Jordan Peterson’s guide to leadership

Jordan Peterson’s guide to leadership

I suppose this touches on the psychology of
leadership too—which is a mess, by the way. Well, what’s the fundamental characteristic
of a leader? Here’s one: a leader is someone who knows
where he or she is going. Well that would be the first thing, is like,
how are you going to lead unless you have a destination? Okay. Well a destination implies an ethic. And then you need to be able to communicate
that. And you communicate your destination with
a story. Now if I want to motivate people—and that’s
not the right way to think about it, because you shouldn’t want to motivate people. That’s management idiot speak, that is—What
you should so is figure out something that’s worth doing, that you really think is worth
doing. Something that you would actually commit a
substantial proportion of your life to. And you should have deep reasons for pursuing
it. And then if you’re a leader, well first
of all you have that established, but the second is that you can communicate that, okay,
and you communicate that in a manner that also appeals to other people’s sense of
purpose. And so you’d say to someone, like if I wanted
to move forward with you on an enterprise I would have to say, “Well here’s the
purpose of the enterprise and here’s the reasons that it’s not only eminently justifiable
but more justifiable than anything else we could be doing at the same time.” And then I’d have to say, “Well here’s
what’s in it for me, and here’s what’s in it for you. And here’s why the two of us together can
further the enterprise and further what’s in it for you and further what’s in it for
me.” And then you have a situation there that Piaget,
Jean Piaget, the developmental psychologist, called an equilibrated state. So an equilibrated state is a situation that’s
set up by two or more people where everyone is participating in the state voluntarily. So when he got that, he derived that notion
in part by looking at how children set up games. So if children are going to set up a pretend
game, what they do is they negotiate a little narrative, to begin with. It’s almost like they generate a little
play and they assign everyone their parts, and then they manifest the play, and that’s
how they think. But everyone has to accept their part voluntarily,
right, or the game won’t continue. Now Piaget’s ethical claim, ethical analytic
claim was that a game everyone plays voluntarily is more sustainable and productive than one
the people have to be forced to play. And that was his fundamental distinction between
the utility of freedom versus the utility of tyranny. Because you could say, “Well the authoritarians
win. Do this or else.” That’s a way of organizing a society. But Piaget’s claim was the enforcement costs
are so high that the free society will outcompete the authoritarian society across time. Now if you’re going to set up an organization
you can set it up on authoritarian lines. But then you’re basically compelling people
to perform with punishment and fear. It’s better to motivate them positively. And the way you do that is say “Look, here’s
the goal, here’s your role. Here’s what this will add to your life practically
and in terms of, say, significant engagement and involvement.” And then if you can do that the people will,
you know, with certain other preconditions in place – competence, for example, and
a certain amount of conscientiousness – then people will participate in the game voluntarily. You don’t have to overlord them. And so that’s – well, if you have any
experience in the world at all in complex processes you known that that’s the optimal
circumstances under which to engage with other people. It’s like “Hey, we’re all in the same
boat. We’re going somewhere interesting. Everyone’s got a role to play. We’re all in this together and it’s working
out for each of us as well.” Now, there’s a corollary to that, which
is an interesting one. So imagine this. So let’s say you have your organization
and you have your goals and you’re out to do something worthwhile. And you can tell a good story about that. So you’ve got people on board. Now you really want to get people on board
and so now you’ve got two choices. You could tell people “Go home and spend
four or five hours and formulate a career plan about how you’re going to contribute
to this organization,” or you could say, “No, no, you go home and you formulate a
plan for your life that includes your job at this organization as a subset.” And then imagine you do that with 100 people
in each group. Then you run those people in a head-to-head
competition for a year to see who’s most productive. The answer – the people who formulate the
plan for their life. They’re ten percent more productive. So you can gain a ten percent increment in
corporate level productivity by having your people write out a plan for their life. We have a program like that (called Future
Authoring) online that thousands of people have done now that increase the probability
that university students would stay in university by 30 percent. So and that’s part of the narrative issues. It’s like what you want from your employees
is, well, you want them to be doing something useful with their life that they’re engaged
in, because like if they can’t do that for their life what the hell makes you think they’re
going to do that for your organization?! And then you want them to see how working
for you serves their higher order purpose. And if it doesn’t, because maybe they can’t
formulate that integrated hierarchal relationship, well then they should find another job, because
that isn’t the job for them. If your job is running at cross purposes with
your life, how the hell are you going to be motivated? You’re not. At least you’re going to be stymied constantly
by the internal contradiction. So imagine what you’re trying to do is you’re
trying to get everyone pointing in the same direction. But I don’t mean by eliminating all diversity
of opinion or anything like that. It’s like the overall organization has a
point, and then everyone within that organization has their point but they’re integrated within
that overarching coherent narrative. That’s the purpose of leadership. And to make that work at every level of the
organization. That’s what you want to do. It’s very difficult, but you build a stellar
organization if you do that.


