by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© August 2016, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
An important concern today, and always, is how to turn out leaders who have courage, strength, deep intelligence and wide-ranging knowledge.
This article discusses some aspects of leadership training.
WHAT ARE THE LEADERSHIP QUALITIES ONE WISHES TO INSTILL?
RESOURCEFUL AND CLEVER
ABILITY TO GET ALONG WITH OTHERS
ABILITY TO LEARN FROM OTHERS
ABLE TO SEE THE BIG PICTURE
ABLE TO MOTIVATE AND INSPIRE OTHERS
CAN COMMUNICATE WITH HIS CONSTITUENTS AND WITH THOSE ON THE OUTSIDE
CAREFUL OR CAUTIOUS
ABLE TO BUILD AND MANAGE TEAMS
ABLE TO ASK FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS
NOT AFRAID TO SURROUND ONESELF WITH THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST
BOTH A MILITARY AND CIVILIAN UNDERSTANDING
METHODS TO HELP PRODUCE FINE LEADERS
1. Much better nutrition, and fewer drugs and vaccines that damage the body and mind. This is the subject of this website, in large measure. To do this is not an overnight process, and significant changes are needed in the medical care system to accomplish it, but these are slowly occurring and I believe, will continue to accelerate.
2. Better parenting, in general. Another solution that always works is for teachers and parents to instill such a sense of love in the children that they cannot bear to be unfair or mistreat others.
3. Understanding natural law. The young must realize that natural laws govern, and these laws treat all souls alike. It matters not what the “outer coating” or outer skin qualities are such as black, white, Hispanic, gay, male, female, etc.
4. Tests of courage, strength and intelligence. The small ego mind, with its fears and fantasies, must be submerged in a larger appreciation and understanding of natural laws and the needs of the entire community.
Some older societies dealt with this problem, particularly in young males, by having them go through some kind of ritual, usually involving tests, feats of daring or strength, tests of courage and instructions from elders in the secret or special ways of the tribe or society.
This was an educational process as well as a test. It might involve killing a lion with a spear, for example, or in one movie, The Emerald Forest, it involved allowing a type of ants to sting one into unconsciousness and endure the pain without moving away. The young men were told if they could endure the pain they were worthy of being called men and if not, the boys would die. Usually, they would not die and the test was set up for them to succeed, though not always.
In this way, wise societies realized they needed real heroes and warriors to endure, so the tests were sometimes quite tough. That would not go over well today, but the idea is important.
The pain and intensity of the trial was intense and helped the young person overcome fears and inadequacies that cause victim consciousness and often a hesitancy to stand up for principles and forge ahead fearlessly in life. The young men and women emerge from the trial more self-confident and with the respect of the tribe, which also gave them more confidence and self-esteem to move forward. There is a need for some such method today.
In more modern societies, the closest ritual we have to this is joining the army. This is compulsory in some nations such as Switzerland. Many people have spoken and written that “the army made me into a man or a real woman”. By this, they mean they were afraid and often weak physically and weak mentally. The army essentially forced them to dig deeper and find more strength, discipline, courage, and even integrity with others.
In the military, your own or someone else’s life may depend on your alertness, truthfulness and good timing, all of which requires some maturity.
5. Real world experiences. Another way to train leaders, of course, is through good old-fashioned work experience. The traditional idea was to start working as a teenager in the mail room of a business or washing the toilets at a factory. Little by little, one would progress through a series of jobs to become an executive or even president of the company.
This process builds self-esteem, knowledge, responsibility and many other positive traits. One also understands the entire business, from top to bottom, and how it must function to succeed.
This is still a route to maturity taken by a few young people, but many just go to college and are told they now know everything and can step into a high-paying job. The worst group just stay in the universities to teach, obtaining very little real world work experience. Another of the worst groups is those who go to work for the government without gaining much private sector job experience.
Working for the government today is often like falling into the arms of a new mother who coddles and overprotects, and does not teach enough hard work and discipline.
Private sector job, even the most menial of them, tend to teach discipline, responsibility, courtesy to others, skills of many kinds and much more. Earning money teaches about savings, spending, investing and more.
Government employment, for this reason, is not nearly as good as private sector employment. The jobs are too cushy, too secure, often and not real enough to offer many of the lessons that occur with private sector jobs. Many are “political positions” that are bought and paid for by a lobby, perhaps, or a politician with friends in high places. Working due a government grant is not too much better for this reason. There is nothing wrong with these, but they are not substitutes for a private sector, capitalist experiences.
6. Church and religious leadership programs. Another method for training wise leaders is through the major organized churches. Many sponsor universities and leadership programs, not only to train priests and pastors but also to influence legislation and even train political leaders.
7. Secret societies and fraternities. Another method to produce leaders used in the past but less today were secret societies and mystery schools like the Freemasons in Europe and America.
