Think like a leader: Week thirteen

in Self Improvement7 days ago

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

- John McCrae -


I've been a leader of people for many years across various roles; I believe some are built for it, have natural attributes that lean them towards leadership, and others are followers. All good leaders will be able to learn from others, evaluate good and bad examples, and apply that knowledge to becoming a better leader. This new series is designed to expose great quotes by various leaders and to investigate how they may relate or apply to myself or others. original im src

This week's leadership quote poem

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I'm doing something different for this weeks' leadership post and instead of a quote I'm using a poem.

Over the last few weeks, I've been thinking about war and peace and life and loss; thinking on those things pulls my mind backwards to the past but always makes me think about the future as well. I have no children of my own, but I have a niece in her early twenties and a niece and nephew both under seven years old and I wonder, what might the world look like for them moving forward into the future. No matter how desperately I want the future to look bright for them though, to me it looks bleak.

The poem above is a well-known war poem called, In Flanders Fields, written during the First World War by Canadian, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, who was serving on the Western Front near Ypres, Belgium at the time of writing.

It speaks of soldiers' sacrifice, death and the passing on of the fight, (quarrel) and that should the reader not do so, pick up the torch, the dead, those who have sacrificed their lives in war and for a cause, will not be able to rest. It is a powerful poem written in a moment of sorrow, pain and hopelessness, after a battle in the Ypres Salient and the day after McCrae had lost a close friend to battle. I have used it as motivation for my post today which simply serves to ask questions.

The cost of investment

Do you think you could count the cost in human lives wars have caused since the beginning of time? I mean soldiers and civilians both. It's impossible, however I know enough about history and war to know that the number is vast.

The return on investment

Similarly, do you think you could calculate the return on investment for those expended lives across all wars? Think about it...All those wars and what have we got for it in return? Peace and harmony? That's a laughable concept for certain! No...all we have is more wars in a seemingly endless cycle of humanity V humanity.

The lessons

What do you think we've learned from all those wars and the multitudes of deaths they have caused?

Have we learned to get along together? Have we learned understanding, tolerance and patience and that there's better ways to solve our differences? Have we learned to release greed, ego and hubris? Have we learned how to be more kind, humble and generous towards each other? Have we learned anything at all from those wars and all that death? Well yeah of course, we've learned how to develop more efficient ways to wage war and to kill each other.

If someone answers that humanity has learned positive lessons that have been applied in a wholesale manner around the globe then I have another question; Why then are there wars, conflicts and unrest still?

So no, I think humanity have generally not learned the valuable lessons history delivers nor have they learned that wars are completely avoidable. Shame on you humans, shame.

The future and leadership

We don't have a very bright future in my opinion, humankind; that's pessimistic I know and sure, optimism exists, but optimism without affirmative action is pointless...and there's still wars and conflicts so the action, if any, is not having a positive or lasting effect. But how does this relate to leadership?

We're all leaders and all have the responsibility to lead.

Imagine that concept for a moment:

"We are all leaders and have the ability and responsibility to lead lives that promote global harmony and peace - a one-world vibe - and to lead lives that carry us towards it on a day by day basis."

Global responsibility

If this was to happen, if every single person on the planet released greed and ego, didn't covet what others had, used a need over want ethos, and worked towards unity of mankind rather than the destruction of it I'd say things would look better now and into the future. But...does everyone do so? Do you? The responsibility rests on everyone's shoulders, it's a global responsibility, but that begins on a smaller scale...With you, with me and with everyone else that shares the planet.

What does your life look like and how do you lead yourself and others to a better future, by example? I often say, the answers for the problems of the present and future lay in the past. Do you draw on the past to affect the present and future?

We have the ability to learn from the mistakes made previously, they're right there for us to see, and can change our behaviours...but we do not...because there are still wars being fought. We could make it so however, all lead by example, lead better lives and lead mankind towards a brighter and better future, but will we? Will you be one of those leaders?

I don't hold much hope for the future and feel that mankind is incapable of peace...I mean generally, not you or I specifically.

From the first moment a caveman threw a stone or swung a stick at someone else in anger, or because he wanted what the other one had, humanity were doomed. We still do it now too, throw sticks and stones with intent to cause harm, it is our way; the sticks and stones are a little more sophisticated nowadays though.

What are your thoughts?

