Thursday, March 25, 2010

i-TFTD #267: Deep Thoughts

i-TFTD #267: Deep Thoughts

Some quotes, in addition to conveying a useful thought, lend themselves to multiple interpretations, or provoke us to reflect deeper. Like it? Let me know.

#267-1. Eminent posts make great men greater, and little men less.
-Jean de la Bruyere, essayist and moralist (1645-1696)

One obvious meaning is what people become through their actions after reaching the post. Great ones now have a better platform to do more good, while lesser ones misuse power. Another interpretation is that the successful attainment of eminent posts itself makes them more of what they are. Good people become better in the path to higher levels while others tend to take short cuts of dubious standards to attain success. A related but slightly different view is that the achievement itself is a strong proof of someone's greatness or lack of scruple.

267-2. A good leader can't get too far ahead of his followers.
-Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd US President (1882-1945)

Cannot could mean should not, that is, should lead and pace by adapting to the team in order to be effective. Too much awe or respect of the leader's ability would make the team reconcile themselves to their current state rather than inspiring them to attain higher levels. Cannot could also mean will not be able to, that is, a leader is constrained by the team's capability levels. Where possible, selecting the right mix in the team becomes a leader's important responsibility. How about: "Followers can't get too much behind a leader." Reminds me of the question: which is a better pe! rforming team, a group of lions led by a deer or a herd of deer led by a lion? The answer is not too obvious to me. Is there one correct answer?

267-3. Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, thirst that is unquenchable?
-Kahlil Gibran, mystic, poet, and artist (1883-1931)

Insecurity induces damaging behavior from leaders, eventually self-damaging. Accumulation of more wealth and affording luxury do not correlate with contentment. This unquenchable thirst reminds me of the unwakeable sleep-pretender. A different thought is: dissatisfaction with a working system is a thirst that can be quenched with innovative improvements. In fact, that is the creative urge that brings progress or poetry.

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