quinta-feira, maio 26, 2011

Um visionário

James March em "On Leadership" acerca de Don Quixote:
"We must be able to dissociate the vision from the person and consider that a visionary sees something before other people do, but is possessed by his or her vision more than he or she possesses it. The vision is then passed on to other converts.
How can we encourage the appearance of visions capable of transforming the course of history?
It is unfortunate that studies of visionary leadership focus too much on the lone leader and not enough on the way that he or she can maintain a climate propitious to the blossoming of original visions. Vision will generally only be a motor of change if it can be shared by at least a few people
Visions are something akin to poetic activity. The poet draws on reality and imagination, using language to evoke new meanings. Visionary, or poetic, leadership recognizes that life mixes different levels of reality, and leaders act without fully understanding the reasons for it, discovering the meaning of an action through the action itself.
Don Quixote is a visionary. He creates a world in which he rights wrongs and, like Saint Joan, draws other people into the fantasy that he has fashioned.
That fantasy does not aspire to an ideal social order, but rather to a proper life of beauty and harmony. The need for an arbitrary creation of beauty is exemplified by Quixote’s love of Dulcinea, whose attributes are manufactured by his imagination. He invites others to picture her as he pictures her, not because his portrayal is objectively accurate but because he (and they) choose to believe her so.
Don Quixote defies ordinary conceptions of reality. He asks whether it is better to accept reality or to invent it, why should we not believe in Dulcinea and in a more beautiful world. Don Quixote’s “madness” therefore consists of living in a world that he has created rather than in the one others experience and of not caring about the consequences of his action.
The logic of reality entails two aspects of relevance to a leader. On one hand, reality is complex and our knowledge of it is limited, so we are not sure whether a particular action will achieve our desired goal. This awareness can lead to paralysis (what is the point of doing anything if the results depend on chance?) or cynicism (what is the point of fighting for a better world if we are not certain of the effect of our actions?). On the other hand, reality can be created by action. It need not necessarily be taken as given. This extends to the discourse of a leader: Dulcinea is created by Don Quixote’s imagination. Reality is in part a social construction, and interpretation plays an important role in this construction.
Don Quixote teaches us that the meaning of life is neither given to us in advance nor discovered, but affirmed by an act of will."

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