Neculai Fantanaru

Everything Depends On The Leader

The Mutual Knowledge Principle

On January 24, 2010
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Leadership Principles by Neculai Fantanaru

Know the people around you and those around you will know you.

A man can distinguish himself only when facing critical situations. He can overcome the will of the people around him and can rise above them at the appropriate moment, like a burning flame giving hope, if in the most difficult moments he displays courage, ability and resolution. Only if he proves to be an ace in leading people, if he's unyielding in his decisions and capable to throw himself first, with no fear, in front of any danger, will gain the confidence of others and will enjoy their support.

But nobody can become a leader easily. And that's because, first of all, people want proof of the person's ability to lead them. In other words, people want to test the person, taking into consideration its qualities and faults, abilities and competences, before approving its lead.

Leadership: Is your reaction to the suggestion that provide exposure mode personal example part of your way to motivate yourself when you measure all the benefits?

After reaching Kos Island, under the pale light of the stars above the ship deck, the sea-dogs from Focea gathered around Dionysius moaning and groaning. They were all exhausted; they were out of breath because of the efforts they made during the past days. They were rushed to row without cessation and they were feeling bloodless.

Noticing his men's distorted faces, neurotic gestures and tiredness and, after hearing many of their weeping, Dionysius, the commander of the galleons, told them:

- Let's give thanks to the immortal gods for keeping you wise and having chosen a determined commander. I, Dionysius, son of Focea, shall not abandon you. I'm not telling you these words for you to keep following me only because I'm the most skilful seafarer, because I'm stronger and more astute than any of you, and let's no longer talk of my other virtues. But think well ! Is there among you a man better than I am? If there is, then dare he also say it. So we can decide what to do from now on.

Everybody hushed. Nobody claimed the right to be commander. Nobody considered himself more cunning than Dionysus, nobody was interested in replacing him at the command of the galleons. Why?

For only one reason. Nobody doubted that Dionysus was the most skilful of them all. Nobody dared to do what he could do. Everybody knew his qualities and recognized him as the only one capable to lead them to sea, the only one capable to lead them to victory in the sea battles against the Persians. Having spent to so much time on the sea with him, his men go to know him very well, and they knew that he was a person that they could really rely on and that there was no commander better than him. In his turn, Dionysus knew his men very well. Being certain that there wasn't any captain better than him, he could exercise his authority, which was recognized, and he couldn't be replaced by anyone else.

The prestige you deserve is a manifestation of pride arising from how you motivate yourself when you present all the advantages in a context of sharing and praise of uniqueness.

Dionysus will always by a complete example: he knew how to lead people to victory, even though he was brutal and severe with them. He never eluded anything, by simply raising his shoulders saying "I don't know", but he responsibly pondered upon everything pro and against, everything that was good and everything that was bad for his crew, and, with his knowledge of navigation, he lead them in the best direction, especially when they had to go through hard times. His men were convinced that luck would be on their side as long as Dionysus lead them, and should they ever dispense with him, luck will completely abandon them.

Mutual understanding between the leader and the people, after which we could flawlessly operate the distinction between a reality of appearances and one of depth, plus the benefit of a partisan vision on issues with major impact on the cost and duration of an action, stems from the way of clearly and concisely explaining the cause for which you fight against a background of potential victories.

Your only enemy is the way you affirm yourself within the terms of compliance with a limit that must not overcome, such as the justification for the unfair usage of an image of force that you do not have. And to form a belief about your superiority and take action in accordance with it, can be felt in how you see life as a wound that you will not allow to heal.

One of the most important things that a leader must do is to spend enough time around people until he will get to know them very well. If he won't know them very well and, respectively, people won't know him very well, then nothing will be certain.

Of course, thus, the leader becomes known. But I pity the leader who has various weaknesses, which will be recognized by those lead by him. That is why it is important for him to know himself well first, and if knows he still has some weaknesses, hide them well, because once known by others, he will be manipulated by them.

Leadership is a matter of honor that is achieved by a process involving two parts during which are established the multitude of values you guide your steps on: the first relates to your concern for the side effects of loss and focusing on role changes, and the other refers to your concern for the good of those who follow you.

Being at the forefront of people, in addition to aiming forward, towards a distance which at times you cannot clearly judge, is an application of the truth expressed by Russian philosopher Nikolai Chernyshevsky: "the more realistic and positive your aspirations are, the more energetically you will fight with the circumstances that oppose their manifestation."

P.S. In order to have a great influence on people, you must stay a lot around them, to prove your cunningness, your abilities, professionalism and devotion to them. To dominate them by an unyielding will, vivid and inexhaustible spirit, by a continuous and powerful will to win the victory. And if you give them back their hope in the future, they won't disappoint you and will never look for other leaders.

* Note: Mika Waltari - Etruscul , editura Polirom, 2002.

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