» Research ideas for leadership training. Research ideas for leadership training. – David Marquet

Research ideas for leadership training.

Leadership training in the context of leader-leader would be supported by research in the following topics: (things I’m interested in)

How has the population pyramid changed over the past 200, 2000, 20,000 years?

How has abundance replaced scarcity?

Why don’t people take responsibility? [are the biological and chemical reasons?]

To what degree are humans programmed for social dominance?

Are people healthier and happier with control?

Where is stress manifested: the top or bottom of the organization?

Why is it “harder” to think than just do what you are told?

Are humans naturally proactive?

What are the effects of control on humans? What is the impact of being at the bottom of the social or organizational hierarchy on health, longevity, happiness.

Human motivation. What motivates people? How is this different for physical and intellectual work?

How has our evolution as a species affected the way we interact now? At an enzyme and chemical level. Why?

To what degree is the environment responsible for shaping behavior? What is our instinct on this? How can we teach it?

What’s the best way to change behavior? (think a little, do a little?)

What are mechanisms for empathy, trust, cooperation? etc.

How can we incentivize behavior without making it feel like manipulation?

The changing nature of work:

What is the level of employee engagement and dissatisfaction today? What are the trends? What are the reasons and what is being suggested?

The changing nature of work. What % of work is physical vs intellectual. How has this changed over the past 2000 years?

How have education levels of the workforce changed over the past 2000, 200 years?

Workforce demographics:

What does the workforce look like?

How is it changing?

Some larger issues:

Risk management. can we find something more useful than red-yellow-green 2 dimensional matrices?

Teams and teamwork. How do we get people to work together?


Amazon book reviews are a treasure trove of data.

What is the relationship between the length of a review and “helpful” votes?

What is the relationship between how favorable a review is and “helpful” votes?



leadership crisis>issue is wrong kind of leadership>need to give control, not take control>why?>shift from physical to mental. The nature of work has changed.

Harry Potter as mythic hero.

Some sources:

Presentations by Hans Rosling.

Visual Display of Quantitative information by Edward Tufte.

Mark Mandele’s Organization as Weapon

Meet Your Happy Chemicals by Loretta Breuning

Simon Sinek’s Start With Why

Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow

Sources for images:


Here’s the rationale:

In a nutshell — since the advent of farming 10,000 years ago mankind’s work has been physical and the organizational and leadership framework optimized for controlling physical work is hierarchical. There are leaders and there are followers. Now, work is cognitive but we have 10,000 years of leader-follower in our cultural heritage [Think Achilles, Beowulf, Master and Commander]. What’s needed is fundamentally treating people differently, as leaders. The images of what “leadership” means, however, holds us back.

What are we missing?

Can you help?

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