"There is no substitute for competence. ~ Ayn Rand"
Leadership quality continues to be questionable based upon the demonstration of competence or the lack thereof. The fact that a person is in a leadership position does not mean he or she is an effective leader. Research however, has established that competency-based human resources can be developed to acquire critical competencies required for outstanding performance and establish credibility as an expertly, competent leader. Cultivation of critical competencies in the field of leadership requires opportunity, capability and commitment. The competent leader is described as one who embraces the leadership role and possesses or cultivates the knowledge, skills and competencies (KSCs) relevant to the leadership position. This individual also, decisively commits to utilize acquired competencies in his or her leader role.
Likewise, the question of competence in the realm of coaching is an ongoing issue of debate. The fact that a person operates in the role of a coach, does not presuppose he or she is an effective, competent coach. The Coaching Association of Canada believes that a competent coach is one who has the appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitude to do the job effectively. John Krulic contends,
An evaluation of this contention reveals three elements: knowledge of coaching principles, an understanding of the principles that apply to human development, and an understanding of the techniques, strategies and tactics associated with the sport. Krulic’s contention suggests a competent coach must develop the capacity to integrate various elements of knowledge, skill and competence.
The phrase a ‘competent’ leader is an all-encompassing description of one’s talent as “described by his or her values, vision, personal philosophy, knowledge, competencies, life, career stage, interests and style” as well his or her general ability to perform in a superior fashion. Table 1. The Core Competency Matrix provides varying KSCs identified as core to the coaching profession stemming from early applications of coaching in sports to current business performance, to human development.
Table 1- Core Competency Matrix
Krulic’s Coaching Competencies
ICF Core Competencies
CTI Core Competencies
Knowledge of coaching principles.
Setting the foundation
Naturally creative, resourceful and whole
Understanding of principles that apply to human development.
Co-creating the relationship
Dance in the this moment
Understanding of techniques, strategies and tactics associated with the sport.
Understand principles that apply to learning.
Facilitating learning and results
Focus on the whole person
Research scientist in the field of organizational behavior and scholar Boyatzis’ (2008), identified three differentiating competencies, which builds upon the aforementioned thresholds to distinguish superior performers from average performers:
- Cognitive intelligence competencies – characterized by strategic thinking and pattern recognition.
- Emotional intelligence competencies – self-awareness and self-management.
- Social intelligence competences – social awareness and relationship management.
He further contends competencies are a behavioral approach to cognitive, emotional and social intelligence. The term competent therefore, is a designation conferred upon an individual for having achieved and maintained a qualifying standard of excellence demonstrated behaviorally.
The application of this behavioral approach in the coaching context draws upon the integration of skill, character, and intellect. Therefore, to be designated as a competent coaching practitioner or leader, suggests evidence of a demonstrated standard of superior [coaching] performance. The question then becomes, how is this standard defined? An accompanying question might be how is this standard achieved? The litmus test for a competent coaching leader requires consideration of three questions:
- What am I observing and feeling? Observing and feeling are functions of the social and emotional domains. These two intelligence domains help create awareness to what is actively occurring and the emotional impact this action has on the client as well as the coach.
- What do I know? What information do I possess? Memory and perception are functions of cognitive intelligence. They aid in the retrieval and processing of information based upon the current environment.
- What skills and abilities am I equipped with to address this situation? The identification of KSCs involves the mental integration process to induce brain activity in all three intels
The reflection process required in contemplation of these three questions, initiates higher thinking processes from cognitive, emotional and social intelligence competencies.
Cognition involves the mental capacity and aptitude to explore and assimilate unconventional practices into a situation to maximize the coachee’s experience and enhance learning. The integrative nature of cognitive intelligence promotes instantaneous idea generation. Instantaneous idea generation is the result of unconscious cognitive processing of perception, memory, learning, thought, and language. The ability to connect in a positive manner is a function of the emotional intelligence domain. Emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) consists of self-awareness and emotional management. It involves the capacity to perceive emotions, assimilate emotion-related feelings, understand the information of those emotions, and manage them.
An EI competency underlies the successful creation and enduring maintenance of a coaching relationship. EI skillsets equip a leader with the ability to develop synchronous relationships and positively influence others. A synchronous relationship is further developed and maintained through the development of social intelligence competencies.
