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Nosebleed Alert! Famous Harvard Business Professor Links Up To My Post

October 11, 2010

Finally, my blogging career can rest in peace, knowing it has achieved the pinnacle of online accomplishments: iconic Harvard Business Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter has referenced a link to one of my posts.

Yes, I know. This is entirely stunning; to think that my wooly, self-indulgent musings on spirituality and business have risen to nosebleed prominence of the Harvard Business School elite. But there you have it.

For those of you living under a rock, Rosabeth Moss Kanter is famously known as a legendary strategic thinker with a sharp expertise on leadership and managing change. She is the former editor of Harvard Business Review and, according to her bio, repeatedly makes it to the lists of the 50 most powerful women in the world (Times of London), and the 50 most influential business thinkers in the world (Accenture).

Not too shabby.

A couple of months ago, Kanter linked up to my post, “Everything Looks Like a Failure in the Middle,” in a Harvard Business Blog article, called “Seven Truths About Change to Lead and Live By.” (I originally posted my article here at STC, then it was later published at The High Calling website, which is where Kanter’s link points to.)

In the Harvard Business Blog article, she indicates this snappy headline as one of her seven foundational principles of leading change, or what she calls “bumper stickers for change agents.” Click on the article, and you’ll see: number six is “Everything looks like a failure in the middle.”  

Never mind that I was actually quoting her in this piece, referring to Kanter’s casual response to a Wall Street Journal reporter’s question of a CEO’s potential failed strategy.  “It’s not complete yet,” she replied, noting that the CEO’s efforts were still midstream in a grand turnaround situation. Then she said with a nonplussed shrug, “Everything looks like a failure in the middle.”

Always one to notice a killer headline, I immediately picked up on her quote as a highly marketable, yet dour reminder of what it’s like for most of us in management these days. That quote also reminded me of a scripture verse from the Apostle Paul, saying how Someone greater than us is able to see things through to completion.

A fine spiritual-business connection if there ever was one. It was a gift, really. Thus my brilliant post was born.

“Gee, Brad,” you are now wondering. “Since you’re so hyped up over this supposed connection with what’s-her-face, why did you go and keep it such a big secret for the past two months?” Well, dear reader, I want to say it was because of my exemplary strength of character displaying deep-seated qualities of modesty and humility, which continually hold me back from my evil impulses. But actually, I only just discovered this golden link last week. News on the internet doesn’t always travel lightning fast when the pingback doesn’t hit your site directly. Otherwise I would have been blathering on and on about it weeks ago.

The only thing that bothers me now is that she has suddenly decided to call it “Kanter’s Law. I think I should get some naming credit, too, right? If nothing else, as an indirect testament to my prescience in calling out the brilliance of her work, and then giving it a spiritual twist. I mean, wasn’t I the one who happened to latch on to the fact that she had just coined her next leadership law?

So here’s a suggestion for Ms. Rosabeth: Why don’t we share it, and call “Everything Looks Like a Failure in the Middle” Kanter-Bradley’s law? That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. October 11, 2010 6:50 pm

    Nice dude! I think that you should be able to get away with ‘Bradley-Kanter’… and if asked why, just say ‘alphabetical order’! But we all know the REAL reason…

    Seriously dude…
    You are so freakin’ talented! It was only a matter of time. And I’m sure that this won’t be the last time…

    Dan King

  2. October 11, 2010 6:57 pm

    Did you link up to her so shell get a ping back of this?

    You deserve the credit. And cool idea!

    You are very talented

    • October 14, 2010 5:19 am

      Yes, there is a link to her bio and her blog post. I honestly don’t think this is going to be on her radar screen. But you never know!

  3. October 11, 2010 7:33 pm

    Let me know who wins, will you?

  4. October 11, 2010 7:44 pm

    Lol. You are too much. 🙂

  5. October 11, 2010 9:59 pm

    But you will remain the same, won’t you, Brad?

  6. October 11, 2010 10:55 pm

    Nice job – I’m for Kanter-Bradley

  7. October 11, 2010 11:48 pm

    Don’t forget us little people. And don’t mention that I’ve never even heard of her. You, however, are the coattails I want to hang on. Awesome.

  8. October 12, 2010 5:26 am

    I think “Kanter-Bradley” law has a certain ring to it!

  9. October 12, 2010 10:46 am

    Bradley-Kanter sounds even better! 🙂

  10. October 12, 2010 3:18 pm

    A well-deserved honor. Congratulations and then some!

  11. October 13, 2010 5:14 pm

    Awesome job! I’m for Bradley-Kanter!:)

  12. October 14, 2010 5:55 pm

    Yay! Now I’ll be on the lookout for a post about the two of you out on a power lunch. And maybe you should submit a paper to the Harvard Business Review.

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