I am sure that child will rather be somewhere else than under the sun. What does this say about responsible motherhood?
Leave Children Out of It Please!!!! Friday, Oct 17 2008
Politics’s Image Problem Thursday, Oct 16 2008
I have watched with mild amusement as politicians in the US have re-enforced the notion that politics is a dirty game — even in so called civilized countries. What I find also disturbing but not surprising is that the press isn’t any better.
Look at the major press headlines and you can deduce that the more inflamatory the headline, the better. It is no wonder citizen journalism is on the rise … we just can trust the professional journalists anymore. With cites like CNN’s fact check and politifact.com, all an intelligent person needs to do is visit these sites to confirm or refute the allegations being made on both sites.
As for Obama “pallying with shady characters” ….. let us then go back and sack the vetting organization that vets senators. Because God knows it is shocking and a black stain [no, not racist ] on the US that one of its senators is a questionable character.
Another thing that pisses me off is when people question the economic credentials of a candidate. If the US wants a good candidate, why not pick one of the Nobel laureates in Economics that are abound in the country?
Who people choose is a question of leadership … the person that inspires them and gives them a good dream to believe in. Rhetoric? part of the charm, good looks? in, heroisn in war in. So in the end, it is a matter of leadership. Simple
Leading without Heart!! Friday, Apr 25 2008
Ran across this picture from BBC’s pictures of the day and the caption read –” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems unconcerned when a woman feints after meeting him at a polling station in Tehran while voting in the second round of the parliamentary elections.” I just went OH MY GOD!! Can u just feel how detached these “leaders” are in this photo? See the third man in dark suit just FOLDING his arms in such an emergency. U begin to wonder, how do these people manage do delude themselves that they can inspire anything but monsters like themselves?
What happened to LOVING? CARING? REACHING OUT TO THE HEARTS of people you aspire to lead? In other words, HOW CAN YOU GET THEIR PERMISSION TO LEAD THEM AND THEIR LOYALTY if you can stand so detached while they or one of their own almost dies? Take repression and strong-arm politics away and I can tell u, megalomaniacs like these will eventually get it – in the behind!!
Having Problems with Loyalty? Try SELF SACRIFICE [aka How NOT to Lead People] Monday, Mar 31 2008
Courage and Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Accepting the Innevitable, Chakotay, Emotional Intelligence, Emotionally Dumb, Kathryn Janeway, Leadership, Self Sacrifice, StarTrek Voyager, Tuvok 6:17 pm
The movie under consideration is Startrek Voyager Episode: Resolutions
First lesson I see here is HOW NOT TO LEAD PEOPLE. What happens when u take a person totally devoid of emotional intelligence (EQ) takes over leadership when there’s been an emotional crises.
When a leader makes a sacrifice of himself/herself, including and especially the power she has been bestowed, all but the most hardcore cynics melt down in loyalty and admiration. It is the concept of the leader who has not defined himself/herself in terms of her positional authority – it makes a followership so loyal …’they will gladly fly gasoline into hell’ for their leader.
That’s what Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay achieve when they don’t hesitate to sacrifice themselves so as not to put their crew in harm’s way.
In this movie, I also take home a lesson of LIVING IN THE MOMENT. It is futile sacrificing the present for a future that may never exist. Powerful reminder than purpose in the meaning can always exist in the here and now …. question is … do u have what it takes to find it?
