founder of naked leader

Jane Short, IT-Director of Ashridge Business School

Naked Leader Week – 52 – Monday 26 April 2004

Jane Short, IT-Director of Ashridge Business School, shares that negativity can be very welcome indeed!

The three key characteristics for success, in my opinion, are passion, persistence and a sense of humour!

Many would say that negativity in organisations is the key barrier to projects and success; I have found that passivity is a far greater threat.

I work in Information Technology, and one of my great passions is to provide people with the information they need to achieve their goals. It is in achieving this that I discovered the positive power of negativity!

IT’s time to show we care

Over those five years I have used every technique to engage the organisation with IT.  I have run workshops, given presentations, shown case studies, cajoled and sometimes bullied people into being involved, and taking an interest.

To start with we were ignored, and then we were shouted at – the victims! And then I remembered David’s words that “no event has any meaning other than the meaning we choose to give it.” And suddenly, we redefined the situation – when our internal customers told us we were “wrong,” we thanked them – their new attitude was such a welcome relief to passivity!

When people complain to me it means they feel involved, are emotional about us (at last) and it gives me and my team a real chance to engage at a deep level.

As with IT, so with each other, and life

When your boss, your customer or your teenager gets negative about anything, welcome it – it means they want something and they are sharing it with you in an amazing, trusted way. Meet or exceed their need at this time and you have a friend, customer or soul-mate, for life.

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