Social intelligence provides the capacity to exercise wisdom when cultivating relationships as well as the ability to act wise in relationships. SI focuses on effective relationship management. Relationship has been shown to be the best predictor of outcome. One’s ability to create an environment characterized by harmony is the result of high social awareness and relationship management skills. Boyatzis (2008a) contends a social intelligence competency is the ability to recognize, understand, and use emotional information about others that leads to or causes effective superior performance.
The following case study illustrates the intentional and purposeful integration of these multiple intelligence capabilities during a coachable moment with a client. “A coachable moment is defined as an opportunity when a person is most susceptible to make the transition into a place of higher learning and deeper thought. These opportunities are brief moments in time used to create awareness and move a client forward.”
Case Study: A Coachable Moment
A colleague approached me and expressed an interest in entering into a coaching relationship. She however, could not find time in her schedule for a formal appointment. This colleague and I spent recreational time together exercising. With her permission, I therefore suggested we utilize some of our exercise time to engage the coaching process. She had a cornucopia of ideas but could not focus on one particular idea or prioritize them. Upon executing the skill of inquiry, we begin to discuss each individual idea and its feasibility. The brainstorming process helped her to contextualize her ideas. By suggesting she consider realistic target dates, it wasn’t long before she began seizing opportunities. One of her business ideas began as a therapeutic outlet, but is now thriving and completely self-sustaining.
As a result of engaging the 3-question litmus test, I was able to employ conventional coaching processes during an unconventional, coachable moment to help my client identify ideal outcomes and move toward goal accomplishment. Despite the suggestion to incorporate informal coaching sessions into the recreational time spent together, the coaching conversations were unplanned and occurred naturally. Upon sensing a readiness in my client to address her unrealized dreams, I would transition into a coaching mode drawing her into a coaching conversation with me. A competent coaching leader must develop the capability to effectively and seamlessly integrate cognitive, emotional and social intelligence competencies and execute appropriate KSCs in a manner whereby the coachee feels helped.
Commander Wesley Clark is quoted as stating, “I’ve never met an effective leader who was not aware of his [or her, emphasis added] talents and working to sharpen them.” It is virtually impossible to enhance one’s KSCs without awareness. Albeit, one may not have a ‘natural’ aptitude in a specific area, it is however, possible to cultivate a ‘nurtured’ aptitude in developmental areas. Competence is a cognitive intelligence competency demonstrated by specific behavior. This attribute denotes a one’s ability to perform the responsibilities required to effectively manage the processes associated with the related job function.
Within the context of this research project, competence is explored on two dimensions: technical expertise and cognitive ability. Technical expertise thereby, refers to skills, abilities, knowledge and techniques obtained through training and psychometric certifications. Cognitive ability [mental aptitude] is defined as the leader’s ability to acquire, comprehend and apply new knowledge or skill.
Technical expertise also referred to as hard skills, define a person’s skill set, and ability to perform a certain type of task or activity. The development of distinguishing competencies to produce superior performance requires ongoing cultivation of advanced skillsets. Strategies to enhance one’s coaching competence include:
- Research innovative practices in leadership and coaching.
- Continually assess current skill level.
- Set growth goals to update and expand leadership toolkit.
- Obtain advanced training and certifications.
- Train, practice, evaluate.
- Integrate multiple skill sets.
- Cultivate a coaching leadership style.
Threshold competence consists of basic procedural knowledge and deductive reasoning, whereas a distinguishing competence is the result of advanced cognitive functions such as systems thinking and pattern recognition.
The mental aptitude [cognitive ability] dimension of competence includes personality type, leadership style, coaching style, motive, and value systems; these are elements, which influence the quality of human interaction. These cognitive based skills, classified as soft skills, involve the personal attributes that define the quality of an individual’s interactions, job performance, and career prospects. Strategies to strengthen the mental aptitude dimension include:
- Experience the experience –personally engage in psychometric tools.
- Nurture your self-perspective – Gather feedback from colleagues, peers, family and friends.
- Know thyself – Evaluate assessment data and feedback to become self-aware.
- Complete the Coaching Motivation Instrument (CMI) – Evaluate your motivation to coach or lead.
Mental aptitude informs a leader’s ability to build trust, establish rapport, determine coach-client fitness, identify one’s strengths and weaknesses, and understand how his or her particular style of communication is perceived. Competence is comprised of both technical skill and cognitive ability; it is the result of Level-One integration of hard skill and soft skill sets. Level-One integration describes the coordination activity between the mental aptitude component and the cognitive ability domain.
