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Tag Archives: leadership

Arthur sighed and sank deeper into his shabby Second-Adjunct Secretary chair.

The memo was very clear. If Arthur was to refuse promotion for the third time he would face something much graver than firing, he would be de-merited in government record. In practical terms that meant he would never be able to secure another public service job. That meant private sector, that meant competition, that meant deadlines and worries and striving. Maybe someone else would think challenge, but Arthur couldn’t see but pointless headache.

So, he thought, Arthur is to become Adjunct-Secretary. How bad can that be? Read More »


The pecking order might be actually weakly correlated to power to change society. This is very counter intuitive, because a pecking order is by definition an expression of power within society.

Put it this way: being atop the pecking order gives you the power to impede anyone to peck on you, but it also makes you the less credible source for a plea against pecking.

To grasp the full effect of this observation we have to extrapolate it away from birds, into our own society: If you are President, no one will believe you when you say that Presidentialism isn’t so great. But maybe the same holds true to any change to the lifestyle of your society. You have maximum power within society, but no way to change it.

Thus, i would say that rising in the Pecking Order is an energy-inefficient way to reform society.

This sugests a strategy to culture changes that is the opposite of the one usually employed. Instead of grab the power than change, it would be change and beware the power relations that this will stir. Weird, maybe, but not totally unprecedent: Jesus had some impact doing almost that.

Posted by Wordmobi

A girl at the Vagalume party had a tattoo of the Trump number 2: The High Priestess. And i meant to ask her “are you a priestess?”, but in portuguese it sounded a lot like “do you fancy yourself a priestess?”, in a derisive manner, but that is not what i meant, what i meant is….

A priest, in our landscape, is a person who runs a church. We expect from him spiritual leadership. And that seems to involve more administrative matters than anything properly spiritual. Counsel miss H about her problems. Preach about how wrong are the youngsters’ ways. Even do balance the church’s bills. And let’s say nothing of this stupid prejudice against female priestesses.

I didn’t want to know if that girl was any of that.

In Greek a priest or priestess could sometimes be called a psychopomp. This means guide of souls, someone who takes the soul where it must go. I always think of the old man on the boat to Tartarus whom you must pay with a coin.

He is the one who will show you which is the place you have to go, true, and in that he remembers our spiritual leader, someone who decrees places for the dead to go, orders for our souls to follow. But actually he isn’t. That souls must go to Tartarus was someone else’s invention. That guy only took you across the river. He carried you where you could not go by yourself — or maybe you even could cross the river swimming but then you’d be all wet and…

Maybe we could translate psychopomp as soul-lifter, someone who gives souls a ride. We could imagine our souls as hitch-hiking across exIstenCe, not really progressing towards one goal but instead exploring and wandering. Seeing the wonders of life. Walking about. And the soul-lifter is the one who takes the soul along, turning a difficult journey for one into an interesting experience for both.

My priestess then would be someone who nods you into remembering that life itself is spiritual. That you don’t need to be in a church to look for deep meaning. That true happiness is the higher of the sacred things. Someone who shows you that you could save a lot of energy by just not complaining. Someone who tells you that drugs are a form of self-knowledge, besides (and much more) than a form of entertainment. Someone who helps you see the light for yourself.

My priestess would be someone who makes your life just a little bit more magic.

So, are you a priestess?

I hereby present a theory (actually, an hypothesis). Human beings can only acquire central political roles in society after around 60 years age. They may be successful or famous, but they become part of the backbone of society, and they opinions acquire real weight, only after 60. Thus the few persons who do have a chance, however small, of being placed in such roles tend to sharpen their skills constantly up to around their late 50s. At that age it becomes clear whether or not they will be there, and if that turns up to not be the case, they start to get complacent and frivolous. Thus the manager who used to read lots of complicated books suddenly turns her “diet” to Harry Potter and bestsellers only, the guy who used to have his own ideas suddenly starts to quote more and more and more. Obviously there are exceptions to this sad softening and shallowing at 60: those exceptions (which are the real leaders), i gues they develop an even more interesting and deep intellectual life — about that, maybe just maybe, if you return here in 31 years i might tell something about.