Another lesson from The Trial of the Chicago 7 is the danger of concentrating too much power in one person’s hands. The judge in the original trial – Julius Hoffman – was obviously agitated with the defendants and showed “significant prejudice” against them and their attorney. Overall, he issued 175 contempt charges during the trial, all of which were reversed upon appeal.

The concept of checks and balances is a valuable one – not just for the government but for all organizations. It may occur formally as with the appeal option in the courts, or it may be more informal through trusted and truthful advisors who are in a position to speak truth to power. Regardless of the format, creating a system to allow other perspectives to be heard (and often, more rational thoughts to prevail) is a good practice to institutionalize. Don’t let your emotions have undue weight in your decision-making.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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