Academic journal article Psychology in Russia

The Executive Leader in the Postcrisis Era

Academic journal article Psychology in Russia

The Executive Leader in the Postcrisis Era

Article excerpt

The postcrisis-era executive leader should possess such important traits as self- adjustment; common sense in combination with intuition, emotions, and imagination; and the readiness to make choices in fifty-fifty situations. The most general definition of "self-adjustment" is the building of functional interconnections between (1) a subject's actions and state and (2) the actions and state of the surrounding setting. Building such interconnections allows for introducing relevant and purposeful changes in the subject's actions, depending on the feedback from the previous step. In other words, this is an algorithm of changes based on feed- back. All living things follow this algorithm. Self-adjustment serves as a pillar for one's actions and interpersonal relations and for companies and society. Control without feedback is nothing but a delusion. According to Leontyev (2003), those who do not consider the results of their own actions ought to be diagnosed as paranoid.

Understanding the state of one's immediate surroundings means comprehending a situation with multiple variables. In a situation of crisis, it is important to update the present bridge between the past and the future and to build a new, more reliable one. It is important to come up with more thorough, strategic, determined, flexible, rational, and topical plans for life (to decide which programs to pursue and which to avoid). Kronik believes that such "bridge-building activity" usually starts with the client's "realization of reality and consolidation of the sense of reality" (Golovakha & Kronik, 1984). And it continues with reconsidering plans for life and resetting these plans; at this point new features can be found in the image of a new life.

Ermakov tried an interesting experiment: he made his students (masters of karate) do the impossible. They were used to routinely breaking wooden boards 1inch thick with their bare hands: he suggested they should try to do the same with 2-inch boards. While doing so they had their brain activity registered by means of electroencephalography. The students accomplished the task success- fully only if the right cerebral hemisphere became dominant. The left one (the common-sense one) was telling them, "This is impossible; you'll break your arm. Do you really want to? What for?" The right cerebral hemisphere was responsible for generating emotions: interest, thrill, rage, excitement --and the thick board shattered (Ermakov, 1991).

Accepting one's emotions is somewhat part of romanticism; it involves regarding one's own freedom as a unique emotional state that allows one to act responsibly. But what is a "free-to-decide" action? Where does a sensible decision come from, what is it based on? If my sensible decision is based in reality as I see it, then my personal attitude will most probably be built on the same base. Here lies the cause behind my real deeds and actions. Does decisiveness belong to the category of irrational (as opposed to rational, not in the sense of insanity)? And can it be that decisiveness is the key to the infamous contradiction between affect and intelligence? But in this case psychological advice would have an esoteric character. My inner certainty in understatement is my freedom; it's a unique condition that precedes a one-time, spaciotemporally precise action. Why is it a one-time action? Because any action, just like any event in a person's life and just like a person's life, is a one-time occurrence. Such an action has never been taken before and will never be taken again. Why is it a precise action? Because I will never have an opportunity to undertake this action again.

A.Blatner, a psychologist, noticed two initiations in the lifetime of every per- son (2003). The first one usually occurs in adolescence, when one realizes that something in the world is depressing; this stage is hard to go through. The second one is connected with the midlife crisis, when one realizes that many things in life are depressing. …

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