Friday, February 27, 2009

A Comment on Seth Godin

The most salient part of a recent interview by marketer Seth Godin's was the statement,"...If you want to have an impact, all you can do is lead. You can’t ask." This one statement dismantles the conventional wisdom of traditional leadership models, which are full of bromides requiring aspiring leaders to test the water before leaping. Effective leaders, generally, and charismatic leaders, specifically, wield a high level of psychic power, because they latch onto a compelling idea and ride it until the masses finally discover its viability. If the leader had to wait for the populous to decide what is the best direction, best product or best service, there would be no innovations. Great breakthroughs are often counterintuitive. Sigmund Freud talked about the irrationality of individuals and his nephew, Edward Bernays, built the Public Relations industry around this same notion. To truly lead requires a boldness and brashness so acute that one would label the practitioner insane.

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