News from Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Leadership: Somebody Should Write This Book.

    What makes a leader? How do you get to be one? Can it be taught? Is it imbedded in our DNA?
     The world is desperate for leaders who put the good of mankind and country before their own welfare. Never mind looking in the usual places for leadership. Politicians run for office to get privileges and money, churches turn a blind eye to corruption that might affect membership rolls, organizations are all about money. Any sense of right and wrong  is pre-empted by the same old greed and self-interest that permeates all out most trusted institutions. This lack of integrity has contaminated every part of our life, even our athletes.  Every day we hear new evidence that Greed and Personal Pleasure, which have become the religion we use to plan our daily lives, has brought about yet another betrayal.
      So who is going to declare the new standard and lead us out of this mess?
     Are leaders born or created? What do they have, either good or evil in their character, which motivates humans to follow them blindly, even to their own destruction? Can we teach this or does it just happen? That is why somebody has to write this book. The research will be exhausting, because facts don't exist. Academics will come up with theories, for sure, like, "it's all about character. Moral strength produces leaders."
     No it doesn't. Joseph Stalin, Charles Manson, Adolph Hitler, Napoleon Bonaparte didn't have much character to be admired, yet something compelled thousands to follow their lead. Indeed, short, homely Adolph Hitler didn't, himself, understand why he got the results he did.
      Jesus Christ and The Prophet Mohammad changed the world with their message. Why did people listen? Was it as simple as telling the masses what they needed to hear at that time?
     On the other hand, why did all those people drink that poisoned Kool Aid? I doubt that it was Jim Jones God-inspired goodness that brought it about.
      What was the common denominator that made these men leaders?
     To find the answers we have to return to a study of the nature of man. From the beginning, we've been evolving into basically a herd animal. We must have a leader to tell us what to do. Our DNA dictates that we follow anyone who will lead us that comfort zone where we're assured happiness if we simply conform.
       It isn't the philosophers who will rescue us from the mess we've made of the planet, but the social anthropologists. It is time they explained us to us. A good place to begin is the "Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry," by Harry Stack Sullivan, MD, the most brilliant theorist this country has ever produced. He explains how we get to be human.
      Clearly it doesn't matter where we're being led--into war, or murder, or a jungle hut, or a religious belief, as long as the leadership is firm. We hate uncertainty. We hate questions. We'll deny truth to the bitter end.
       So, you see, somebody has to write this book before it's too late.

No comments:

Post a Comment