Psychologist Daniel Goleman pioneered an emotional intelligence model based upon what he describes as personal competence. The cynosure in personal competence is self-awareness and the ability to manage one’s own emotions and behaviors. Personal competence engages principles of experiential learning and self- evaluation to increase one’s capacity to effectively manage personal behavior. This EI framework, (shown in Figure 9) is comprised of three elements:
- Self-awareness – knowing one’s internal states, preferences, strengths and weaknesses.
- Self-management – managing one’s internal states, impulses and behavior.
- Motivation – emotional tendencies that guide or facilitate goal attainment.
Goleman (2006b) asserts an emotional competence is a learned capability based upon emotional intelligence and results in outstanding performance. Strategies to enhance EI talent include:
- Acknowledgement and Acceptance Principle – Recognize emotion is a vital part of life.
- Catcher’s Mitt Technique- Embrace emotion.
- Emotional Label – Identify the feeling(s).
- Emoticon Tool – Connect with emotion. Assess against your personal values and determine how to use emotion to move you where you need to go.
- Moments of Silence – Invoke silence to observe emotion and evaluate feelings.
These strategies provide a platform to acknowledge, accept, embrace, identify, connect with, repurpose, observe, and evaluate emotion to facilitate purposeful and productive management of one’s feelings and enhance one’s EI competency.
The EI competency underlies the successful creation and enduring maintenance of a coaching relationship. The key behaviors that characterize the EI competency include trustworthiness, care and compassion, equality, active listening, conscious engagement, respect, belief in individuals and individual abilities. These key behaviors are attributes associated with compassion.
Compassion includes an intellectual understanding of the meaning of someone else’s circumstance and a desire to relieve suffering or increase happiness. Compassion necessitates coordination of competencies from the EI and mental aptitude intelligence centers. This intentional comingling of competencies illustrates the Level-Two integrative process. Compassion further characterizes the development of a caring, coaching relationship when the coach is emotionally in sync with the coachee and committed to his or her success.
The focus of social competence is the ability to recognize emotional responses in others and effectively manage these relationships. Skill building in the social competence dimension will strengthen your understanding of others and increase the ease in which you are able to manage relationships. The social awareness skill measures your ability to discern other people’s emotions and empathize with their perspectives. Relationship management involves the integration of your awareness to your own emotions and the emotions of others. It also facilitates the development of strategies to effectively communicate and interact with others.
Suggested strategies to increase your social intelligence quotient include:
- Environmental scanning – what are the social norms within the environment.
- Develop sensory perception sensitivity – what feelings are permeating within the environment.
- Enhance observation techniques – how do the people in your social sphere interact with one another, with you?
- Embrace silence – become attuned to silent messages.
- Nurture your insight – continuously engage in assessments and activities to develop social intelligence skills.
Social intelligence competencies are composed of capacities [i.e., concern and caring], as well as non-cognitive abilities [i.e., empathy and synchrony] and focuses on the interactive dimension of relationships. Effective relational management is an outcome of commitment. Commitment is demonstrated through acts, which symbolize dependability, loyalty, sincerity, inspiration, wisdom, honesty, and trustworthiness. Commitment involves coordination between emotional intelligence, social intelligence and cognitive processes and illustrates the interaction that occurs at Level-Three integration.
An integrated framework composed of cognitive, emotional, and social intelligence competencies postulates a theoretical structure linking both soft skill and technical competencies in a theory of action and performance. A competent coach integrates cognitive abilities with emotional and social skillsets to enhance the coaching experience and increase the client’s probability to improve his or her performance. Through integration skill sets become disciplines, disciplines become a way of life.
Competence is the qualifying characteristic, which distinguishes mediocre leaders from superior performing leaders. Competence characterizes your personal and professional DNA—it becomes an expression of who you are, much the same way as a brand identifies an organization. Although a leader may not possess a ‘natural’ ability or capability, it is however, possible to cultivate a ‘nurtured’ skill set. The integration process progresses in 3-steps to facilitate competency development in cognitive, emotional and social intelligence:
- Level - One: Integration of technical skill and cognitive ability.
- Level - Two: Coordination between the Emotional Intel and mental aptitude.
- Level - Three: Internal transmissions stimulate interaction between the Emotional and Social Intels and the Cognitive domain.
This integrated framework links soft skill capabilities with technical competence to develop a theory of action and performance. Generally, competence is examined as a specific attribute or trait, which is demonstrable through one's behavior. Lance Berger however, further describes competence as “a reliable, measurable, enduring characteristic [emphasis added] of a person that causes and statistically predicts a level of performance.
