Thursday, June 3, 2010

What leaders said

Just finishing watching Steve Jobs’ Q&A at D8 this year, before I’m able to get a transcript of it and make my personal comments (lots of it). A thought just came across my mind while I compare him as a business leader to the words of other type of leaders, I think I would ‘admire’ the words of business leaders much more than the rest.

Well, when I quote ‘admire’, I’ve some explanation to do here. First of all, what I’m talking about is what those leaders have said in public which have been recorded or reported in the press. Cuz, privately, they are no different from us, cuz basically we are all human. However, I do find leaders of different sorts speak differently in public. There are all sorts of leaders in our society; the ones that I can think of are those from politics, business, religions, human/social issues (e.g. labor), etc.

I often find human/social issues leaders speak well; they are usually quite passionate about the content of their speech. Perhaps, it is because they are dealing with human issues. However, most of what they said that got reported are about negative issues. Cite a labor leader as an example, he/she will be reported when there is strikes, accidents, or other bad things happen to those they he/she represented. Cuz, they don’t have much value in the news when things are going fine. So, those leaders do need to convey a sense of urgency or passion when they present their clause. However, they don’t really show much individuality in terms of the words that they use in their speech, and they just can’t be too creative. In other words, their speech is passionate, but boring.

Religious leaders are also passionate for being non-democratically elected representative of supreme divined beings on earth. However, they can’t be too creative in their words as they are basically the ‘torch holder’ of a religion. They can only interpret what the holy text has said. Yes, most of words coming out of their mouths are reassuring, wise, comforting and good. They don’t lie (much), but you can’t tell if they really lie when they put their ‘costume’ on. But, the thing is that they sometimes can’t say things too direct, as the holy text are usually quite ambiguous, particularly when the leaders try to apply those thousands year old wisdom to contemporary problems. They just can’t be too precise on telling you what they really think without the religious contest. Well, in short, their speeches can be inspiring, uplifting, but could be hollow, confusing and boring sometimes. Cuz, when you thought that you are not smart enough to understand what the leaders mean and try to read between the words, they might have just trying not telling you what they really think.

Political leaders are liars. The difference among them is whether they are good liars or bad liars. Well, there are some exceptions, like MLK, Gandhi, but they are far and between. Majority of them are simply pathetic basters who tell nothing but lies. They could be quite uplifting and inspiring and passionate in their speeches when they want to sell themselves to the voters to vote for them. However, when you read their speeches on paper or screen as you take out the fake emotion they present in front of the camera, you just can’t help but thinking that they are simply telling lies. We all know that they are humans and they don’t have that much power to make changes or do things that they claim that they will do. It is just the fact that they can’t tell you the truth that they are powerless and simply want to take the pork, ride it out for their tenure and move on. I just can’t stand those politicians. I just hope that they shut up and will do some works.

Well, business leaders are no saint. What they do is as evil as politicians if not more. However, what I ‘admire’ them is that they are usually willing to speak their MINDS. Yes, I know they lie too, but the good business leaders are usually the strongest communicator in our modern capitalist society. I don’t care they use iron fists to run their companies. The fact is that if they are bad, their businesses will fail in the merciless market. Only the strong survives. So, when you see the ‘big’ guys, like Steve Jobs, Steve Ballmer, Robert Murdoch, Warren Buffet open their mouths, people listen and so do I. Putting aside what they said may give you hints to make or lose money, their comments on the market, on the customers, on the industry, on their competitors, etc, are just fascinating. They don’t mind to use blunt words, they usually don’t need to care what others think, they just speak their minds, at least at a more honest level than the politicians, and more entertaining than the religious leaders. Also, their contents are usually more insightful. Anyway, that’s just my personal observation and I just enjoy reading the interviews and speeches of successful powerful leaders in the business field.

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