Honorable Lieutenant Raymond Foster has graciously invited me to make some comments on leadership. I highly appreciated Raymond’s gesture and sophistication in dealing with the increasingly relevant subject. I attended a “LIVE” forum as Raymond was being interviewed I found his words of wisdom very original and useful.
Taking an item, he makes it a point that it is important to be thorough and excellent when you follow as well as you lead. Clearly, every lucid leader knows that he must follow anyone on the “crew,” depending on the dynamics and the contexts of such dynamics. Very many experts and authors don’t make the sufficient emphasis as to being a helpful follower with getting into handling “ego” or “self-esteem” issues while criticalities are being dealt with.
In dealing with complex and grave risks – much more beyond those covered by insurance companies – I must need to assess the human factor. The personal cosmology in every person is quite an undertaking. This is one reason why I consider that everyone’s leadership function is crucial.
Many authors and prominent writers and historians keep saying that people like Ike or Churchill had the traits for the Century-21 Leadership. I have, for years, a huge admiration for both of these two great statesmen. In fact, we must remember what they did as per my opinion. They were extraordinary people indeed.
Also, as managing risks attempting to think in unthinkables – given the huge and immensely growing pace of technology and demographics –, I have been involved with the rate of change. Change has an UPSIDE (benefit) or DOWNSIDE (disruption potential), clearly you get the better facet when dealing with womb-to-tomb management and with actionable “Systems Methodology” and applied omniscience ( http://www.slideshare.net/andresagostini/1-1610862).
Subsequently – and as Mr. Robert Kennedy said, “ The future is not a script of the past … The future is not a gift but a daily conquest…” – managers, and good managers are not so if they are not leaders as well – need to have the daring capacity to work on the foresight and far-sight without ruling out the data already into history.
Since the 1950’s we, in the West, have been making quantum leaps in both scientific knowledge and the technological development and application stemming from said scientific knowledge. We have all have heard that technology is not the hard-core issue and the proponents of such a statement take us to the recalling of the telegraph, the telephone, and others. I grant my accordance to the latter. My problem is that I have lavish and abundant evidence that new methods are being used and coherently compiled – turbo-propelled by the IT infrastructure – that accelerated, for instance, the Genome Project.
In many ways, the thinking methodologies of humans are not taking actionable science to new frontiers, but ascertaining that science is thoroughly unconstrained. I do a great deal of research among other professional occupations that get all mutually-reinforcing. Many prominent authors cite that DARPA’s scientists unofficially claim that they “break” the “laws of classic physics” nearly daily. Couple this with the practical concept of the “Society of Knowledge.” Unfortunately, there are many people with sophisticated advanced education that decided to play it supinely ignorant. It makes me remind of Bertrand Russell, “I know more people who rather die THAN THINK.”
DARPA: “If you are not failing often, you are not succeeding.” If I lead, be sure that I will use others and my own body of knowledge to make a palpable difference. And as I research, I would lead not copying anyone but myself. I will share, though, many of those ideas this via with great pleasure and honor.
Where do all these trends come from? To begin with, let’s remember – I say this with great respect – that trends are a function of (a) dramatic forces, (b) subtle forces, and (c) dramatically subtle forces. The three of them at times superposes and at other times intertwines and interacts, regardless of any other consideration.
We continue to create new ideas (as well as UPSIDES and DOWNSIDES) that add to the world's 'Three Of Knowledge'. Humans have been adding to their total knowledge steadfastly over centuries, and the amount of knowledge we create is multiplying at an incredible rate. Beginning with the amount of knowledge in the known world (having always existed an unknown or "discrete" world) at the time of Christ, studies have estimated that the first KNOWLEDGE DOUBLING took place about 1700 A.D. The second KNOWLEDGE DOUBLING occurred around the year 1900. It is estimated today that the foundations of the world's knowledge repository will DOUBLE AGAIN by 2010 and AGAIN after that by 2013.
