It is tempting to call for better leadership, but we probably expect too much from the leaders of the nations. Those nations are too big, the connections not strong enough, the commitment to the future not long enough. It is better to look smaller, to our now-smaller organisations, to local communities and cities, to families and clusters of friends, to small networks of portfolio people with time to give to something bigger than themselves. We have to fashion our own directions in our own places.
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Presidents, leaders, to be effective have to represent the whole to the parts and to the world outside. They may live in the centre but they must not be the centre. To reinforce the common sense they must be a constant teacher, ever travelling, ever talking, ever listening, the chief missionary of the common cause.
The first step is to measure whatever can easily be measured. This is OK as far as it goes. The second step is to disregard that which can't be easily measured or to give it an arbitrary quantitative value. This is artificial and misleading. The third step is to presume that what can't be measured easily really isn't important. This is blindness. The fourth step is to say that what can't be easily measured really doesn't exist. This is suicide.
I like less the story that a frog if put in cold water will not bestir itself if that water is heated up slowly and gradually and will in the end let itself be killed, boiled alive, too comfortable with continuity to realize that continuous change at some point may become intolerable and demand a change in behaviour.
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The morality of compromise' sounds contradictory. Compromise is usually a sign of weakness, or an admission of defeat. Strong men don't compromise, it is said, and principles should never be compromised. I shall argue that strong men, conversely, know when to compromise and that all principles can be compromised to serve a greater principle.
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Some of my unhappiest moments have been in organizations. Somehow it seems to be quite respectable to do things in organizations that you would never do in private life. I have had people insult me to my face in front of colleagues. I have had my feelings rammed down my throat on the pretext that it would do me good. I have been required to do things which I didn't agree with because the organization wished it... In my worst moments I have thought organizations were places designed to be run by sadists and staffed by masochists.
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To learn anything other than the stuff you find in books, you need to be able to experiment, to make mistakes, to accept feedback, and to try again. It doesn't matter whether you are learning to ride a bike or starting a new career, the cycle of experiment, feedback, and new experiment is always there.