Other groups were the Skull And Bones Society, for instance, that the Bush family is part of. These are somewhat like present-day fraternities, cults, sects, convents, ashrams and other groups that indoctrinate, teach, test and improve the skills of the participants.
All such groups also have their networks so they can “assist their brothers and sisters” in other states or areas. In ancient Israel, for instance, the Essenes and even the Pharisees and the Saducees were sects that took in young people and trained them for the priesthood, which was also the political leadership of the people.
8. Old-fashioned university training. Another type of traditional training of leaders took place at the universities of old. This used to be and still is one of their main functions. However, too often they fall down on the job today and cannot be counted on. Harvard University was one such place, for example, where the bible was taught in depth in an effort to produce quality leaders for the nation. This form of training and discipline is almost completely gone today. Instead, the universities turn out learned but often ungrounded, inexperienced, arrogant and unwise leaders.
Too many are taught lies and indoctrinated with communist and socialist ideals. Exceptions exist, such as Hillsdale College in Michigan and George Mason University in Virginia. Some of the religious colleges are also not too bad. But only these schools and a few others actually remember their mission and don’t tolerate any nonsense by the students and are willing to kick out the bad ones to maintain their reputations.
The two colleges mentioned above, incidentally, I believe are the only ones that do not take federal grant money. This should give an indication of what happens to higher education when the government steps in and supports it, and where education is headed as the government plays a greater role in its financing.
9. Vocational training schools. Another method of training some types of leaders are vocational training schools. These are somewhat better than liberal arts or even engineering colleges because they are focused on a particular usable skill. This was an important part of the model of education advocated by the great leader, Booker T. Washington, who founded Tuskeegee Institute in Alabama, USA.
At this college, education meant learning useful skills and many other life skills, not just academic subjects. The methods of Mr. Washington should be studied far more than they are.
10. Sending young people to other nations. Many other ways to train leaders have been tried and are being tried. Many college students today are encouraged to spend a semester in another nation, studying, living and learning their language. This will assist some to broaden their perspective. However, it is also fraught with dangers such as unclean food and water, little emotional support, and learning more incorrect ideas.
11. Wilderness or other dangerous experiences. Another method is to send young people on an individual or group physical, emotional or even mental journey. In America, a program called Outward Bound has been in place for some twenty or thirty years for this purpose.
In the more extreme programs, a person is literally dropped off in the wilderness with perhaps just a compass and a blanket and told to find his way home. This is obviously not for everyone. Counselors definitely are involved in choosing the participants. Precautions are also taken such as having a homing beacon, perhaps, to avoid catastrophes, which still occur at times.
Other programs expose the participants to other rather extreme danger to help them overcome fears. Some learn to walk on hot coals, swing from trees on ropes or wires, build a bridge across a raging river, or are forced to work long hours without enough rest, and so forth.
Some similar activities that are now tourist attractions involve skydiving, bungee jumping, swimming with sharks, or firewalking. The problem with most of these programs, in my view, is the lack of spiritual or even mental content. However, they are popular and this means they must be serving a purpose for people. Another problem is their physical danger in a few cases and, more importantly, no one checks using hair analysis to assess how biochemically prepared a person is for these activities. I am sure this causes a few heart attacks as well.
12. “Transformative” seminars and workshops. Another method to supposedly help people mature, are various seminars and workshops offered around the world. Werner Erhard became famous for his EST seminars in the 1970s and more recently, The Forum.
These seminars combine lectures, mental exercises, sometimes body work, high intensity sound therapy, dream interpretation, discussion, one-on-one looking into the eyes of another, and other types of experiences rolled up in a neat package. Some involve subjecting people to various hardships like standing for a long time or not allowing people to leave to urinate, causing embarrassment when they urinate in their pants or on the floor. Judging by the results in California, a center for these seminars, I do not believe these are that helpful, but perhaps I am judging too harshly. I have experienced a number of these seminars and was not overly impressed, although they certainly left a mark.
13. National social service. Another leadership training method is some kind of national service. Some nations offer this, such as the Peace Corp and Americorp in America. The Peace Corps sends young people to other nations to help build homes, water systems, agricultural projects, etc. Americorp sends young people around the United States to do the same thing.
These programs can teach teambuilding, discipline, the value of service, and more. So far, however, they contain little instruction in mental and spiritual development, nutrition, and they are plagued by government bureaucratic rules and regulations and often anti-capitalist indoctrination that misinforms young people.
They hold promise, but probably of a negative kind since they are run by government. They easily degenerate into simply a method of social control over the population. Some people remember groups such as the Hitler Youth Corps that were pure and simple indoctrination camps for young people. Americans should be alarmed that our current administration wants to set up indoctrination “services” for our youth.