16 March 2009

True Leadership Needed

To wit: two charts that say much about the U.S. of part of A. and by Jupiter's right kneecap, I don't think any of it is good. Chart #1 tells Us something horrendously wrong happened in 1980-1981 and Chart #2 tells Us where monies are going that make...no...sense.

On to the next subject: leadership. Or lack thereof. From Slow Leadership, a blog that's much better than the title might imply, comes this essay on "The Mark of a True Leadership Role." A couple of quotes suffice:

"The distinguishing mark of a true leader is the ability to function where all existing ideas and past experience stop being any help.

It’s pretty obvious, once you think about it clearly. For any role to be a leadership role, or for any situation truly to demand leadership to deal with it, it needs to be solvable only by thinking the answer out for yourself. If you can deal with it on the basis of applying a known rule, technique or approach—or you can find the right thing to do by copying what someone else has done before you—it isn’t a true leadership situation...

...Faced with this kind of situation (an unknown), it’s little wonder that the most visible characteristics of many leaders are acting ability and fear. They become good actors (after all, they’ve studied the part extensively), but they’re terrified most of the time. When things are humming along nicely, they can maybe get by through their acting. There are no genuine leadership situations to be dealt with. It’s all management and administration. But when things go wrong and the only way forward is through true leadership—thinking out the answer for yourself—they are lost. All they can do is repeat what they have learned, copy what others have done or look for someone ‘safe’ to tell them what to do. That’s not any kind of leadership."

Now Carmine Coyote's take on leadership (and yes, that is the author's real name) is not only sensible, it is downright abusive of the so-called "leadership" We "enjoy" now. Though the essay is primarily aimed at business leaders, one can clearly see the application of this very basic trait to political leaders; in Our case, to a Jellyfish and a Larva.

The Jellyfish, former (un)governor Aníbal Acevedo, whose fraud charges trial is pretty much in a jury's hands right now, couldn't think his way into a paper bag, for though his political savvy is regarded by even enemies as top-notch, that save-the-skin knack had nothing to do with true save-the-nation thinking skills. In one you seek to avoid drowning; in the other, you build a lifeboat.

The Larva, current (non)governor Luis Fortuño, who could face impeachment if We get (non)lucky, couldn't think his way out of a paper bag. Lacking political savvy, he deems it enough to have dozens of people tell him what to do and then...nothing. He can't make a decision simply because he can't think "out of the box--bag--whatever." Where The Jellyfish had "survival imagination" to keep his fraud-filled political career going, The Larva is lucky to have any imagination whatsoever, and what little he has seems to be used to pick a new tie every week.

Why are We--in Puerto Rico and the rest of the world--saddled with half-half-wit leadership? Because We train people to rely on "experience and expertise" rather than "facts plus imagination." The first is subjective layered with subjectivity; the second is reality layered with "what could and should be." The first is--at best--mechanical; the second can be magical. The first is id-based, with vices as often primary movers; the second is rational and demands virtues to make its impact. We teach and train and trundle under the first; We seek and strive and seriously need and should have the second.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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