The Intelligent Questioner

See also Courageous Followership Blog


ICE Agents must intelligently disobey inhumane orders

A trick question is sometimes asked by the prominent leadership scholar, Barbara Kellerman, from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. “How many people did Hitler kill?” The correct answer, which almost no one gives, is “none”. The killings were all done by the followers of the Fuhrer (which means […]


Follower Power – Ununderstood, Unappreciated, and Underestimated

My colleague, Barbara Kellerman, of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, has been a champion of Followership for years. She has used my book in her courses and has written her own book titled “Followership”, as well as more recent work on Leadership that always includes Followership as an […]


VW Fraud: Manager Was Just Following Orders

A year after the exposure of the massive fraud VW perpetrated on American consumers, knowingly deceiving emission control tests while exceeding emission limits by as much as 40 times, the evidence is at hand of the real culprit in the crime – a culture that rewards “just following orders”. The […]


Cambridge University, 2017

On October 2017 I participated in a panel on leaders, followers and populism, which became an energetic dialogue. It was held at the Moller Centre, Churchill College and organized by the James McGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, University of Cambridge. Georgia Sorenson who chairs the Academy, has invited me to […]


Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst

The Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst holds as much prestige in England as West Point does in the US. It was a great honor to be the first in their speaker series at the newly established Centre for Army Leadership. I was told to expect about 80 people. 600 enlisted […]


Organizational blind spots: Dove soap campaign

The recent hugely insensitive advertisement by Unilever for their Dove soap is a textbook example of organizational blind spots. This is a painful example of why the voices of minorities and staff at all levels of the organization must be invited, included, raised up and empowered to influence decision making. […]


Intelligent Disobedience in Chinese

I am thrilled to announce that my book Intelligent Disobedience has been published in Beijing in Chinese as of August 1st of this year. We had anticipated seeing it in bookstores in China sooner but the government needed to allay its concerns over terms such as “authority” and “disobedience”. Without […]


Partners in Courage

I had the great pleasure of visiting my colleague Bill Treasurer at his home in North Carolina this past week, on my way back from viewing the awesome total eclipse from high up in the gorgeous Smoky Mountains. Bill and I are comrades-in-arms. He published his first book Right Risk […]


NASA and Intelligent Disobedience

NASA’s Joint Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is managed by Cal Tech University. It is responsible for the non-human (robotic) space flights in our solar system and for advancing the earth sciences. It is an extraordinary collection of highly educated, motivated and diverse professionals. I was invited to conduct workshops […]


MIT Media Lab Disobedience Award 2017

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab announced today the winner of its Disobedience Award. They are Dr, Mona Hanna-Attisha and Professor Marc Edwards whose work unearthed and publicized the lead poisoning occurring in Flint Michigan as a result of politically driven changes to the source of the city’s drinking […]