Ability to calm tense situations where
differences dominate and communication has broken down—
and bring people from divergent cultures
toward positive engagement.
Very little good has ever been done by the absolute shall.
ANONYMOUS CLERGYMAN IN
THE ERA OF PROHIBITION1
NEUROLOGIST ROBERT BURTON is studying the neuroscience of certainty. He writes: Despite how certainty feels, it is neither a conscious choice nor even a thought process. Certainty and similar states of knowing we know arise out of involuntary brain mechanisms that, like love and anger, function independently of reason.2
Burtons conclusions show how neuroscience will shake our understanding of leadership over the next decade. The title of his book on certainty is both revealing and provocative: On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When Youre Not. How many leaders have you seen who know they are right, even if they are wrong?
Clarity is critical for leaders, as I discussed in Chapter 2, but certainty is downright dangerous. In a VUCA World, many will be attracted to absolute shalls and leaders will have to engage with these polarized and polarizing advocates who drive wedges between others.
Jung’s writings are so extensive that it is easy to overlook important contributions on any particular topic. Therefore in this research the indexes in the Collected Works have been used to sample and extract passages on the self. These were recorded on cards and then indexed alphabetically under subject headings. Thus the tendency to select quotations and distort summaries to suit the writer’s convenience was, if not eradicated, at least kept in check. Further, by using this sampling technique it was possible to decide what Jung said once and what repeatedly, to which statements he gave weight and which were intuitions thrown out in passing. The method was found to have yet another advantage: it became easier to notice when different formulations were the result of a major or minor change in his views.
It is claimed that what is recorded in the present paper gives the main trends in Jung’s developing concepts of the self. The study of them proves conclusively that two mutually incompatible definitions have appeared which will be discussed with the aim of resolving the contradiction. It will be shown by analysing Jung’s observations and theories that a solution is possible.
You will think I’m paranoid but I can’t help putting together the way Bush stole the election and 9/11.” Carla was referring to the presidential election year 2000. “They bullied, lied, cheated on every level. Blocking voters from voting: getting voters off the lists, creating obstacles getting to polls, creating problems at the polls, bad ballot forms, bad ballot counts, discrediting credentials ... Bullying. Baker’s face bore a hole through me. I had nightmares about his face and Pataki shouting at vote counters in Florida. No wonder I was turned off by politics when I was a teen.
“I feel raped by the Supreme Court! What do kids learn from the Supreme Court? They learn to do anything to win, screw others to get power. Lie and cheat and bully. Not only is being a rapist OK, it’s mandatory. It’s part of what one does to win. May the best rapist win. At Bush’s inauguration the streets were lined with the violated.
“They bombed us with the election, then 9/11 came. I thought: violence to violence, mirror images, violence trapped in a magnification lens. Monster, monster on the wall, who’s the evilest of all? There is a grotesque mirror in the soul and once you fall in you can not get out of it.