  1. There is a new type of people who are born to love to hate things, that is just how the way works. If Peterson are a solution to chaos then there are some people which wish to create chaos out order, it a not special it is simple human behavior.

  2. Yeah he advertises his product: I think he made the self authoring program because he wants to help people. It’s dirt cheap. And I want him to profit anyway, so he can help more people.

  3. More proof that people dismiss Peterson before they listen to what he has to say. Only helpful psychological information in this video.

  4. Millienials love to bash people who have put in thousands of hours of work into what they say and do. Of course, they know better…

  5. Everything looks good win new, after the new wares off is when things start to change, this is in almost all situations, and in negative energy directions.

  6. If this guy is so smart and has it together so much why doesn't he brush his dirty fucking disgusting yellow ass teeth? They look like someone making 15k a year in the states and this guy is supposedly a deep intellectual thinker? He needs to start thinking about brushing his teeth.

  7. How does this apply to the McDonald's worker? Or the sweatshop worker? How are the leaders supposed to engage people when they're there to exploit them as much as possible?

  8. Anyone who listens to this buffoon is an idiot. He actually believes that women should be assigned to men as partners. Fucking delusional freak.

  9. This guy's blind spot will always amaze me. He admits societies are better organized based on free association but the finality of his own project is to maintain dominance hierarchies that prevent exactly that. He is so out of his depth when it comes to sociology that he cannot see it.

  10. Fukien money stopped this theory dead in its tracks long time ago. Theory I have money I have power and now I am special person works today. Greedy people in any system distort others views for what ever reason that seem important to them.

  11. Biggest thinkus, don't be a white group, be a jewish group is better and best is to be individualist alone and a merchant and just accept your population replacement

  12. Most JBP haters are New-Atheists, Marxist/Socialist constituents, people who think he's an incel, people who think he's alt-right(Smaller degree), people who think he's a phony, greedy capitalist I've heard, people who think Jungian theory has no value/hogwash, people who think themselves rational; JBP is not, people who hate conservatives, Feminists ofc and some others . Not that I look at these groups pejoratively to the extent that they do JBP, but all have this shared morale damnation of even association with JBP, very odd. Most are either blinded by their own values (as is everyone) or devalue JBP's work by stating their is an over saturation of his message, not that I can name many prominent advocates of personal responsibility outside of religious contextualization.

  13. Monday morning, 8 am in Eastern Standard Time. Watch this video. Coffee. (in that order). Next: Time boxing scheduling, calls to team members and emailing to students. Watch this video again. What a great timing for publishing this vid.

  14. The video is not controversial, and neither is his advice, but couldnt you have gotten anyone else who doesnt lead you down a rabbit hole of terrible shit

  15. Interesting approach to leadership. Having taken over several enterprises as a "hired gun" the first step was to always overcome the negative inertia that was put in place by any predecessors.

  16. The problem with the Totalitarian leadership is that if people at certain moment, understand that their is no punishment or will no longer be afraid of punishment, then the Leadership is gone.

  17. I found peterson has always interesting things to say on psychology but when he drifts into philosophy he tends to jump to conclusions i dont agree with

  18. I will organise my life around destroying this shit for brains! Fucking meat eating, potential scurvy trodden idiot. Go take ya antidepressants, like a good Christian, and fuck off!!

