Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Few Words About Leadership

A real leader is somebody out ahead of the pack -- in seeing what is going on before most other people do -- and responding to them so that everybody has a model for dealing with that situation when it arises to the top of their consciousness, usually brought on by some great calamity they can no longer avoid or deny.

But in every society, as well as every species, there are those who naturally as well as through their experiences, have a heightened sense for seeing these developments and their ultimate consequences -- and deal with them so that they don’t become the entrenched problems, most people accept and have been conditioned (indoctrinated) to believe is the only way of seeing things. That is a great problem in Hawaii, as well as elsewhere -- in the past, that need not be the critical failure anymore.

And that critical failure is not the old one of tangible resources but the intangible one of information and communications. It is institutionalized as the great problem of “education,” which is a previous generation’s term for this function -- because formerly, one’s abilities were limited to what information one could access stored in their head, or memory. But now we live in an age of virtual access and memory -- to those who merely avail themselves of those unlimited resources.

So our problems now are really the challenge of dealing with an abundance of knowledge and choices -- rather than the scarcity of them, and especially when that scarcity is “created” and perpetuated, by the status quo self-interests -- including the old mass media, schools, universities, and other self-proclaimed institutions of benevolent purpose.

It was while working with many of these “well-intentioned” organizations, that I saw how a co-dependent relationship could be established and maintained throughout one’s lengthy lifetime -- growing into an ever-increasing drain on society which eventually consumes ten lives to sustain one. That is not a very attractive prospect for life in the future -- which we are all headed into.

The unrealized insight for most is that most people are trapped by a poor solution of the past -- when much better ones are available today that render their problems moot, if they just had the latest, best information. However, most were conditioned to their understanding while young and in school and actually discouraged from accepting any other than the “truth” taught by the schools as the “absolute” truth. And so in time, everything that might have been true at that time they were “taught,” may become untrue, for which they have no way of reconditioning themselves to the latest and greatest understanding -- on their own.

That is the saddest thing to see in people -- that many people stopped learning once they left school, so convinced were they, that learning anything new had to be difficult and take a long time -- rather than in realizing, that learning anything, is the easiest and quickest thing to do. That is what the leader does best.

As for the young, many of them start kindergarten already knowing how to operate a computer and a cell phone -- because they don't have to unburden themselves of what they "know."