Demonstrated competence defines who the leader is ‘individually’ and is illustrated by what the leader does and how. Competence validates a leader’s ability to lead effectively. Because leadership is about relationship, a leader must possess an innate ability to connect, inspire, create vision and lead the way. Coaching is the substrate used to populate soft skills with technical skills in a collective environment. Coaching is effective because it is a relational process. Research in organizational behavior suggests development of cognitive, emotional, and social intelligence competencies result in enhanced leadership performance and improves the relationship management process. The competent (coaching) leader not only embraces the leadership role but also cultivates a coaching style of leadership to encourage superior personal, professional and organizational performance.
*Image courtesy of ddpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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About the Author
Dr. Blanche Wallace is a Leadership Coach and Director of the Dynamic Strategic Leadership Coaching Group. She holds certifications as a Growth Coach, Coach Trainer and Executive Leadership Coach. She is a leadership consultant and conference speaker. Dr. Wallace is also the author and designer of two coaching models and has conducted numerous workshops and seminars for church groups, nonprofit organizations, and State organizations. For training or speaking engagements contact Dr. Wallace at:
 Richard Boyatzis and Saatcioglu Argun, A 20-year view of trying to develop emotional, social, and cognitive intelligence competencies in graduate management education 2008b.
 Richard Boyatzis, "Beyond Competence: The Choice to be a Leader," Human Resource Management Review (JAI Press, Inc.) 3, no. 1 (1993): 1-14.
 John Krulic, What is a competent coach? n.d. (accessed October 9, 2013), http://www.rcaa.org.
 Boyatzis 2008a.
 Boyatzis, Competencies in the 21st Century 2008a
 John F. Kihlstrom, “Cognition, Unconscious Processes,” Science Magazine (www.sciencemag.org) 237 (2007): 1445-1452.
 John Mayer, David Caruso, and Peter Salovey, "Emotional Intelligence Meets Traditional Standards for an Intelligence," Intelligence (Elsevier Science, Inc.) 27, no. 4 (2000): 267-298.
 Erik Haan, and Charlotte Sills, "The Relational Turn in Executive Coaching," Journal of Management Development (http://www.emeraldinsight.com) 29, no. 1 (October 2013).
 Boyatzis, Competencies in the 21st Century 2008a
 Blanche Wallace, The Significance of the Coaching Conversation, General Council of Assemblies of God. May 1, 2014c, www.enrichmentjournal.ag.org (accessed June 5, 2014).
 Tom Rath, and Barry Conchie, Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow? New York, NY: GALLUP Press, 2008.
 Boyatzis, Competencies in the 21st Century 2008a
 Jonathan Passmore, Psychometrics in Coaching: Using Psychological and Psychometric Tools for Development, Edited by Jonathan Passmore (Philadelphia, PA: Kogan Page Limited) 2012.
 Goleman, Emotional Intelligence 2006a
 Daniel Goleman, Working with Emotional Intelligence (New York, NY: Bantam Dell) 2006b.
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 Travis Bradberry, and Jean Greaves, The emotional intelligence quickbook: everything you need to know to put your EQ to work (New York, NY: Fireside) 2005.
 Stacey Buckner, Feelings or Characteristics that Colors Represent, 1999-2014. www.ehow.com (accessed June 5, 2014).
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 Barbara Bowes, The DNA of High Performance-How Competencies Drive Success, June 9, 2013, www.cpjworld.com (accessed August 8, 2014).
“There is no substitute for competence. ~ Ayn Rand”
Leadership quality continues to be questionable based upon the demonstration of competence or the lack thereof. The fact that a person is in a leadership position does not mean he or she is an effective leader. Research however, has established that competency-based human resources can be developed to acquire critical competencies required for outstanding performance and establish credibility as an expertly, competent leader. Cultivation of critical competencies in the field of leadership requires opportunity, capability and commitment. The competent leader is described as one who embraces the leadership role and possesses or cultivates the knowledge, skills and competencies (KSCs) relevant to the leadership position. This individual also, decisively commits to utilize acquired competencies in his or her leader role. Read More >Dr. Blanche Wallace Articles
A bit of splashing would surely make drowning easier to identify, but sadly, drowning tends to be a silent assassin. As retired Coast Guard Aviation Survival Technician Mario Vittone (2013) shares, "Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don't look like they're drowning." The same could be said for massive organizations who collapse like an avalanche, hiding their danger until one additional stress unleashes destruction. But, such collapses also tend to be masked - and they tend to be masked in the same way that drowning conceals itself. This would seem contrary to intuitive assumptions about staving off death. Vittone and Pia (2006) voice our expectation:
Most people assume that a drowning person will splash, yell, and wave for help; and why wouldn’t they? That’s what we see on television. Without training, we are conditioned first to think of drowning as a violent struggle that is noisy and physical. It is not.
