Thursday, April 03, 2008

More on Leadership

The question of leadership is a philosophical concept.

Those who believe a movement can be created without a creator-- a leader-- are those whose knowledge of the world is at a kindergarten level, and hardly worthy of conversation.

I ponder the masterpieces of art; a Michaelangelo sculpture, a Beethoven symphony, a play by Shakespeare, a novel by Tolstoy. Did they occur spontaneously? Did the Pieta cause itself? Did a slab of marble fall over and break off a few pieces, accidentally? Did words arrange themselves on the Tolstoyean page? Or was not an active intelligence present someplace behind the scenes?

I think of the string of American business success stories, from Ford to Apple-- each one the result of an active, involved intelligence.

The raw material has to be there, is always there, as the zeen movement of the 1990's was the raw material for the creation of the ULA. But to progress, at some point some individual has to take that material and focus and shape it. The ULA was created as an act of intent, of energy and will. All its early progress, if not all its progress, came about through leadership: intentional design.

Now that the original leader has in stages been metaphorically assassinated and cast aside, those left clutching the remaining pieces of the project are proclaiming, "No leaders!" Which is comical, in a way.

For the movement as a whole to progress to the next stage, someone else will have to emerge to pick up the pieces, rearrange them, refocus them, reshape the strategy and recreate the dynamic energy that was invested into the original campaign. Otherwise it will stay running in place.

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