Friday, March 27, 2009

On Leadership

Sedrox wrote:

"as you said, some individuals are genuinely more drawn to leadership roles and creativity. as long as their authority is proven to be legitimate (in the sense that it is in the interests of everyone) we should not fight against its existence."

Mike Morin replies:

That isn't exactly what I "said", but close enough.

Still. we must be ever vigilant, about our own intentions, and the intentions of leaders. There are many instances where the "legitimized" leadership must be "fought". Hitler is probably the most universally accepted example, but in a species that has shown such a plethora of dominance based on brute force and manipulation, one wonders if we should not "fight" every leader. By "fight", I really mean challenge, when appropriate.

In my first book, I wrote a Chapter entitled "Gandhi vs. Hitler: Can non-violence Work"? In interest of time, I'm not going to summarize the chapter. I only want to present it as food for thought.

We must also keep in mind that where I have lived, and probably no doubt to a more or less similar manner in all human environments, the ones that are chosen and steered to leadership roles is not an equal opportunity culture. People born into priviledge have a strong tendency to have had parents who had better educational opportunities and taught well from an early age.

Whether people are born with superior innate intelligence is debatable, and one that could never be proven, one way or the other.

But leadership takes more than intelligence, and knowledge based on educational opportunities (including having the good fortune to pursue self-study with excellent library facilities), there are environmental and natural social, psychological factors that form personalities into ones that tend to assume leadership. There is wisdom and point of view passed down from preceeding generations, and there is hard learned wisdom from life experience. There is common sense.

But you and I agree that intentions are the most important factor to determine leadership.

Another important point about "legitimized" authority is that it needs to be based on "expert" authority, that is, the authority needs to be recognized and appreciated by those that are subject to it.

Therefore, it is necessary to cultivate the best of intentions, a solid work ethic, knowledge, and eventually wisdom in everyone. All who strive thus, should be guided by their own innate desire to lead or not. It is not a bi-polar characteristic, everyone has varying amounts of leadership drive, therfore particpatory management should be optimized, if not maximized.

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