The Managerial Mystique: Restoring Leadership in Business

The Managerial Mystique: Restoring Leadership in Business

The Managerial Mystique: Restoring Leadership in Business

The Managerial Mystique: Restoring Leadership in Business

Excerpt

Once upon a time, smart businesspeople were healthy skeptics. They took new ideas with a grain of salt and, generally, avoided theoretical discourse. When confronted with theory, the businessperson asked, "What use does it have?" Theory for the sake of theory evoked only a bored took.

While generally optimistic and sympathetic to positive thinking, successful businessmen and -women cast a suspicious eye on advocates of utopias. They did not expect perfection (at least in this world), although they believed in visions of a future worthy of today's commitment and hard work. Based on the hard-earned lessons of experience, these executives eschewed the quick cure and believed that visions become reality through perseverance: Chip away at problems, take a day at a time, and hope for the best while expecting the worst. It was probably such an executive who invented Murphy's Law--whatever can go wrong will--not out of fatalism, but as a reminder that life is unpredictable. The utopian, therefore, seldom expected to make a convert of the savvy business executive. But times have changed.

It is cause for wonder to observe today's corporation. At least once each year, if not more, executives participate in a "retreat," a workshop, a management conference, and other assemblies (call them what you will) for indoctrination into the managerial mystique. The rate at which spin-offs of the managerial mystique are conjured up to cure whatever ails business is astonishing.

These business executives, who used to think of themselves . . .

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