Sunday, December 10, 2006

Reflections on Leadership, part 1

I have observed in some situations, once the head disciplinarian in a certain company decides he does not like a new cadet, their lifespan as a cadet was on a countdown. Once he made a judgment on the person, it was set in stone; henceforth any bad they did would be punished in twisted ways, with the intention of convincing everyone else that this person needed to leave. Any good they did would be belittled as a rare instance/appearance of competence or at best, ignored. Before long, they would be cut off socially from their buds; as the spiral continued, the person in question would gradually cease to exist among their peers, and as punishments for the entire group based on one’s actions, or worse, of all except that person, that nothingness would turn to hate. Any mistake of theirs would spread like wildfire through the company grapevine; the more vicious of the freshmen class would publicly insult them, usually through email, as few other media afforded the freedom to speak during that red phase of training. I think this is a poor example of leadership; there are many effective ways of motivating people to do as they are supposed to. In psychology, I’ve learned that immediate punishment, in the form of push-ups, would be effective by the theory of classical conditioning. However, since these leaders were raised in such an environment, and were not allowed to use that this year, I can understand how they might be in a crucible of sorts, unable to act on their frustration until they burst out of the only outlets they find effective.


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