Leadership in an Era of Leaderless Pretension – 1

In numerous corporate, governmental and collegiate forums, seminars and workshops across the U.S. nation, hope springs eternal in the elusive hunt for leadership. Who represents it in a realistic portrayal or ideal role model? What does such a term mean? Where in the real world is it applied? When does such a manifestation arise? How does such a characterization evolve? Lastly, why is such a personification necessary? At the onset of a typical collective of contrived consensuses on the topic of “leadership”, definitional criteria confound and confuses the efficacy of specificity. Defining and accepting the status quo of believability, usually depends on the context of the intention behind a particular forum. A training instigation may dictate the parameters by which such leader-oriented specifications are to eventually serve as application.

Simultaneously, reality haunts the shadowy realms of psychodynamic considerations and subsequent explanations. In regard to the aforementioned onset of attempts of communal collectivism to specify a delineation, an argument ensues. This is the basis for speculative assertions as to whether or not a consensus context taints the reality of the very idea of leadership. A basic point of dictionary reference says “leadership” is the office or position of a leader. This of course, to the insightful inquisitor says essentially nothing of substantive value. It’s a red herring so to speak. Now, the inquirer with hopefully an open mind, and some well-grounded educational background, plus actual life experience, must go deeper. On a primordial amative human level, large numbers of seemingly sentient beings occupy various offices or positions that might be inferred as places of “leadership”. Yet, reality haunts such superficiality.

As such, previously, several investigative questions offered further prospects for additional inquiry, which means delving to the depths of profound meaning. Such a quest is left up to the investigator for him or her to draw final conclusions. Meanwhile, at the local collegiate forum, attempting to motivate and inspire younglings, defining the scope of “leadership” calls upon numerous assumptions. Basic definitive claims, coming close to the supernatural realm of unexplained phenomenon, visits the mysterious notion that leadership infers the capacity to lead. That in turn cloaks the mythological notion of presupposed potentiality to make things happen. Add to that, the further claim, again of dictionary notoriety, asserting the act or instance of leading. From this, seemingly there flows the persistence of something akin to guiding or directing or motivating people in an assortment of directions. Consistent confusion prevails.

Of that, consideration delves into the mystical realms of pretentious speculations to egregious misconceptions. All of which, depending on the locale, culture, environment and context, potentially fosters a diversity of opinion. In addition, contingent upon experiential capacity, adherents of one view point or another may significantly differ in interpretation. For instance, in the reality of ongoing societal interaction, probability of conflict and contention, interactivity expresses competing interests. As each inhabitant of the discourse brings different levels of experience, education, training, background, maturity as well as immaturity, conceptualizing what leadership means becomes complicated. An example includes the typical interaction between public services personnel, like first responders, and non-practitioner academics.

In this writing, the perspective on leadership in an era of leaderless pretensions refers to leading in a realm of intense interpersonal contact. Within these frameworks, leaders emerge from the “school of hard knocks”, where maturity, learning and wisdom come Px7 primal flow from years of serious interaction with others. This includes primarily those environments that concern the safety and security of the public and properties of others. These are the theaters of first responders, the military and private security practitioners who ensure others are protected to every extent possible. From these ranks, arise an authenticity of well-differentiated individuals who are remarkably different from managers and supervisors. In contrast to those realms of profit continuity, consumptive oriented marketing, professional athletics, Hollywood celebrities, or political ascendency, the world of public service expresses a different conception of leadership.

Perhaps, in this regard, there are at least potentially five types of alleged leadership. These might tentatively include: academia, corporate, political, celebrity and public safety services. All of which is debatable and philosophical at best. Nonetheless, the focus here is on those who put themselves in harm’s way for others in selfless sacrifice. Among these a few rises to the noble ascensions of what might be characterized as leadership. At its basic core, reflecting those who defend community and country, took an oath of office to do so, and put “skin in the game”, leadership is a courageous activity of influencing others in positive ways. Of that special positivity for transforming creativity, the leader expresses purpose, direction and motivational means to accomplish the mission of the organizational structure. The process is neither by antagonism nor patronizing condescension. Instead, a leader is one who leads from the front by exhibiting the ethics and professionalism of competence and capability. She or he shows the way, rather than points the way. In the post-modern era, leaders are scarce breed of “warrior”.

In post-modern times of purposed wussification, escapist cowardly regressions and incessant infantile emotional reactivity, people cower at the mention of warriorhood. At the very core of psychodynamic personification of leadership is the essence of a warrior. Fear fosters the folly of retrenchment in the primal forsaking of ascending to higher realms of mature transformation. Leaders, by contrast, find their calling in the warriorhood of their quest. For this, rites of passage are essential in the foundation building of an individual adventure. To deny child-like selfishness and pursue self-evolution in differentiation for ascended transformation, requires exceptional courage. A common-sense focus on the necessity of trials and troubles in the maturation, pain and pleasure, losing and winning, are vital to the progression of the leadership process. Election, appointment or drafting to a particular office of life is not a designation of leadership. For a transitioning from infantile narcissism to mature sage, profound choices are made.

Meanwhile, as fortification of the “mind” against the contrived consensus of the many, willful assertion of independence challenges the foolishness of conventionality. In leadership, one years for the next challenge in order to learn another elemental component of differentiation. While responsibility haunts every willful thought into motion, accountability demands personal redress. Personal analysis by intensely rigorous introspection denounces the foolishness of immature whining, moaning, complaining and sniveling about predicament, situation or environment. Leaders learn to shun the trifling self-absorption of silly egoistic preoccupations. Among the wiser prospects of an evolving leadership capacity, is the eventual understanding of delving into the depths of the darkness within. To embrace the darkness is what a warrior does.

Lesser personalities, from the cowardice of easy hypocrisy and lazy superficiality, prefer the safe and secure mediocrity of status quo stasis. On the contrary, leaders are not satisfied with the motionless and redundant inertia of uncreative repetitiveness. For most, the stale dogmas of ideological oppression satiate the mundane familiarity of collective enslavement. Relying heavily on the intellectually impoverished contrived moral standards, many crave their acquiescence to rules that have no lawful viability. By neither rational consistency, social utility nor psychological efficacy, the vast reaches of infotainment manufacture contrived consensus to assert tyranny of dishonest moralities. From an admonition in the woods near a pond over a century ago, a determined sage pondered the relevance of obeying little and rebelling against much. Outside the parameters of duly constituted lawful constraints, no deviance exists and no rules apply, but for those by force of will does one subscribe. Leaders understand individual liberation.

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