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Quo Vadis

On March 25, 2010, in Successful Leadership, by Neculai Fantanaru

Strongly sustain your vision, without printing a rapid pace of development that prevents the proper orientation of human adaptation to the future.

There are only three big questions which people, from one generation to another, regardless of their social status, have put pretty often, and the answer to which is still unknown. Where do we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going to? From these three questions, the most important, the most widely circulated in the last period of time, is without doubt, Where are we going to?

However, I'm intrigued by another question: are we prepared to get to the place where we are being waited for?

Imagine for a moment that there would be only one man, endowed with a special vision, unique in its way, who would have the ability, mental power and the technology necessary to lead our steps and control our future. Would we follow his ideas and beliefs without hesitation? Would we accept from him to lead our destinies to progress, having the certainty that he is our only path to happiness? Alternatively, would we prevent him from fulfilling his vision, which overcomes the limits of current human imagination?

How useful are sometimes stories in finding answers. "The Clipper of the Clouds" by Jules Verne handles this subject in detail. The action takes place somewhere in the late 18th century. It is important to mention the fact that, at that time, the aerostats (hot-air-balloons) where the only means of air transportation.

Leadership: Do the steps of making your perspective of seeing things available to the people facilitate a division between what is necessary and what we are afraid of?

Robur, a 40 years-old engineer, who was not afraid of anyone or anything, succeeds in creating a perfect aircraft that defied the laws of mechanics, and that can fly around the world, passing through the layers of the atmosphere. Even so, such a revolutionary invention was considered impossible by the contracted minds of the scientists of those times, who proved to be disbelieving and even suspicious.

So, in order to prove everyone how far progress can go, that the future belongs only to flying machines, and that his aircraft is real and functional, Robur kidnapped two of the most influential people in America, Uncle Prudent and Phil Evans, the president and secretary of the Weldon Institute, took them aboard and went with them on a long journey.

Although the two of them were convinced during the few months of flight that the aircraft is real, much more stable than any balloon, much faster, much capacious, more comfortable, they still did not want to recognize the performances of this flying machine. Moreover, they insisted that the real flying machine is the balloon, and the future belongs only to it.

At the end of the story, Robur addressed before the citizens of the United States, who gathered in large numbers in order to assist at the inauguration of the newest balloon model Go Ahead, after he previously proved that his aircraft, the Albatross, is far more performing.

- Citizens of the United States, my experiment is finished; but my advice to those present is to be premature in nothing, not even in progress. It is evolution and not revolution that we should seek. In a word, we must not be before our time.... Nations are not yet fit for union. I go, then; and I take my secret with me. But it will not be lost to humanity. It will belong to you the day you are educated enough to profit by it and wise enough not to abuse it. Citizens of the United States, Good-bye !

Leadership is the quality of telling people what they want to hear so that they would all take the blame for not sharpening their understanding and thinking.

Can you impose people by force to accept your ideas, no matter how innovative they may be?

Robur's invention should have been glorious, a perfect triumph. It would have been the change that would have led people to progress and development. Unfortunately, no vision, even materialized, can be put to practice as long as the level of training and standard of the society does not accept it. Robur's vision, no matter how well argued had it been, by various ways, as it is real, was not accepted by the people with a level of knowledge inferior to his.

For this reason, in the end, he chooses to leave, taking with him the secret of his invention, without taking even one critical look behind, to the ungrateful people, being aware that he cannot make them to embrace the change, to understand things that they don't want to know, to explain them, even if they don't want to, a secret that they stubbornly refuse to have it revealed to them.

Science cannot go ahead the general level of training of the people, and Robur was basically a genius of engineering, a high spirit and, at the same time, pervasive, who dared to remove the veil of the present, he convinced himself of this great truth when he tried to support and argue his theory.

What a sad a role would he have played if he had tried to change the people's old way of thinking. He had insisted on supporting his points of view, keeping his illusions about people, that they will still be eager to understand science in many years from then on, technology – the certain reserve of the future; he would risk being considered a madman or, even worse, an impostor.

Leadership: Can you reach the highest beliefs and goals if the education level of those around is inferior to your level of knowledge?

When you know that there are people who don't agree with you, you cannot have success. It is useless to devote yourself to a calling which involves you totally, to the deepest levels of your being, in the actions that you carry on, the projects you develop and conduct, if those around you do not share your passion and prefer to live in a comfortable patience of time. First, it is necessary for people to have the power to change them, and to be able to choose a new perspective, to have the capacity to mobilize and look towards a new, wider, and a more ambitious horizon.

A large part of your work can be dedicated to trying to help people to evolve, to recognize the change. However, definitely, you will not have great chances of being accepted as their leader, even if you explain to them, even if you show them, and give them guidance, even if you reveal your grand vision to them, as long as their level of general knowledge is below your limit. Instead of your ideas rejoicing their hearts with happiness, they might get a feeling of repulsion and, instead of being admired for your laudable initiatives, for your noble intentions, you might be denigrated.

The gnoseological advancement of a man of the future belongs to the content of differing beliefs on how the world works, stored in a great cause for sometimes not worth fighting.

No leader, no matter how progressive and visionary he would be, no matter how many abilities he would have, cannot reach his objective if the level of training of those around him is inferior to his evolution level. If there is no wider general vision of those he leads and, of course, if he lacks individual motivations and a proper organizational climate, oriented towards progress, innovation and competition.

A leader who is not attentive to these aspects and easily sets an alert tone which prevents an adequate adaptation, will suffer a failure, in the best case, and, in extremis, could even be labeled as a madman.

Quo Vadis is the doubt that gives you a task that may prove to be a waste of time. It is the doubt that you finally reveal over your own reasons to believe things that are not necessary, but accidental. So, strongly sustain your vision, without printing a rapid pace of development that prevents the proper orientation of human adaptation to the future.

A scientist should develop the ability to see a change where human essence and truth of a new perspective merge and define each other.


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