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Tim Cynova Post by Tim Cynova

By Tim Cynova on May 2nd, 2017

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Would you rather be right or effective?

Big Ideas | How We Work | Leadership | People Operations | Human Resources

by Tim Cynova, Chief Operating Officer at Fractured Atlas


I used to work with someone who would always ask “Which would you rather” questions. Which would you rather: Wear a bathing suit in Antarctica, or a snow suit in the desert? Which would you rather as a musician: Be a one-hit wonder with a song that defines summer for a generation, or a member of a band with modest success for 10 years?

Since those days, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for “Which would you rather” questions. In the latest episode of How We Work, we explore “Which would you rather, be right or effective?” in the context of an abrasive leader about to lose their job.

We take a look at self-described Wrongologist Kathryn Schultz and what it feels like when you’re wrong, as well as a retired Brigadier General who literally wrote the book on leading in extreme situations.

And before you say it, yes, sure, there is a way to be both right and effective. However, we’ll use this false dichotomy to look at instances when one’s desire to be right undermines their ability to be effective.


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About Tim Cynova

Tim wears a multitude of hats, all in service of creating anti-racist workplaces where people can thrive. He currently is co-CEO of Fractured Atlas (an entirely virtual organization with staff spread across multiple states and countries) and a Principal of the consulting group Work. Shouldn't. Suck. He serves on the faculty of Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity and The New School teaching courses in People-Centric Organizational Design; he's a trained mediator, and a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Earlier in his career, Tim was the Executive Director of The Parsons Dance Company and of High 5 Tickets to the Arts in New York City, had a memorable stint with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, was a one-time classical trombonist, musicologist, and for five years in his youth he delivered newspapers for the Evansville, Indiana Courier-Press. Also, during a particularly slow summer, he bicycled 3,902 miles across the United States.