Blog

  • Connecting the dots by looking backwards

    In the previous post, I mentioned a little game I used to play when I was a doctoral student. The research task I had given myself was looking for patterns, or at least shared characteristics, in the lives of successful leaders. My “game” was taking pairs of individuals with highly dissimilar personalities and styles, and then attempting to find any

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • Living forward and looking backward

    In the realm of philosophy, renowned Danish thinker Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) is credited with the following declaration: “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”   In the early 1990s, I “discovered” a similar notion on my own, as an outgrowth of my work and research in the field of identity stories. At the time, I

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • Post-TED impressions

    The TED talk that I wrote about in the previous post did in fact take place in Delft on Thursday March 22. As I write this, it is the day after, and I thought it a good idea to offer some of my thoughts and feelings about the experience. First of all, I must say that I was quite impressed

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • Preparing a TED talk: a journey to the essence of my work

    For the past two weeks, I have been busy preparing a TED talk that will take place on March 22 in Delft, The Netherlands. Several times in the past, I have been approached about possibly speaking at a TED event, and I have never pursued the opportunity until now. Among the reasons for my hesitation is that I consider the

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • How IKEA influenced the shopping experience

    Near the end of the previous post, we touched on the significant role IKEA played in the democratization of retail shopping. Nowadays, it would be easy to lose sight of what a remarkable achievement this was in the furniture business, which has long been extremely traditional and resistant to change. In fact, when considering IKEA’s impact on the entire industry

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • Democratizing shopping for the “many” people

    Our previous post closed with a brief discussion of Ingvar Kamprad’s leadership by example, how he both molded and modeled IKEA’s unique corporate culture. Judging by the interviews with employees that I have read or seen, it would be reasonable to believe that the founder’s personal behavior may have shaped and maintained “The IKEA Way” more than any other single

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling