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The Magician (I)

On April 17, 2010, in Leadership and Attitude, by Neculai Fantanaru

Manage people's expectations with maximum efficiency, without systematically applying the principles of magic.

A great ambition truly devoured my heart; I wanted to become a magician. Consequently, whenever I went to the movies with my friends, I would disappear. Simply and with no reason. Everything happened very quickly. One moment I was beside them and the next I would disappear.

I used to walk through the movie theater, without being noticed, without awakening suspicions, as if all would be locked into a deep sleep, or as if they were hypnotized, lifeless – they seemed so deepened in trance. Nobody came to look for me, because nobody knew that I disappeared, because everybody believed I was in my seat – always the one at the end. And especially because they were all absorbed by the action of the movie. I learned to hide in the shadow, to use the dark and become an unseen… human being.

Nobody could imagine how many efforts I made to become "invisible". My maneuvers, the steps I made, the measures I took – they matched a burning, young soul. I once even managed to brush off of the movie theater, go home, change my clothes, return at the end of the movie and retake my seat. Nobody noticed the change. These things which are too subtle often go unnoticed.

My friends did not know a lot of things. All sorts of strange things, most of them hard to explain – this made them feel even more unreal. But not for me, because I was their creator.

Leadership: Can your background skills ensure you a significant advantage in relation to a dimension of the variation that has a parallel evolution with the transformation of the concept of "totality"?

There was a moment of silence, during which the spectators watched with eyes filled with uncertainty the stage shrouded in fog. Curls of smoke climbed into the air, gray and perfect, everything was quiet, and yet there was a subtle, mysterious, slippery movement. A small, red ball rolled, banging on the stage floor, thus increasing the mystery and curiosity of the public. It was a sign, a warning. Something was going to happen. But everything had to be different from everything the spectators had imagined.

The magician was there, on stage, right in front of the spectators. But nobody could see him. Because everyone's attention was focused on the ball, because all eyes continued to seek a certain spot of the scene. But also because there was a lot of fog and more shadows were somehow created in all that fog. And only one was the magician's.

It was the exactly same principle that he long ago used in the movie theater, only this time the public attention was focused to a spot he wanted, associated with the scene folded in mist. The magician could move from side to side of the stage, miraculously, without being observed, he could change his clothes, quickly make his montages, freely apply his tricks – While people's attention was distracted.

Totality is what enters my field of action, a chaining of things known, "mounted" according to the rules of a complex show, with the content decorations, sounds, smells, costumes, characters, special effects and gestures spiced with gestures and role playing, incredible arrangements, which enter the unique composition of the image of performance.

Leadership: Have you reached the level of 100% performance so you can consider yourself: "The Master of the show"?

The leader is an amazing person, who succeeds with remarkable ease to break into people's minds. His power is so visible in everybody's eyes that they all perceive him as a magician. But he has this repressed will to impose himself to others. And he is enviable in this matter.

People look with an expression of perfect adoration at the one who, picking up all the feelings raised on their faces, guesses all the wishes and aspirations and manages to meet them. But for that, he, the leader, must act in accordance with his own responsabilities and could not at all be uncertain or confusing, like a magician.

Ideally, a successful organization must have a leader capable to understand people, to simultaneously manage their expectations, to bring them up to the point where the question: "Is this real?" disappears from their minds. But it is hard to imagine someone would get to this level without being a magician, at the same time, because only a magician is able to best distinguish the real from the unreal.

Performance is what you get after the show ends. You can get applause or criticism based on the amount of the effect of amazement you generate.

Leadership: Do you increase the responsiveness of people while taking into account the laws of "appearance and disappearance" that you propose as an absolute model to follow?

People are easy to influence if their attentions is distracted. In every illusionism show, the spectators understand and not really what is happening; they are bewildered by the mysterious atmosphere created by the magician. In fact, what the magician does is to juggle with multiple simultaneous tasks – the stage play, the interpretation of lines with great persuasion and calm, etc, in order to compel people to accept his own reality.

But there is a basic rule in magic, as in leadership: never conflict with people. As a leader, or as a magician, if you break this rule, you will fail. Therefore, you have to do all in your power for the show you perform to turn out well. If you're a magician or an unexperienced leader, the show will go wrong.

Taking positions based on the power of domination has as its fueling source the laws of appearance and disappearance that you propose as an absolute model to follow. Disappearance is what prolongs through what goes on in the background. Appearance – what is seen and experience, or what remains after illusions have dissipated and truths have been found out.

Conclusion: Leadership is a show that you organize alone, on your responsibility and ability. But it is a semblance of magic. Reality resembles leadership: you can't systematically apply "the principles of magic" – to divert people's attention and deceive them.

People's attention and insight can be diminished for a limited time, and when they "discover" your tricks… you can say goodbye to your leadership.


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