Help us sharing our research, consultation and experiences

Donate Now

The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Harry Levinson

Dr. Harry Levinson (1922-2012) was a small man, but a giant in the field of leadership. Almost single-handedly, he brought enlightened, psychoanalytically informed theory and practical wisdom into the study and modern practice of leadership. The psychological contract—a term that Harry coined in the 1950s—best captures the power of his ideas: employees will commit their creative initiative, time, and energy to help their managers succeed in direct proportion to the degree to which managers commit to their employees' success. Harry's brilliance was revealed in the belief that genuine human motivation cannot be manipulated with carrots and sticks. However, it can be fully engaged by interactions that demonstrate trust and fairness and by behaviors that inspire employees to identify with their leaders. Much of modern thought about leadership stands on Harry's very broad shoulders. He will be missed.