Instead, the expert survivalists share what generally takes place. Instinctive Drowning Response represents a person's attempts to avoid the actual or perceived suffocation in the water. The suffocation in water triggers a constellation of autonomic nervous system responses that result in external, unlearned, instinctive drowning movements that are easily recognizable by trained rescue crews.
The struggle is not one of rational thinking about what is the most thoughtful means of communicating the need for help; rather, the body’s automatic survival mechanisms kick in, often inhibiting secondary response systems, like speech or flagging which unnecessarily utilize energy and oxygen for communicating need or concerns.
Organizations, too, have analogous systems of automatic response to life-threatening circumstances. And, those responses, like cost-cutting efficiency measures can be effective in the extremely short-term to keep the books balanced and creditors appeased. But, drowning is often the result of an incapability to peacefully and continually engage the present. This is why the one drowning strains to stay afloat with minimal exaggeration while sucking in watery breaths. Eventually, however, such measures fail. And, if someone does not save them, then they die.
Aiming for icebergs is a choice
But organizations are not destined to drown. They “go under,” because leaders lack the strategy capable of engaging the present. That is not to say the strategy is poor. It could be an imminently logical and thoughtful approach to achieve organizational goals. But, it could be a strategy that could not foresee the present context, and therefore operates under assumptions no longer tenable. Consider the drowning victim’s automatic response: struggling to remain “above” by pressing down on what lay below works when the objects pressed upon are solid, but when the medium is liquid, the result is a cyclical bouncing which actually works against the victim. So what is an organization to do if even quality strategy development can fail? The answer is to develop a strategic foresight competency.
No one working in your organization can foretell the future. And, you will not be hiring such a prodigy anytime soon. Still, that does not prohibit you from preparing for it better. And, if an unpredictable future can upend your plans and purposes so easily, then any improvement would seemingly be worth pursuing, especially if the improvement were to be a process competency enhancing the organization’s strategy work rather than a time-bound idea or assumption-restricted strategic plan. Essentially, this means strategic plans are only as valuable as the assumptions they are based on are true. Assumptions, which must be accurately predictive or flexible enough to qualify the plan, underpin strategy making, and strategic foresight is the competency that aids the organization in confirming, disconfirming, hybridizing, and generating assumptions. It is the work of enriching the strategy making process so that what results is more resilient to environmental changes. Alternatively, it heals strategy of its brittleness. As a result, strategy making is more robust and resultant strategies more adaptive and savvy. To illustrate the process, consider the following reasoning, which is not a prediction, but rather is an example of how foresight work might look in leading strategy formation.
When Facebook died: A marketing mockup
User tracking data seems to point toward Facebook’s loss of users and bloated registries (Canarella, 2014; Marks, 2013). Like population trends, signups occur, but they are less impactful than deactivation – especially for the company’s bottom-line, which is inherently tied up in sheer user population mass to which advertisements, desktop and mobile app, are pushed and from which user data is pulled. Of course, a different strategy could change the impact of user-numbers on that bottom-line (Edwards, 2014). Yet, with the loss of perceived invulnerability, that unbridled optimism for growth prospects, comes the loss of momentum. Surely, the pendulum of biases could lead onlookers to assume that geometric growth is only succeeded by geometric decline, but that would be narrow-minded. Arithmetic growth, a cyclical hybrid, cycles of growth and decline – like booms and busts – could also occur, among other possibilities (Risen, 2014). Assuming rigidly makes the strategic planning simpler, but it makes the strategic plan less flexible – and therefore less useful. In Facebook’s case, to assume the organization is rigidly stuck in a position of imminent and unalterable demise, would be to assume their strategic plan is rigid and could not anticipate for loss, like in the instances of younger-user interest or user disillusionment with the platform’s commercialization.
