Leadership thinking and ‘riches of the mind’

“A man may be a tough, concentrated, successful money-maker and never contribute to his country anything more than a horrible example.

A manager may be tough and practical, squeezing out, while the going is good, the last ounce of profit and dividend, and may leave behind him an exhausted industry and a legacy of industrial hatred.

A tough manager may never look outside his own factory walls or be conscious of his partnership in a wider world.

I often wonder what strange cud such men sit chewing when their working days are over, and the accumulating riches of the mind have eluded them.”

– Sir Robert Gordon Menzies

https://i0.wp.com/www.schoolofthinking.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/image0000059a2.jpg?w=656

Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, KT AK CH FAA FRS QC, was an Australian politician and the 12th Prime Minister of Australia. Serving a collective total of over 18 years, he is Australia’s longest-serving Prime Minister.

https://i1.wp.com/ichef.bbci.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/images/paintings/wac/large/kt_wac_k021645_large.jpg?resize=598%2C792

When 2nd can be better than 1st …

From ET 123, Michael’s book English Thinking: The Three Methods

Chinese thinking is different to Western ET 1 thinking because they do not both share the same cultural evolution. Chinese thinking methods obviously did not evolve out of a medieval bellicose Roman church.

For example, a dominant strategy of ET 1 thinking is to be First. This seems logical to the Western mind because, after all, I-am-right-and-you-are-wrong.

But to the Chinese mind the preferred strategy is not to be First but to be Second. In the words of the father of modern China, Deng Xiaoping:

Keep cool-headed to observe, be composed to make reactions, stand firmly, hide our capabilities and bide our time, never try to take the lead, and be able to accomplish something.

There are some Western leaders who also understand the beneficial paradox of the 2 strategy and Jack Welch of GE was a good example. Except in the very few situations, like boxing or poker when it’s a zero sum game, 2 is often a far superior strategy to 1. Have a think about it.

There is much that Western business can learn from Deng Xiaopeng’s ideas.

My personal experience is that many Westerners, even in 2012, are still pre-Enlightenment ET 1 thinkers. While they may know about the Enlightenment and be able to describe some of its breakthroughs their default position is still ET 1 thinking.

On the other hand, while it is true that the Chinese clearly have much to do and many issues of their own to work through and to improve and further develop, my own observation is that they are largely post-Enlightenment ET 2 thinkers.

They deeply understand the ET 2 evolutionary approach compared with the West’s ET 1 revolutionary approach and this gives them a great advantage going forward into the many possible futures. It will be interesting to see where this takes them in the next few decades.

School of Thinking is OPT-IN/OPT-OUT. Students come and go as they please.

100% online

Anyone. Anywhere. Anytime Speed.

Because we are 100% online School of Thinking lessons are not only fast and scientific but also can be sent to anyone, anywhere and at the speed of light.

0% offline

No Meetings. No Powerpoints. No Costs.

Because we are 0% offline there are no meetings, no powerpoint presentations and zero time offline with none of the costs of time, travel and accommodation incurred with all offline meetings.

 

SOT-logo-NEW

On educating yourself …

Robert M. Pirsig in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintance

“The idea that the majority of students attend a university for an education independent of the degree and grades is a hypocrisy everyone is happier not to expose. Occasionally some students do arrive for an education but rote and mechanical nature of the institution soon converts them to a less idealistic attitude”

 Life is about creating yourseld

“If you meet at dinner a man who has spent his life in educating himself — a rare type in our time … you rise from table richer, and conscious that a high ideal has for a moment touched and sanctified your days. But Oh! my dear Ernest, to sit next to a man who has spent his life in trying to educate others! What a dreadful experience that is!”
— Oscar Wilde

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school,”
– Albert Einstein

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
– Mark Twain

“I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.”
– Socrates

“The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.”
-Carl Rogers

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.”
— Isaac Asimov

“Just as eating against one’s will is injurious to health, so studying without a liking for it spoils the memory, and it retains nothing it takes in.”
— Leonardo Da Vinci

Einstein on experimentation

“If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research.”

Albert Einstein

What is a genuine experiment?

A true experiment is blind. It is when you try something not because you know what will happen but in order to see what will happen. These are two entirely different strategies. One is inside-the-square and the other is outside-the-square.

My view of the lack of real experimentation in selling and business has been because of a dominant preference for short term gains. So, there is not such a strong tradition for genuine blind experimentation as there is in science.