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Wednesday, 29 January 2020

How would powerless human leaders even look like?

Pigeons resist misguided leaders, according to a 2016 study (eg, NYT-2016my 2019 blog). As a result of that article, I wrote my follow-up blog: Why do we follow leaders? Today's blog is also a follow-up on yesterday's blog: A lack of power is liberating and powerful. Today, my question is: How would powerless human leaders even look like? It's hard visualising this.

The 2016 pigeon study is - in my view - an illustration of my concept of trialism and its triangle of Love, Knowledge and Power. In this view, animal studies show that its leaders protect the group (ie, Love), are chosen on competence (ie, Knowledge), and on physical strength (ie, Power).

Trialism used to be the default in human beings and human leaders were once chosen for the same criteria as animals still do. However, some 50,000-100,000 years ago, the anatomically modern humans "suddenly" evolved into behaviourally modern humans - for reasons unknown.

A key feature in behaviourally modern humans is having Beliefs. Animals are either in the Needs or Wants stage; the difference between these two development stages is the use of tools. Humans appear to be the only species in the Beliefs stage, although some animals show signs of (proto) religious behaviour.

My original concept of Trialism shows 3 domains of Beliefs: Knowledge (ie, Philosophy, Science and the Truth), Power (ie, Money, Politics and Religion), and Love (eg, divine, family, friendship, romantic). These three domains create symmetry and balance.

The ever-increasing use of tools by humans led to the Technological Revolution of 1800-2100. This period might be our watershed moment, in which trialism was being replaced by dualism. Hence, many humans either believe in Knowledge or in Power. However, this mostly applies to men. Often, women focus more on Love than Power. Our biological differences should explain this.

If my analysis holds then powerless human leaders might be nonexistent. Even the concept of "thought leaders" seems to stress dualism. Moreover, the 1839 adage by English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton does not suggest the existence of powerless thought leaders: The pen is mightier than the sword.

“Leaders become great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.” A 2018 tweet based on a quote from the 1993 book Developing the Leader Within You by John C. Maxwell (b. 1947), an American author, speaker, and pastor.

Powerful People (1974) by Gino Vannelli

Look at the ominous people 
Draining the salt from the sea 
Wish I could just stand up and shout it 
Why can't they let goodness be


Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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