Vanity – the Thin Line between Darkness & Light Tuesday, Mar 25 2008
Ego and Leadership and Lord of the Rings and Personal Leadership and Private Victory and The Devil´s Advocate and The Sigma Protocol and Vanity Al Pacino, Character, Devil's Advocate, Discipline, Ego, Integrity, John Maxwell, Lord of the Rings, Personal Leadership, Robert Ludlum, Sigma Protocol, Stephen Covey, Vanity 12:38 pm
1. The Lord of the Rings – a trilogy of movies written by JRR Tolkien
2. The Sigma Protocol – novel by Robert Ludlum
I have always believed that in religion, you can never know the true nature of a man unless u give him the greatest desires of his heart. That thing which we most desire – how we go about getting it, what we do when it is offered to us and what price we will pay to get it are to me the truest measure of one’s self mastery and personal leadership. For if you haven’t mastered yourself, if you lack personal leadership, how can u truely lead others? Stephen Covey calls it (self mastery, personal leadership) the private victory in his “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. He also makes the point which I agree with that private victory must always precede public victory. John Maxwell says people will only follow a person who has higher leadership ability that them and when and individual mindfully works on his own self mastery, personal leadership or private victory – the leadership ability grows tremendously … making it more likely that other people will follow them.
“Vanity!! my favourite sin” as Al Pacino says in the “Devil’s Advocate” is the most subtle way to destroy any person especially when the not so subtle ways fail. The movie “The Devil’s Advocate” itself is a good lesson in how humans can triumph in the face of great evil only to fall into the same great darkness under the influence of vanity – when wealth and power failed to get the lawyer Kevin ….. how did the devil finally corner Kevin? – he played on his vanity! – praised him as the only lawyer with a conscience and boy! Kevin fell for that (though thankfuly the movie doesn’t show us the details of the fall).
In the novel ‘The Sigma Protocol’, some of the world’s most powerful and ‘upright’ people, even former enemies are ready to abandon everything they hold dear for the promise of a long life and immortality. The evil scientist Gerhard Lenz – a Nazi war criminal who carried horrible experiments on human beings ends up being chosen as the leader of the whole world (behind the scenes) because he offers to very powerful individuals the same thing that feeds their vanity and huge egos – “You’ve worked so much your entire life and just at the point when u attain mastery in your profession, old age sets in and you start and tumble towards the grave, how would you want to halt or reverse your aging so the world can benefit from your immense expertise and mastery?” – boy!! even a Nazi hunter falls for it as do most of the worlds very powerful people – all neglecting the fact that the treatment involves the death of hundreds or thousands of innocent children. The problem with an appeal to our vanity is that it always makes sense … shockingly, I agreed with the evil doctor’s aguement that the death of progeria kids and refugees to give life to a few of the world’s elite is good for the growth of civilization! and so I came face to face with an dark side of myself — I know how much I strive for perfection and self mastery (see my blog “In Search of Excellence & Perfection”) and I am nowhere near it. When I do achieve it, would I really pass up the chance to consolidate on that mastery by artifically elongating my life especially if a child who is going to die anyway makes the ultimate sacrifice? May God keep me from having to make that choice.
In the lord of the Rings – the temptation comes through this magical ring that is supposed to make the wearer of it the enormous power. Again, the ring manipulates the wearer by appealing to his vanity,his ego, his need to be in power, to command and control and rule over others. And when they put it on, destruction comes.
A friend once showed me a quote “When you give up the need to control things and people, you achieve freedom” – the need to control things and people is a property of our ego, our vanity and ultimate leadership means relinquishing that need. However, by caring for others, by standing true to principles or right and light, when others see that we have passed the test of ego and vanity, they can give us that power of control – and how we deal with it has lots of temptations of its own and will be a continuing test of our integrity.
Leaving 99 Sheep to Look for One Lost Sheep! Tuesday, Mar 11 2008
StarTrek Voyage Season 2 – Episode 2: ¨Initiations¨
In this episode and in several others in this series … I am reminded of the parable of the lost sheep in the bible. —- A good shepard will leave 99 sheep to look of one missing sheep, sometimes even putting those 99 in harm´s way in the process. Captain Janeway does just that in this episode and in other episodes as she won´t leave any of her people behind who are captured, sick, missing or separated from the crew inexplicably. The good shepard thus inspires loyalty in the team and fosters teamwork because all the other 99 sheep are confident that if it were them that were in this situation, their leader won´t leave any stone unturned in trying to get them. This act sends one simple message – ¨Everyone of you is an important part of this journey/endeavour/venture, I will go out of my way and do everything in my power to keep you safe¨
A leader NEVER compromises his principles – s/he will not sacrifice others to save himself.
