Determining Who Is Us (Our People)

… a core concept in Leadership Skills and Atlas 109

OurPeopleConcept description

This concept (effective practice) addresses the question of who are the people we are attempting to help with our project or initiative.

In his writing on Leading Change, Marshall Ganz (reference below) writes about Public Narrative – Self, Us, and Now. Who are the people? Who is us?

Ganz answers the question with:

“We each participate in many us’s: family, community, faith, organization, profession, nation, or movement. A story of us expresses the values, the experiences, share by the us we are evoking at the time. But a story of “us” not only articulates the values of our community; it can also distinguish our community from another, reducing uncertainty about what to expect from those with whom we interact. Social scientists often describe a “story of us” as collective identity.”

A similar question arises about the definition of people in Dean Williams book entitled Real Leadership, Helping People and Organizations Face their Toughest Challenges – see Williams’ Distinction between Real and Counterfeit Leadership. In the leading change examples cited by Williams the collectivity is everyone in a particular company, or a particular political jurisdiction.

Determining who constitute “our people” or “us” is obviously a crucial part of diagnosing a leadership challenge.


Marshall Ganz (2010), Leading Change – Leadership, Organization, and Social Movements, Excerpted from Chapter 19 in Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice: A Harvard Business School Centennial Colloquium, Edited by Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana, Harvard Business Press, Boston, Massachusetts, at, accessed 6 March 2016.

Atlas topic and subject

Diagnosing (core topic) in Leadership Skills.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 6 March 2016.

Image: Alcatel-Lucent, Our People, at, accessed 6 March 2016.