Thursday, November 15, 2012

Security Guards vs Corporate Cogs

Roosh is correct in ascertaining that leadership requires solitude.  The reason is not that there's some kind of psychological quality and trait in being a loner, but in being alone or having lengthy periods of time by yourself you are allowed to think, ponder and philosophize. A disproportionate number of my higher quality pieces are a direct result of me driving thousands of miles either on my motorcycle or in my car out west, only to hike for countless hours in the western wilderness.  After you run out of podcasts and MP3's to listen to, you start listening to yourself and your brain goes on journeys as long and as far as your hikes.

Another thing about being alone or being a "loner" is it requires a fair amount of confidence and faith in yourself.  You have to be an interesting person if for any other reason to entertain yourself.  You need to stimulate your mind and intellect and not just engage in thought, but engage in activities that challenge you.  Most people will not be able to keep up (for example only one person I met in Wyoming could keep up with me hiking), reenforcing your solitude.  But you're OK with that because you don't mind being alone advancing your thoughts and philosophies to new frontiers and epiphanies.  Just don't expect anybody else to be on Deseret Peak pondering flaws in Austrian Economic theory.

Finally, you must look at what kind of careers or jobs are conducive to being a loner.  It is no surprise corporate heads are the most bland, cookie cutter, vanilla wafer intellects in the entire US population.  If they do what they're told and are good little cogs, by the time they reach upper management their brains have melted.  It is merely anecdotal, but the few higher up people i've met are not intelligent, not engaging and not interesting. They certainly aren't leaders like the founders of the companies who were visionaries.  They are conformists who paid the price of intellect and independent thought so they could afford beamers, a McMansion and a "career" that is so drab and dry their brain doesn't even realize it anymore.  You wouldn't want to have a beer with them and you certainly wouldn't want to date them.  It is also why some of the most interesting people I've met in my life are security guards and truck drivers.  They got all the time in the world to think and ponder.  Corporate cogs can only tell you how exciting it was to do data entry.

So before you decide to enter a career as a good "corporate man" you have to ask yourself the question NOT if your mind can handle it.  But is it worth the price you have to pay knowing your brain will never fully develop and reach it's intellectual and philosophical peak.  Because I don't know about you, but life is too short to have boring thoughts or be that person who thinks "boycotting oil on that ONE day" is somehow deep economic or political thinking.


taterearl said...

Some of the most intelligent men I ever met growing up were Vietnam vets or guys who went through basic training during that time. I worked for one during my summer job at a cemetery for 5 years. He didn't have much more than a high school education...but he taught me more about how to banter, work hard, and never be satisfied unless you do your very best. In many ways he tore me down when I screwed up and then built me up when I did things right...and he never tolerated my BS.

Toddy Cat said...

Yeah, I've met some Vietnam vets who really had it together. It's really too bad. Those guys actually WON the war, and then, years after they went home, South Vietnam was sold out by the Left, and, somehow, the vets get branded as losers. And what's more, the MSM then has the gall to portray them as a bunch of losers/drug addicts/PTSD head-cases/homeless drunks, and worse. If you needed another reason to hate liberals, here it is...

M. Steve said...

One thing I have found after almost a decade in management is that leadership is *draining*. Back in undergrad, I was a BMOC, active in many social endeavors, very extroverted. However, now that I am responsible for a part-time staff of 50, I find that I require much more alone time. I no longer go out for drinks/fun 3-4 days a week, instead coming home to veg. I usually spend one entire weekend day doing "nothing" (actually recharging.) I appear to have become very "boring" to many of my friends who are working stressful jobs but are not responsible for managing others.

It is incredibly difficult for non-leaders to understand how much energy leadership simply takes out of you, at least if you take it seriously. If anyone has ever wondered why cocaine and amphetamines are popular amongst top-level executives, my guess is that many need it just to get through the day. I prefer solitude and smoke myself.

Anonymous said...

Cappy Cap - word.

Solitude is important if you want to be a good thinker of any sort. I'm a lawyer & legal project manager - and a bit of a recluse at work. Can't be a good special projects guy & special counsel type, and a good line manager at the same time. Just not possible, not on my limited CPU cycles.

William Hughes said...

You also cannot socialize with people you may have to discipline or even dismiss from service. Learned the hard way.

Self imposed solitude at work is a natural consequence of effective leadership.

Any jackass can be a leader, btw. Also, some "workplaces" have no discipline, and so certain natural consequences are not incurred.

ColoComment said...

An interesting book about solitude-loving introverts operating in an extrovert world is "Quiet" by Susan Cain.

Lee Scuppers said...

There's a partial exception to the boring-corporate-leader rule: Entrepreneurs. The guys who started at the top of a two-man operation and worked their way up never having to truckle to anybody but the customers.

Then they hand over their companies to normal successors and they generally turn to shit (Microsoft, HP, probably Apple, etc.).

Paul, Dammit! said...

I agree wholeheartedly with the need for solitude, but there should be mention made of the need for proportion. In my own line of work, as a merchant mariner, I need a few hours a day by myself at my desk or walking circles around my boat.
As others mentioned, it's very draining. I've made the mistake of using my wife as a confidante when I am disheartened after having fired someone or being burnt out after a long passage with shit weather- and it took me a while to figure out that it was costing me in terms of my wife's respect. The solitude helps, but it's addictive, too.
The best advice I've heard from anther captain was 'it is what it is.' There's no avoiding consequences of leadership, and hiding or trying to mitigate them degrades the quality of the work we do.