  19. This style of leadership reminds me of Adam Smith. The biggest reason he fought for the abolition of slavery was because he could not fathom authoritarian leadership, instead seeing people free to work in the ways they like to necessitate their own needs.

  20. How does JP apply this to anti-capitalists who oppose the current self-destructive status quo? They’re vile Marxists, right? Also, how does slapping somebody silly fit into this leadership model? Just trying to rap my head around this new info.

  21. God, Peterson haters are such a hive mind who can’t think for themselves. They hate him and don’t even know why, just that they’ve been told to.

  22. This guy doesn't hold my attention. He stumbles over his words, and goes back to much on what he just said, to say something else. I don't hate him, I just don't think he explains very well. It's like he's explaining to a 5yr old. And he's a bit pointy, and shouty, and you-should-do-thisy, even though the content of what he's saying is essentially opposed to that method of communication. For someone trying to instruct on communication, it's just confusing. I also believe we all communicate and listen differently. Different receptors, this guy might work for some, but not for others. How about 'Lead by Example', this is the mark of a true, worthy leader. That advice is as old as time. And most true worthy leaders don't need instruction on how to lead either.

  23. :48 – "you shouldn't want to motivate people, that's management idiot speak." 4:36 – explains how to motivate people. This is an incoherent rant from a religious ideologue.

  24. Yea broh, peace on earth. That’s why everyone listens to me when I talk. I don’t ask for anything that not good for the public.

  25. I seriously don't understand the downvotes in this one. Seriously, it's legitimate good advice and isn't even remotely controversial.

  26. I just read in the comment section that Jordan Peterson pushes hard-line, right-wing ideologies. Holy shit I'm actually laughing but at the same time understand that this is sad. Can you people please do your research properly? This level of ignorance is in nobody's interest.

  27. Big Think needs to stop letting pseudo-intellectuals like Peterson on the channel. This guy thinks the term 'climate change denier' is used with the intent to group science deniers with nazis. Also, JP denies Climate Change. Also, he thinks Soviet Russia was a secular humanist state.

    He's a complete moron. Can we have mildly competent people talk to us instead?

  28. I love how all the conservatives/republicans here are talking about "why has this video got so many dislikes" or "they haven't even watched the video and are disliking it!"

    (meanwhile in another part of YouTube)

    "Climate change FACTS from the collective intelligence of almost every scientist humanity has to offer" Conservatives >>> FAKE NEWS, SJW PROPAGANDA, ANTIFAGGOTS, >>> dislikes in five seconds.

    the hypocrisy is real.

  29. Because your job is to motivate messed up teenagers? If I work for you, I would not know what to do half the time. If we work together on the same goals, I will ware you out just to make you focus on the cause of a leadership. And if you cannot be on your toes half the time, I will be board 24/7

  30. HR often hire the best liars and managers often promote the best actors, not the most competent people. Good luck with the high ideal which I agree with, but it is not going to fly in practice.

  31. Peterson is talking about absolutely nothing and trying to use big words and convoluted speech to seem intelligent. Everything he said is not ground breaking or confounding but rather basic. He speaks like he’s some intellectual but he’s not.

  32. I like the way Jordan Peterson seamlessly connects the individual conscience with large social objectives. Leadership often fails when we look at people as collectives and start imposing common rules on them. But each life is different and each person has goals in their life. To appeal to individual sense of purpose & build on a harmonious plan for their entire lives of which work is just a part is the answer.

  33. 3:17 "Look, here's the goal.. here's your role… here's what this will add to your life, practically and in terms of significant engagement and involvement… and then — if you can do that […] then people will participate in the game voluntarily…"

  34. Holy sh*t comment section filled pseudo-intellectual commies just desperate to hate on JP because they're too closed minded to listen to the man. Too busy nitpicking semantics.

  35. Thank you for posting this, I forgot I was still subscribed to this trash. When you un-ironically post quackery trash like Peterson it shows you are shills for stupid.

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