Types of Leadership
A charismatic leader is supposed to deliver something that people could not expect. It is a different game altogether. He has to do something which was not there till now. This is a question of how organized you are within yourself and the sense of genius within you. But your charisma takes things off to a certain point. After that you need a system to make things happen. The system is like a concrete block; it doesn’t let you have flair. But if you have too much flair without the system, the flair [flare] will go up in the sky and nobody will see it. Too much genius will be dismissed off as madness. So you have to put one foot in the system.
These two things have to balance somewhere and you have to bring them to some sense of coherence. Some coherence between a system and genius has to happen within yourself for people to understand, relate to it and see how it is useful for them; otherwise nothing really lasts.
Genius Vs. Method
For any activity to successfully happen, definitely there is a system and method, but there is also a genius. Probably leaders cannot articulate their genius; they can only articulate the methods they have employed. Because genius is not something that one can speak about, it is just that their lives speak about it in so many different ways.
This question of method versus genius is always troubling people. You may have a perfect method, but you may remain mediocre for the rest of your life.
This reminds me of a beautiful situation that happened with Henry Ford. I am very much interested in any machine that works, so naturally I have been to most large machinery plants, particularly automobile industries. On one of my tours to the research wing of Ford Motor Company in Detroit, I was talking to a senior scientist who has been there over thirty- five years and who holds over fifty-two patents for different things that are being used in automobiles worldwide today. In the course of this visit, he told me a story.
It happened once, Henry Ford found that a lot of things happening in Ford Motor Company were not very efficient and were going all over the place. He decided to hire an efficiency expert. The expert came and went from office to office, person to person, straightening up all the key people in so many different ways. But one day he came and complained to Henry Ford, “See, I have been fixing up almost everybody here, but there is one guy who just doesn’t listen. And most of the time when I walk into his office he’s got his feet on the table and is smoking a cigar. He does nothing. And he’s one of the most highly paid in the company. I checked on him, I spied on him. He does nothing. He’s unwilling to take any instructions from me. You got to fire this guy.”
Henry asked, “Who is this?” When the expert mentioned his name, Henry said, “Don’t disturb him. Last time he had his feet on the table and was smoking a cigar, he came up with a billion dollar idea. Don’t you disturb that guy.”
So, if we do not set up a situation where somewhere there is some spark beyond the method, then mediocrity will be the way of life. But method is always an insurance to fall back on because genius may not be sparking every day, every moment.
There is no human being without genius. It just needs an appropriate atmosphere for it to fire.
To create an inner atmosphere where this will fire, one important aspect is paying some attention to the basic vehicles with which you travel through this life: the body and the mind. Your level of success in life is essentially determined by how well you harness your body and your mind.
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