I don't mean what's going on in your little microcosm, I mean where do you think humankind is headed considering its inability to find lasting peace or cease to do war upon each other. What sort of life do you lead and is it one which leads you and others towards a one-world-community paradigm? What thoughts and actions do you lead yourself and others towards? Why do you think wars keep occurring over and over again and why don't we ever seem to learn from the last one, just look for the next one? Feel free to comment below.

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Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default - Tomorrow isn't promised so be humble and kind


Why then are there wars, conflicts and unrest still?

Because the political class claims their usurped authority of rulership equates to leadership, and have convinced enough people to kill and die for the interests of that ruing class. Just look at the Donbas. Why would Russia and Ukraine be bickering over land and people? Why are soldiers signing up to go to war over land where they have no eprsonal attachment beyond this artificial nationalism?

Have you read US Marine Corps Major General (sorry about all the titles) Smedley Butler's book, War is a Racket? He details his own observations from a long and storied career to conclude that the military exists to enrich corporate interests and empower politicians. I don't entirely agree with his proposed solutions, but he makes a lot of good points.

The Christmas Truce that first winter of WW1 was an opportunity to avoid the Flanders Fields slaughter. But after celebrating Christmas and peace, they went back to obedience to politics and waging war. It's the saddest story I know from that era, becaus etheir obedience to authority and belief in war led at least in part to every tragedy that followed - the rise of Communist revolutionaries in Russia, debt, inflation, central bank power, Hitler (Godwin's Law invoked!) the Cold War, re-mapping the Middle East... it's all a consequence of the supposed virtue of martial obedience.

I can't disagree with your quite excellent comment. All I can say is, people are nutbags.

I don't know the answers to your questions or to mine however don't feel like there's much hope for humanity, and your comment cements that thought.

We're only about 160 years past the era of chattel slavery in the US. While the Civil War was objectively not waged with the goal of ending slavery on the part of the Union, it was necessary for Lincoln to fully embrace the fringe abolitionist rhetoric to justify the ongoing conflict and imbue it with a sense of moral crusade. This wasn't long after the British and French ended slavery in a haphazard but non-warlike fashion. Progress looks slow when you are building toward it. We may well be on the cusp of a "Great Awakening" of individual responsibility and rejection of coercion.

I'm not counting on it, I'm just saying I'm not "black-pilled" on human progress.

I'll be be dead inside of 20-30 years, or even much sooner perhaps; once that occurs I'll not know what happens...but the trajectory we're all on doesn't bode very well in my opinion and I don't see enough action occurring to alter the (seemingly) inevitable destination. I could be wrong, of course, it will all play out after I'm gone, you too probably...and in the meantime all the little things we roll over and accept, the wrongs that slowly become acceptable to the majority, mount up, and compound.

It's just my opinion based on what I see, what I've seen and been through and the fact that humans are very slow to learn in respect of something positive and very quick when it comes to creating conflict and ways to destroy each other.

My opinion of the future is very bleak. No long lasting future for humankind I'm afraid. Few hundred years, perhaps even thousand if we're "lucky" but that is just a glimpse in the time of the earth.

Why humans are doomed? Because of envy and greed. There are too many people who want more, always more and too many people who want to be in power and who have the need to rule and control other people. Humankind will die to wars, pollution and the fact that we are making the world unlivable for humans. But before all humans perish, there will be even bigger difference between the rich and the poor. Middle class will vanish and the few rich will be richer than ever as the many poor will be poorer than now. Sci-fi literature and movies/tv-series have predicted this and to be honest, it's not even very hard to foresee.

The next generation and the next after that will probably continue living like we do, just more drought, bigger storms, wars and fewer natural resources, but because of the inevitable situation that the climate will be warmer every year and the fact that that has several drastic consequences, everything will be harder for those who right now get by okay and super hard for the poor. The rich won't suffer. Not until the very end when money doesn't buy them better life anymore.

So there's my nice and happy and sunny thoughts. 😁

< Why humans are doomed? Because of envy and greed.


Middle class will vanish

Happening already.

I agree with you on all you say. I'd like to think more positively about the future but things are out of control. That doesn't mean my life is bleak, lifeless and negative, it actually means the total opposite of that, I have an amazing life, but in the future...well, that's not going to be the case for the majority.

Sad but true.

There is a lot to be learned from past wars, but these day? People are not interested. There's a war right now and all they care about is virtue signalling, not the actual war itself. As long as greed is an actual reality, I don't hold out much hope for an end to wars because war makes money for those involved. They don't care that they are sacrificing actual people.

