And the World Held its Breath

 On March 29th, 1936, the legitimate voters of one democratic nation were to decide the fate of the vast majority of the world’s citizens. I don’t know how many people that did not have a say in those elections held their breath until the result was known. And I don’t know how many of them stopped breathing altogether after it was over.

I do know that today millions of non-Americans held their breath, for once again the voters of one nation were to decide whether the entire world would be safe, at least for another four years.

Thankfully, this time the result allowed us to breathe out and let our blood pressures go down.

Natural leaders, people who have the right personality to lead, are rare and have been rare throughout history. They are certainly rare among monarchs and politicians for the simple reason that those do not get to power because of their leadership skills. They get there either because of an inherited title or because of a popularity contest.

It is even rarer to find a natural leader who is also a desirable leader for the people and for the circumstances at the time.

Plato is often accused of failing in his pursuit of providing proof for his belief in the philosopher-king because the prince he went to tutor did not become the ideal leader. But to me that only proves the theory: this prince was there by right of birth, not because he had the natural talents to rule.

Hitler was a natural leader, but not a desirable leader; Martin Luther King Junior was a natural leader and a desirable leader, but he was not in the position of leading a nation.

Pericles, leader of Athens, and Augustus, first emperor of Rome, were natural leaders and desirable leaders in view of the needs of their nation at that time  – yes, yes, I know Augustus used a certain amount of violence to get the power, but that is because most in his time had been brought up to believe that leaders were chosen and educated to be leaders.

There have been few since, but until four years ago no politician emerged from a democratic country who was actually also capable of leading: A person with the right personality traits to stand up and make decisions without having somebody else prompt him, who could answer questions without having been prepared, who was not afraid to show himself as a human being, who was willing to listen to the advice of those around him and who was not afraid to admit making mistakes.

As explained in my book Concerto for Mankind, I believe that the natural personality type to lead a nation is an ENTJ, for in that type come all the natural gifts that guarantee decisiveness, honesty, the ability to delegate, the ability to communicate, a willingness to prioritize the needs of the larger community, a genuine interest in human needs, a cool head under pressure and boundless energy in meeting people, but most of all, the strategic insight in the long term consequences of every decision made.

I am not saying there have not been other good leaders, but they were not politicians voted in by a majority of voters without such insight; they either came from a privileged background to allow them to be pre-selected or they came to power by other means than democratic elections.

And just for the record: I do not believe that philosophers should be kings, even if I am in agreement with Plato that leaders must be born to lead and not only taught to do so.

Thank you for reading.





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