The Leadership Genius of Julius Caesar - Phillip Barlag

Alejo

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Recently, after the show the guys on MindMaters did with the author of the book, I decided to pick it up. It's a short book that is geared to draw lessons from Julius Caesar and apply them to modern leadership, mostly for businesses and organizations.

The book was rather enjoyable and interesting, and I think a lot can be said to the immense amount of inspiration that the figure of Julius Caesar still has on the collective consciousness of humanity, at least in the west.

I would recommend anyone interested to pick it up and glance through it, it's fairly short and it's easy to get through. I wanted to share a few ideas that I was left with that extend beyond the board meetings and business.

One very interesting idea I was discussing a while back with a few friends was that Julius Caesar had such an impact in humanity because he sort of created and made a brand new archetype available to the rest of us. I know that saying that could be oversimplifying things a bit, but concepts like clemency and forgiveness were perhaps seen as forms of weakness instead of power before such a powerful man embodied them to success.

The author of the book focuses a lot on the idea of "Leading by power and not by force" and the more I thought about it the more I thought about how that could perhaps be one way to start to distinguish the organizing principles of STO and STS.

And it made me think of movies and stories where organizations are depicted, it is usually the gangs and mafia type organizations or the bad guys, roughly speaking, the ones that lead by force and intimidation, and the good ones are usually lead by power.

The difference between these two, as Phillip Barlag explains, is that leading by force isn't really leading, individuals aren't really following you as much as you're pushing them in the direction you wish them to go. The power that is at the center of such organizations, isn't really power that emanates from the inside out, rather it's a power that originates on the outside and it's aimed at fulfilling a single individuals, or small group of individuals, aims.

It made me think of totalitarian regimes, and how they can last for a very long time, but since they're forcing people into compliance, it can never last forever. Their power ultimately erodes and disappears, after desperate attempts and maintaining control and the ever-present infighting.

When one leads by power, Barlag explains, one inspires people to find within themselves the will to travel in the same direction, this requires to lead by example and to have skin in the game, clear communication between all parts of the group and networking as well. And this is the type of leadership that is rooted in a power that can last for thousands of years. It emanates within and it touches everyone outside of it but without imposing itself on them, it's a rather interesting concept.

In those terms, STS is the lead by force principle, that lies, manipulates, intimidates with force and seeks to control individuals into compliance. Human beings who we are, this is indeed a way to achieve great things, our fear of death and pain is enough to motivate us into action for a very long time.

On the other hand, STO would be the lead by power principle, the one that acts and inspires others, respects the free will of those involved and moves forward to achieve great things, enough to give individuals even the will and impetus to risk their lives for a goal.

I found it rather interesting to see how much inspiration can still be drawn from the life of Julius Caesar. All in all it was a very good read and I would recommend picking it up.

Thank you for reading.
 

Alejo

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It made me think of totalitarian regimes, and how they can last for a very long time, but since they're forcing people into compliance, it can never last forever. Their power ultimately erodes and disappears, after desperate attempts and maintaining control and the ever-present infighting.
I wanted to add something here that I have been thinking after writing this post.

And it may sound rather silly, but I had always wondered if the PTB have all this power and money why don't they just move in and take over officially? Why hold elections beyond the value of distraction and illusion? and what is the value of illusion anyway if we're all powerless in their presence.

And after thinking about this idea of power, it made me realize that the power one gathers as a leader or figure of authority from forcing people really can't last very long. The power one gathers in a leadership position truly comes from people's making a choice to move in the direction the leader wants them to follow.

So in that sense, this is why there's such a large effort in propaganda and lies the world over, they can't force people to make choices and expect a long lasting stay in power, they need them to choose for themselves.

They could potentially simply drive over to everyone's homes and vaccinate them or make them eat trash by force, and they'd have a degree of success, but it's as if the overall effect on the mind and soul would not be the same without the individual choosing to get vaccinated and eating garbage, there would be resistance due to the awareness of the forceful nature of it, in essence it would not be a choice. They could not achieve control, they'd achieve fearful obedience and that's short-lived.

To use an example that most of you might be familiar with, that's why humanity wasn't pushed through the door towards STS existence, it wouldn't have worked, it was simply shown the pot of gold, then lied to and manipulated into choosing to walk though it. Misinformed and lied to certainly, but a freely willed choice nonetheless, and truly a repeating syndrome.
 
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