Why Intellectual Leadership Can Get One Killed

One can’t help when watching the latest news stories and shake one’s head in both amazement, as well as disgust. Whether it’s the latest political blunder or snafu, all the way through to some of the worlds largest corporations. One thing becomes crystal clear: Most “Intellectuals” can only remain looking smart if the world is calm, or a current business cycle is booming.

For once the tide turns and decisive action is needed during the turbulence: the dumbest choice of people to deal with an evolving crisis are “intellectuals.”

The problem with these people in key positions of power (both politically as well as business) is they know how to navigate internal office politics, they understand the how, when, and where of backstabbing. They can turn the hard work of others into their own as to curry favor as well as promotions. But what they can’t do is the actual thing needed most: the actual doing.

Let’s not mince words or thoughts here, what I’m directly speaking to is the difference between someone who can both be and/or act ruthless vs one that “believes” they are the same.

The intellectual prowess of the so-called “smart crowd” can not only be dwarfed by the truly ruthless leader, but can put both themselves as well as their company or followers in grave peril. For intellectuals think out processes far too much. Then do nothing.

They’ll over think why someone would do X, Y, or Z. They put themselves into shoes that don’t fit, then spend more time contemplating if their opponents should be wearing leather vs rubber soles. All the while their opponent laughs running circles around them barefoot.

The fallacy of their though processes remains hidden most of the time only by the veil of normalized cycles. But when those cycles have more in common with hurricane season, they’re the first to stare doe eyed at the flashing warning signs about what to do next.

Currently we have a crisis that is rapidly changing day-to-day in the Ukraine. Vladimir Putin is showing the world exactly what he is, what he wants, and what he will do to bring it about. The rest of the world’s reaction? Endless blither and blather on why he shouldn’t.

The problem for the intellectuals is they believe because Putin is reported to hold some $40 Billion dollars in assets that appealing to his 1%’er side should be sufficient to entice him from acting badly. They believe since they themselves are of the same 1% that they share commonalities.

They’ll intellectualize why they know what a 1%’er thinks, wants, believes. Again they mistakenly believe they should because after all – only they know best how to talk or treat another 1%’er.

Here’s an alert for the intellectual set. Vladimir Putin is a 1%’er. Just not yours. Putin has more in common with the other 1% crowd collectively known as outlaw motorcycle gangs. (Yes I mean all those you see sporting patches on their backs)

The trouble for the 1% “smart-crowd” is they have no idea or frame of reference this other group works or plays in, let alone any understanding of what motivates or causes them to rethink conquest.

However, the outlaw 1% know exactly how to frighten, extort, and run roughshod over the intellectual. All while laughing and enjoying the process.

Let’s just put one of the latest arguments splattered across the media to make a point. The argument goes something like this: “If Putin cares what’s best for his people and doesn’t want them to feel the effects sanctions will bear: he should rethink his position.”

Well, that sounds really threatening, but here’s what’s wrong with that whole premise: If Putin or any other communist leader cared about what happened to his people – they wouldn’t be living under his thumb in a dictatorial environment where people routinely go without proper food, medicine, clothing, rule of law, etc.

One of the most feckless postures any leader can do is make threats (no matter how large or small) then not follow through. Real tough guy’s feed on this type of false bravado, regardless if you may have the storehouse of weapons to decimate them or not.

You can threaten to lock up their bank accounts, throw them in jail, what ever, but the problem is they’ll willingly and laughingly, burn your house down, break your legs, pee on your shoes, and more before you blink.

Words and threats are meaningless to this crowd. Actually, the more one threatens them, the more embolden they become. Why? They actually like the idea of the fight.

Intellectuals are looking for ways as to not be left with egg on their faces. Real tough guy’s don’t mind breaking eggs to accomplish their goals. All one has to do for evidence is look back at another famous tough guy: Mao Zedong.

Mao famously stated when millions of his own people were dying: “Well you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.” Getting egg on his face, shoes, or anywhere else was just a part of the process in his eyes. Putin is cut from this type of cloth. And he wears his own colors proudly as any 1%’er would.

But don’t worry, they’ve got a broken egg diplomacy mindset on their side – we’ve got #hashtags to be served on ours.

© 2014 Mark St.Cyr