A few years ago, “every one of us a leader” was the motto of the annual Values Day at McKinsey. Of course, the concept behind this phrase raises some practical questions of internal organisation (which might be the reason why it was only chosen for a day). More importantly, however, these days, the idea expressed here seems to be omnipresent in books, articles, blogs, and titbits of advice on social media platforms that deal with questions of organisational or personal development aka “Leadership”.
Embarrassment is not usually talked about as a personal or institutional feature – let alone valued as a virtue. However, it is a fact that time and again, we are – openly or secretly – embarrassed by things going on in our personal or professional lives, from a runner in our pantyhose to a gaudy valentine’s surprise from our lover, from (our) kids misbehaving in public places to (male) managers getting it all wrong about gender diversity, from an associate presenting a badly designed power point chart to an esteemed colleague making a faulty argument in a newspaper article.