The rulers of our current world are also not particularly interested in losing people - with 8 Billion now on the planet they feel people are an dispensable commodity. Take for example this whole green new deal bullshit that they are claiming will save the planet: How many people actually know that the majority of those minerals are mined by children in third world countries across the world? How many of them actually care?

I myself hold out little hope too because we're heading in a direction, but it's definitely not the right one and without a massive shift, humanity in the true sense of the world is doomed.

The rulers of our current world are also not particularly interested in losing people - with 8 Billion now on the planet they feel people are an dispensable commodity.

Maybe one day we'll all be plugged into the Matrix and be put to good use huh? I'd not be though...I'd be like Neo only I'd be called Old-O.

Take for example this whole green new deal bullshit that they are claiming will save the planet: How many people actually know that the majority of those minerals are mined by children in third world countries across the world? How many of them actually care?

There's a lot of deluded people in the world, you know, those who talk about how automation and computers are going to be so awesome, but forget that half the planet doesn't have sustainable power. People like to insulate themselves from the realities because it is easier for them. They plod along in their little worlds mumbling words about how they are going to change the world but take no (real) action to do so.

I'll be dead and gone when it all shakes out thankfully, as will most people reading (or not reading) this.

Old-O, lol, well we'll be in the same boat I reckon.

That's just it - it's more convenient to not know or care about these things and social engineering has been so good at pulling the wool over people's eyes that they fail to see past anything that sounds good. Nobody asks questions anymore either so there's no real line of enquiry.

We'll both be gone but our nieces and nephews won't be and that's what makes me sad.

Sad indeed, but do you see a different reality?

Nope, the future looks grim...and grimey.

Certainly the world situation, in my particular case that of my country, makes it easy to lean towards pessimism.
And although I think you have to be realistic and have your feet on the ground.
Also that I have put our grain of sand so that what we would like to be better or work better, is.
Although it seems to us that there is little that we can do, great things can be achieved little by little.

I agree that we all need to do a little (a lot) better than we are now if we are to have a future; that's the whole point to this post. But is enough being done, all at the same time, by enough people? I do not think so and I believe those that do think so are being naïve.

Let's hope things get better, but hope won't make it happen, action will.

I agree with you cause how can despite the wars that happened in the past, yet there is still more wars. Humanity is still yet to learn. Only love and tolerance can save us all.

I actually don't think anything can save humanity considering the way we proliferate across the planet and destroy it's environment. The decline is happening all around us.

Truth but all we can do is be hopeful at least.

Truth but all we can do is be hopeful at least.

Being hopeful is pointless. Taking action is the only possible way to make positive changes.

Exactly Galen since the time of the caves we are still human with different perspectives, but it turns out that the great battles are won by the warriors who dared. When they risked everything for what seemed possible and reasonable. When they were against the wall and against the sword.

We are not alone in this journey. Sometimes we hear the sky is the limit! But we don't believe it. strength and faith

Are there really great battles? Does war answer who is right, or only show who is left?

Battle, (combat) isn't great at all.

The reason is won by the one who thinks he has it, the excessive ambitions in the world are not of the others, it is us.

All humans have different perspectives but sometimes they align. It would be good for every single person's perspective to align in a positive way and towards the betterment of society as a whole, even for just a day. It might cause people to see how good things can be and it may endure.

Alas, people are people and seem incapable of all pulling in the same direction at the same time.

There is too much rigidity and hope for a better world is lost.

A better world could exist, but not if people continue on the current path.

Idon't hold much hope for the future and feel that mankind is incapable of peace...I mean generally, not you or I specifically.

Mankind in general cannot bring peace. Mankind have learn any lesson from wars that killed millions of people. Do you think there will be a better world?

Do you think there will be a better world?

I do not, until humans are gone anyway. The planet doesn't need us.

We need a new world with different tiller. I learned great lesson . As a leader i should always learn from others.

This poem is really teaching. Today we see people hunting for war not minding what war has caused in the past not thinking of the history of the 1st world war nor the second.

People war because of land not minding lives which will be wasted and not having the foresight that life can never be replaced with land or anything. All this happens because at a moment all thinks like a leader but not all have the mind to lead. This is only known when a matter comes up that needs to be addressed. Thanks for sharing this facts.

Thanks for your comment, I appreciate you taking the time to read my post.