Friday, September 24, 2010


Are you looking to a leader who shares your vision? Are you looking to become a leader? Who shares your vision?

Here is an exercise:

1. Look around your company. Find a leader who has formal authority. Make a list of reasons why you want to be led by that person.

2. Look around your company. Find a leader who has referent authority. Make a list of reasons why you want to be led by that person.

3. Imagine you are a leader. Which list is attached to your name?

Now put that questionnaire aside until later.

To do business in emerging nations, it is essential for western leaders to understand that England, France, and Germany were at one time emerging nations.

England, as an emerging nation, was analogue. Mechanical. Aside from mobility, is there a substantive difference between a sundial and a wristwatch? Is there a difference between hammering a piece of iron into a horseshoe and bending it into shape on a press brake? Is there a substantive difference between writing a letter and sending an e-mail?

Today, society has moved from analogue to digital. From mechanical to technological. We now have vastness, speed, mobility, and efficiency that did not exist when England was an emerging economy.

Today, a thousand lives can be saved with a vaccine made 10, 000 miles away. While 1000 people with shovels can’t produce results as efficiently as one person with a bulldozer, with the technology of: irrigation, water purification, fertilization, sanitation, and the study of geology those 1000 people with shovels can elevate a larger segment of the population in a shorter amount of time than people in feudal societies could imagine.

Additionally, the way the industrial revolution changed Europe and the world, the technology revolution, is changing emerging nations, and the world—with one exception. The rise is higher, faster, and more egalitarian.

France: One cheval, one chevalier.
Malaysia: One computer, five work stations, a C-level operation (CEO, COO, CFO, CTO, CIO) is up and running with all the information in the world available to them within minutes if not seconds.

Now, why don’t leaders in industrial nations understand leadership in industrious nations? It has a lot to do with our education. Do you have an MBA? Fine. Did you have to study Anglo-American Legal History; Medieval Lit; or read Hans Christian Andersen, Grimm’s Fairy Tales or Aesop’s Fables to get your degree? No? That is so sad.

Managers and leaders in western nations won’t understand Leadership or Followship (sic) in emerging nations without understanding “The Emperor’s New Clothes” or “Stone Soup”.

Did you study England in the early years? Knights, armour, horses; noble yeomen; hue and cry; the Shire Reeve; the witenagemot; the posse comitatus; trail by compurgation? [We still have trial by compurgation. Today, we call it the “celebrity endorsement”.]

When trouble arose, the yeomen did not form a committee. They looked to the Shire Reeve who called a posse comitatus. Before that, they looked to the Knight: the person who could afford a horse and a suit of armour. No horse? No armour? You become a vassal to the King. He supplied the horse, the armour, the land and in return your led the army of serfs when called upon. We still do much of that today. Do you remember King John at Runnymede? (The Barons are not on your side today, either. However, today we call it shareholders’ interests.)

In a crisis people look to a leader.

Now, go to an emerging nation. Now, try to pick out the leader. His people will follow him, not you.

Oh, yes. Do you remember that test you took at the beginning of this article? Well, it has no direct bearing on the lessons in this monograph—but this will:

Repeat the test. Are your answers the same as they were before reading the article or are they different?

Good luck in the technosphere.




copyright (c) 2010 Slim Fairview