A general once summed it up very succinctly (approximate quote):
” if I set a heroic task, heroic men come forth; if I promise benefits and convenience, the street hustler types come forth”.
That’s pretty much it.
I find it fascinating to observe how this works not only as a principle of attraction but also as a principle of repulsion:
If we set circumstances for the Right thing (which transcends individual interests), the small man flees; it often triggers bodily reactions in them like nausea, sweating, stuttering, etc.
Setting the circumstance is sometimes as easy as exhibiting the appropriate style:
When interviewing people in context of building leadership teams it’s educational to see what happens when one gives them the royal treatment (treating them as royalties; btw. this should always be the case).
The royal treatment may trigger humbleness and respect or arrogance and cynicism: it polarizes. People who are aligned to principles have a sense of style that goes beyond the domain of mere practicality; those who aren’t, can’t be lifted from the practical domain and thus they constantly contradict themselves.
The point is of course that similarities attract each other. To be more accurate, we should say: a given principle triggers the emergence of a given set of characteristics, a given style, certain type of people.
Without capturing the principle (NOT values!!!) there is chaos. As step zero, all fashionable domains must be approached from this angle, including
- innovation and creativity
- leadership and management
- organization (including anything “social”)
- identity (including positioning)
The table has turned: it’s no longer the State that provides context for economics; business itself has (tried to) become the context.
Since clearly no leadership may emerge from within the boundaries of business, the term “leadership” has been adjusted (has been degraded) to the business domain.
Since it’s more unreasonable to expect true leadership emerging from politics, a new elite must emerge from business; an elite that’s capable and prepared to transcend the business domain and trigger the emergence of hierarchies that are aligned to principles in the original sense of the word.
The effort to accomplish this and to reach the next step, which is to re-instate a State that is capable of providing context (in other words to re-instate normality) is comparable to a heroic war that’s being fought while it’s clear from the start that the chances for success is zero.
Clearly, the chances for the appearance of a new elite from the business domain is also next to zero.
Yet: anybody who concerns himself with leadership should be concerned about this very issue, because today there are no other issues related to true leadership.