Just imagine how existential risks (such as geological and societal) are getting while the technological progression is increasingly speeding up at an ever-augmenting gargantuan rate. The question I asked myself all of the time is how this affects – if it affects it at all – the practical role of leadership. There is no intellectual dispute by the most advanced minds that even CHANGE in itself has changed. Some thinkers – closer to exact science disciplines – assert that the scientific properties of known change has been and are being (by the yoctosecond) altered as the human race has never eye-witnessed it before. Yes, this I know because I am into great pondering, reflecting, studying, surveying, and researching.
This amorphous and ubiquitous change is tsunami-ed with the most leading-edge knowledge imaginable. By far, facts have surpassed the greatest Sci Fi. In my case – because I am also a manager – I know that to exercise great leadership the prerequisites menu has now some new indispensable entries. Chiefly, there is this enormous challenge for possessing and updating state-of-the-art knowledge, as well as new skills and talents for Life.
When I undertake as a manager and my team, the more the pressure and the more vital the challenge, the much more I get into amorphous forms of leadership, ascertain that I win over – by merit and legitimacy – the hearts and minds of my supervisors and co-workers. Some of my friends considered that I operated as walking computational machine, they’re jockeying but I am not. I also go into great listening mode with my people. Whenever I can – having turned off the listening mode temporarily – I am “in the battlefield” offering kind and supportive knowledge/skills transference to my people.
As many institutions are advancing the use of Artificial Intelligence, many scientists’ and science-driven managers (always leaders) are not only capturing “rot knowledge” but amplifying their own mind potentials through many approaches and techniques. In this case, the knowledge content is very important. But how a person manages his discernment processes (the intangibles) are much more important. And as per noted San Diego University Math Professor, Vernor Vinge, this is what he calls “Intelligence Amplification.” That is, expanding your radiant thinking without implanting a “chip” in your brain. My TAIRM (Transformative And Integrative Risk Management) deals with the expansion of the memory, sensing capabilities, and computational brain in extremis.
As I deal with ominous risks, I have been involved with new forms of conceiving breakthrough ideas. The habit, by way of determined disciplined through a number of years, has place me and my mind into cohesive ways of thinking through so daring unknowns and knowns, making it usual and almost effortless to create many “futures practiced” by way of indeed “unthinkable thinking.” Counterintuitive thinking – à la quantum mechanics’ logic (of seemingly “illogicality”) – is part of what I have described in this paragraph. Evidently, you try to seize in your forward-thinking effort new toolkits to resolve complex challenges in THE PRESENT. If one likes to read about my method, please go to http://www.slideshare.net/andresagostini/definition-of-tranformative-and-integrative-risk-management-authored-by-copyright-2005-andres-agostini-andy-arlington-virginia-usa
I really don’t think, respectful of everyone’s wiser opinion, that – as of today – the perpetual exercise of leadership has precedent in a world in which many fundamentals, including the Universe, is 97% proven to be the “MultiVerse” with many dimensions.
I tried to assemble some of my thoughts as how the manager, the strategist, the technologist, the futurist, and the leader come together. I made my attempt at this at the following presentation at http://www.slideshare.net/andresagostini/1-1751018
I am not an ethicist or a moralist. But I am extremely moved and concerned by this global crisis. I am talking about the EXISTENTIAL GLOBAL CRISIS AGAINST MORALITY AND ETHICS. As a “systems risk manager” instituting the applied omniscience perspective and as a professional futurologist, on the forensics risk management, I found universal violation of principles, integrity, morality, and ethics extremely appalling. These are STEP ONE for a true leader, today more so than any time before. If the human race does not improve and expand its universal values substantially and with sustainability, every effort to solve the global crises of extremism, finance, energy, climate, geology, etc. will be – at its best – a sub-optimal effort.
I like to share with my respected and wise colleague the following quotation. An USA Air Force Colonel who repeated it frequently: "it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool that open your mouth and remove any doubt."