Chicken or Egg: Communication, Coaching, Culture Change, or Leading ChangeWhich came first; the chicken or the egg? That’s the age-old question of cause and effect. It’s often difficult to know which is which. For example, do caring families create members who feel loved or do loving members create caring families? Is he unhappy because he’s ungrateful or is he ungrateful because he’s unhappy?

Do my punny Dad Jokes pull a groan muscle because they’re the lowest form of humor or are they the lowest form of humor jest for the pun of it? Well, OK. Maybe that example doesn’t quite make the point, but I do sometimes ponder the cause when I see my effect. And nobody wants to egg me on.

Tomorrow we publish my March blog posts in the April issue of The Leader Letter. This issue features updates on my latest book project. This “readersourcing” approach revolves around very thoughtful and enormously useful input from over 600 readers on today’s most relevant development topics. If you haven’t done it already, I’d love to get your book advice and guidance. I’d also love for you to join our Book Advisory Panel — and I am not above offering a little “payola” to reward your help!

The four highest voted book topics are Communication, Coaching, Culture Change, and Leading Change. Which comes first? Which causes which?

  • Does an organization’s culture create strong leaders or do strong leaders create an organization’s culture?
  • Is effective coaching a key skill of great leaders or are great leaders highly effective coaches?
  • Does it take change leadership skills to shift a team/organization’s culture or do successful culture shifts develop change leadership skills?
  • Are strong leaders highly effective communicators or are highly effective communicators strong leaders?

The research on how one culture factor (innovation) leads to 5.5 times higher growth could raise another chicken and egg question: do innovative and agile cultures create highly-trusted and engaged people or do highly-trusted and engaged people create innovative and agile cultures?

In all these examples there are convincing arguments for either cause or effect. Perhaps it depends on which you think is the chicken and which is the egg. Which circles us right back to which came first. 19th-century British novelist and satirist, Samuel Butler, decided that “a hen is only an egg’s way of making another egg.”

However you look at these topics, they’re vital to personal, team, and organization effectiveness.