had a realization recently that someone who had power over me was willing to use that power over me, rather than with me. It is my belief that power used with all involved produces much better results than power used over, which produces unhappiness and pain. In the circumstance that I was in, it definitely did not feel good. I try to be honest with people, to tell them truthfully what I see and feel and understand from my perspective regardless of who they are in my life. This may get me i...
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Our Orbits

Posted by Sarah McCann on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Power 
I just finished reading Weight by Jeanette Winterson. I read through the novel in three days, I could not put it down. It is part of a series of books retelling myths and Winterson chose to focus on the myth of Atlas. It is a great read and I highly recommend it. The book is about retelling, about stories, about choices. At some point in the book the narrator states that we are each stuck in orbit between our past and out future. That our future holds just as much weight as our past and most ...
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It is About Power

Posted by Sarah McCann on Wednesday, December 1, 2010, In : Power 
All of our daily interactions occur on a foundation of power. The dynamic of this power is often habitual and a result of the way that power has been used in our surroundings from birth.  Very rarely is anyone asked to reflect on the way that they are using the power that they have or the way others are using it. Often we feel the effects of how this power is used. Hurt by friends who may cross boundaries in their jokes, frustration with a person of authority for using their power to control,...
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Is the Eccentric Genius the Only Genius?

Posted by Sarah McCann on Thursday, July 1, 2010, In : Power 
I have written previously on the myth of genius in this society and how it often leads bright, intelligent, creative people to paths of self-destruction, partially because of the media's portrayal of genius as damaged, addicted, and at the fringes of society. A recent conversation about the eccentric genius, has led me again to consider what genius means and whether it necessitates some sort of eccentricity. The conversation ended in the person telling me that I was arguing semantics and mayb...
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Can We Be Unique Without Needing to be Special?

Posted by Sarah McCann on Thursday, June 17, 2010, In : Power 
Is it human to want to prove that one is better than someone else? Or does this priority come out of living in society? Or living in a society where power is not equal?

I am teaching summer camp this week and yesterday my students asked me to tell the tale of the "Emperor's New Clothes". My version was definitely not exactly what I had been told as a little girl, but it was close. The story came near to some thoughts of my own about being unique versus the need to be special.

I want to differen...
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Hope is not the Same as Delusional Optimism

Posted by Sarah McCann on Tuesday, May 11, 2010, In : Power 
I have work up in a show titled: Hope-A-Holic at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island, NY. The quote from the curator that keeps getting used in the press is about how artists use, "delusional optimism and senselessness [...] to sustain hope." I probably should have read the show description closer before I agreed to be in the show (I was excited to have my work in a gallery, it looks so much better there than in my closet) because there is something I find extremely depressing abou...
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Relational Power

Posted by Sarah McCann on Thursday, February 18, 2010, In : Power 
Each relationship we enter into whether it be through work, a romantic involvement, a friendship or merely a conversation with the cashier at the coffee shop is a delicately balanced power dynamic. The power involved in any exchange is often masked and not addressed. Maybe it is too complex to understand, especially in passing moments, but when a relationship is something extended, something that will continue over a period of time, it helps to address how power is being used between parties,...
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This blog will address issues of communication, art, and life from my point of view. It is a means for me to keep writing, thinking critically, and finding meaning in my life and work.