Leadership: The Danger of 'Tool Seduction'

We suggest you pick up a copy of High Altitude Leadership: What The World's Most Forbidding Peaks Teach Us About Success by Chris Warner and Don Schmincke.  It's got a 5 star rating on Amazon.com and for good reason.  We are especially drawn to the subject this week as one of our Vistage KEY Executive Group members is actually on Mt. Everest.  Warner and Schmincke have extensive climbing experience combined with being esteemed trainers in the leadership field.  They have studied successful and failed behaviors in the Death Zone (above 26,000 ft.) and find many parallels to the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, professionals, CEO's and managers.

The lesson we are focused on today is from the Chapter called "Danger # 3: Tool Seduction."  They describe a variety of tools from structures, procedures and reliance on resumes to constant change programs and make the point that the answer does not lie in the tools. "The problem isn't with the tools but in how you relate to them "(think Reality vs. Reality 2.0).  They observe that Tool Seduction happens because "tools offer hope, and they make people feel that they have the right answer."  Their Survival Tip: "Remember two things: Behavior, not tools, drives results, and adapt or die. "

In the Leadership Choice Point™ model that we teach in our Productive Interactions™ courses, we demonstrate how each moment is the opportunity to choose between correlating your actions with your Yonder Star (vision/goals), your hoped for predictability, and your fears.  To us, Tool Seduction occurs heavily in the hoped for predictability zone and is compounded by fear.  Correlate your behavior with your Yonder Star and you will often find that you are relating to the tools differently or perhaps even leaving some behind.