Wit & Wisdom

Game Changers & Tales of Triumph and Woe

Is school(ing) cold or warm-blooded?

SMW, April 30, 2014 8:26 PM

lizard.jpg

"Today we're all in on the game.
The question is whether it is played well.
"

-David Brooks


From NYTimes and conservative columnist David Brooks, in The Leadership Emotions:

Edmund Burke once wrote, "The true lawgiver ought to have a heart full of sensibility. He ought to love and respect his kind, and to fear himself." Burke was emphasizing that leadership is a passionate activity. It begins with a warm gratitude toward that which you have inherited and a fervent wish to steward it well. It is propelled by an ardent moral imagination, a vision of a good society that can't be realized in one lifetime. It is informed by seasoned affections, a love of the way certain people concretely are and a desire to give all a chance to live at their highest level.

This kind of leader is warm-blooded and leads with full humanity. In every White House, and in many private offices, there seems to be a tug of war between those who want to express this messy amateur humanism and those calculators who emphasize message discipline, preventing leaks and maximum control. In most of the offices, there's a fear of natural messiness, a fear of uncertainty, a distrust of that which is not scientific. The calculators are given too much control.

" . . . there's a fear of natural messiness, a fear of uncertainty, a distrust of that which is not scientific. The calculators are given too much control."

The leadership emotions, which should propel things, get amputated. The shrewd tacticians end up timidly and defensively running the expedition.



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It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
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