Supposing, however, that Facebook could be entering long-term decline as a potential future, how could that foresight consideration be leveraged as a strategic tool? Perhaps the marketing department in your organization has a social media presence. Perhaps they utilize Facebook promotion posts and analytic tools to gain understanding of your market segments. If Facebook is in decline, then how useful will that platform be for such marketing activities, for customer analysis, and for cultivating a strong marketing competency long-term? It would seem less useful than when Facebook, as a platform, presented an untouchable tool for social connections and user-information divulgence. In the medium-term, that horizon to which strategic planning looks, might the marketing department, therefore, contemplate shifting reliance upon Facebook to other platforms – as well as reestablishing marketing functions that are less platform reliant? And, in the short-term horizon, the department may respond by budgeting less heavily for Facebook ads placement and Page development. Furthermore, they might consider training in the use of competitive platforms as well as explore opportunities to transition their fans from Facebook to a proprietary website or blog.
The above mockup of the way in which a single, confirming trend could affect a major social platform that is heavily leveraged by many companies’ marketing departments is a sample of how foresight can be strategically applied for organizational enrichment. Simply, this is what strategic foresight does, and why, as a competency, it enables organizations to remain adaptable amid uncertain futures. For the marketing department that uses Facebook as a key social media marketing platform, such foresight could be leveraged to gain the insight that putting all the marketing hopes in the Facebook basket may not be the wisest path forward. Moreover, Facebook’s adaptive planning may be less concerned with ensuring other organizations have access to the greatest number of customers than assumed.
Learning to swim
To reassert our starting point, drowning often occurs without radically successful survival efforts ever emerging. In moments of panic, we tend to hold fast to our assumptions rather than revisit them. Frankly, in the throes of death, all we can do is struggle and hope for rescue, unless, of course, we have prepared for the emergency. Critical emergency training is akin to that strategy work directing how to manage defined contexts. And, strategic foresight, therefore, is the overarching wisdom that emergencies happen, and training is a useful manner of preparing for them. You see, useful strategy work arises from foresight work, from the realistic and humble assumption that contingency thinking is reasonable. Assuming the future your strategy is built for is the future your strategy will undoubtedly face, however, is not.
About the Author:
David M. Stehlik is a passionate strategist and organizational motivator. Alongside private consulting, he is an instructor for the University of Saint Francis’s new online MBA program. He earned a BA in Political Economy and Christian Studies from Hillsdale College and an MBA in International Business, Marketing, and Administration from the University of Saint Francis, and he is currently finishing a doctoral degree in Strategic Leadership from Regent University. His international experience is extensive, including travel through Africa, South America, and Southeastern Europe. Beyond the U.S., he has consulted for leaders in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia as well as for Midwest businesses, youth camps, and various entrepreneurs.
*Image courtesy of Koratmember / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Cannarella, J., & Spechler, J. A. (2014, January 17). Epidemiological modeling of online social network dynamics. In arXiv. Retrieved May 19, 2014, from http://arxiv.org/pdf/1401.4208v1.pdf
Edwards, J. (2014, April 29). This is what the decline of Facebook looks like. In Business Insider. Retrieved May 19, 2014, from http://www.businessinsider.com/decline-of-facebook-user-numbers-2014-4
Marks, G. (2013, August 19). Why Facebook is in decline. In Forbes. Retrieved May 19, 2014, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/quickerbettertech/2013/08/19/why-facebook-is-in-decline/
Risen, T. (2014, January 27). Don't predict Facebook's decline yet: Facebook should pursue growth despite overhyped Princeton research. . In USA News & World Report. Retrieved May 19, 2014, from http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/01/27/dont-predict-facebooks-decline-yet
Vittone, M. (2013, June 4). Drowning doesn't look like drowning. In Slate: Snapshots of life at home. Retrieved May 19, 2014, from http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/family/2013/06/rescuing_drowning_children_how_to_know_when_someone_is_in_trouble_in_the.html
Vittone, M., & Pia, F. A. (2006). “It doesn’t look like they’re drowning” - Recognize instinctive drowning response. On Scene, 14. Retrieved May 19, 2014, from http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg534/On%20Scene/OSFall06.pdf
A bit of splashing would surely make drowning easier to identify, but sadly, drowning tends to be a silent assassin. As retired Coast Guard Aviation Survival Technician Mario Vittone (2013) shares, “Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning.” The same could be said for massive organizations who collapse like an avalanche, hiding their danger until one additional stress unleashes destruction. But, such collapses also tend to be masked – and they tend to be masked in the same way that drowning conceals itself. Read More >David Stehlik Articles