And from Commander Chakotay himself ¨A man does not own land, he doesn´t own anything except the courage and loyalty in his heart¨ – wow! and here I thought we owned land, houses, cars and corporate empires! and what is that in the heart? courage and loyalty?
In light of the previous quote … we have our next tenet – a leader´s message/appeal is goes to the heart and spirit – to the potential for greatness within us all. That message could be verbal but more importantly the message is by behaviour – there is something the leader DOES that make even his enemy buy into his value system. In this episode, Commander Chakotay´s refusal to kill innocent children, risk his life to save that which he cares about and even give himself up as a sacrifice (at great risk) so someone can gain something they hold dear is a message that is louder than anything any orator could say.
7 Leadership Insights from StarTrek Voyager Tuesday, Mar 11 2008
My first post is inspired by an episode of the Sci-Fi series – StarTrek-Voyager : Season 2 – Episode 1: ´The 37s´. In a nutshell, this is a story of a group of people (former enemies until now) who are lost in a distant part of space and are trying to find their way home. They must put their differences aside (at least for the moment), muster all their creativity and hope to get home and there isn´t any guarantee they will even make it in their lifetime given their current resources
I remember watching this movie about 10 years a go and geek that I was (and still am), the only thing that wowed me was the technology . Now, it is more a story of leadership, of teamwork and management and of the importance of different types of intelligence – intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical.
With respect to this episode … here are my insights.
Moral authority still surpasses positional authority – the captain of this ship finds time and again that is if futile to lock people up for rebellion or punish them in traditional ways — right out here with the possibility that they may never go home …. most of the fear of the institution is gone. So how does she keep the people working as a team and in order? She makes sacrifices for them, cares for them and no one doubts the fact that she will do everything within accepted principles to get them home.
A true leader sees the quality of leadership in others …. and respects it even if they are on different side of some conflict. Commander Chakotay – the leader of the rebel Marquis was very impressed by the Captain Janeway´s commitment to principles when she destroyed the only visible hope of returning just because she wasn´t willing to trade other people´s lives for the convenience of her and her crew. This commitment to principles comes clear when she wouldn´t pay body-parts thieves who had stole the lungs of one of her crew.
Within a leader, a battle always rages – how to reconcile nurturing and one´s principles with harsh reality and multiple conflicting expectations of those you lead. In this movie, there are times when some of the crew think adhering to principles and not thinking of self preservation at any cost is stupid – Captain Janeway is then faced with the hard choice of making an unpopular decision on behalf of everyone.
Even leaders doubt and sometimes the goal seems unattainable, to settle for second best. If u settle for second best … it will become a harsh reminder of your failure. Everyday, the life of second best will remind you that you did not try hard enough or you lacked the courage.
Moral dilemmas are the stuff a leader must successfully deal with to prove their integrity
True leaders CARE about their people and they SHOW it. And even if sometimes s/he takes harsh decisions and is hard on the followers, they also know. In Voyager this is shown when every single member of the crew passes the chance to stay on a planet that is like beautiful as home and holds hope and instead follow their captain on a journey to get to earth – their real home, a journey they may not likely finish in their lifetimes – talk about a vote of confidence. … which brings me to another point
The litmus test of good leadership is when followers voluntarily choose to follow the leader into the unknown rather than stay without him/her in some equally good place.
Introduction Wednesday, Oct 3 2007
Uncategorized 3:22 pm
I love movies and I teach and consult at a business school. Some deep movies really touch me and I have come to realize that the most memorable movies teach lots of leadership and management principles … both good and bad. I love this type of teaching because it appeals to the right-brain, the emotional part of us rather than the purely logical.
For each blog, I will pick a movie, give a brief of the management/leadership themes I see in the movie and then describe how some character in the movie exemplifies the principle either for good or bad.