Leadership Lessons From The Great Books – Shorts #87

Leaders, be happy warriors, and be optimistic about winning the future.

If there’s one thing you can say for the doctrines of totalitarian tyrants, they certainly seem to be robustly optimistic about winning the future.

When leaders think about tyrants and tyranny, in contrast to thinking about the “good” guys, one profound difference is that the bad guys seem to be having much more fun being bad. And not really worrying too much about the consequences.

Of course, this comes about with a lack of moral core, a lack of appropriate character, and a lack of ethics. When there’s no more governator on the engine, I guess it’s full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes.

But the good guys are always down in the mouth. They are always dour and relentlessly pessimistic. And while this may make them able to face reality, with all its slings and arrows, it certainly doesn’t inspire anyone to come over to their side to join the cause. No matter how righteous, good, and charitable that cause may be.

You say you want a revolution? Well, what people really want is to follow happy warriors, happy revolutionaries, and at least people with a pleasant and optimistic demeanor about the future.
Leaders, you’ll win more flies with honey. This doesn’t mean lies, it just means that you have to find a way, even in times of meaningful, growing darkness, to create and espouse a doctrine of hope.

Otherwise, the totalitarian revolutionaries will win, long before they start breaking people’s heads like eggs, in the court of public opinion by promising a utopia that they have no intention of ever getting even close to delivering.