Driving Forces of Leadership LO24390

From: Leo Minnigh (l.d.minnigh@library.tudelft.nl)
Date: 04/19/00

Replying to LO24362 -- was: The ass trotting in front.

[Host's Note: Subject line changed at Leo's sugestion. ..Rick]

Dear LO'ers, dear At,

This story of leadership, signs of leadership and droppings, still
intrigues me.

> Here is a true story. But first I have to mention a curious fact.
> A zebra (which is closely related to the domesticated ass)
> frightens easily. And when it frightens, it farts. Sometimes the
> sound of the fart is so loud that it frightens the zebra so that it
> farts again. Occasionally a feedback loop of frightening and
> farting can emerge. Those who have seen it will never forget it.


> Bonnie and I hid behind some low bushes for some minutes.
> Yes, just as I have expected, an armoured car with soldiers was
> rushing back on the road. They were suspicious too, but ought
> not to stop until they had reached the jeep. As soon as they were
> out of sight, I took Bonny's hand to led her through the bushes
> to the river. She was crying softly. After some 20 meters I could
> not contain it any more -- I let out a loud fart. Bonny began to
> laugh,
> only to switch over to some louder crying. I said to her: "Bonnie,
> I cannot help it because I am very afraid. It is a fart rather than
> something else." So she laughed again, just to switch over to
> louder crying when realsing she was laughing. I put my hand over
> her mouth so as to muffle the sound. I begged her to cry softer.
> She managed to control herself. We continued with our sneaking
> toward the river triugh the bushes.


The story of At continued with further signs of fear (or leadership?)

Thank you At, for this story. It was so well written that I could tense
the anxiety here, behind my desk, despite the lack of drainage.

What is so strange, or intriguing about this story?

I am thinking already for days what role and what purposes and what
triggering mechanisms are behind orbicular muscles. Because we could see
in At's story several different examples. Ofcourse there was the leader
(At), very anxious about his own and Bonnie's safety. He started to fart.

But Bonnie too showed in her manner, ways of anxiety by opening some of
her orbicular muscles: laughing or other movements with her mouth. And
other body openings were opened - she started to cry with tears. Probably
you both were sweating as well (not because of the heat, but because of
fear). I think that in this case we cannot compare Bonnie's role and
position with the following asses at the back of the wagon. But if so, are
the asses at the back too, grinning with their mouths, sweating and

Orbicular muscles are the gatekeepers of the doors to the interior. They
could allow things to enter or to leave the body, but they also could
refuse this border traffic, like the border post between South Africa and
Botswana. Opening the doors, means that the interior becomes visible and
reachable. Either because (part of) the interior leaves to the outside, or
because one may have a look inside. Hospitality could be misused, so
opening the doors means increased vulnerability.

And this is somewhat strange, when one is in desparate fear.

I am not an expert on the following matter. But I once read something
about neurotransmitters Adrenaline and Noradrenaline. These transmitters
are not just transmitting, but they do als influence the TYPE of activity
in the brain. And with fear, noradrenaline plays a main role. It reduces
the mental activity in the brain, and stimulates muscle activity. We all
know the signs of this phenomenon: the candidate in a TV quizz under an
enormous laod of stress (and fear) could not generate an answer to even
the most simple questions. That's why the quizz master tries to relax the
atmosphere with lots of kind words.
We also know of the nearly supernatural speeds a creature can develop
under conditions of peril to life: no thinking, but running.

So there is indeed an influence of the circumstances of the surroundings
on brain AND muscle activity. And probably in circumstances as fear, also
the digestive system is influenced an probably stimulated. Probably one
could measure this as a raise of body temperature. And for those readers
who could read between the lines: increased entropy production.

But if fear is the companion (or driving force) of leadership, what kind
of fear is this. Is it fear for failure?

I have much difficulty in this possible relationship. Although I never had
related fear and leadership which eachother, also now, after some intense
thinking, I can't believe it.

So I tried to think in other lines. What are the forces that could
generate extra activity, above average? This extra activity could be
muscular or mental. And which force or forces is the driving mechanism
behind leadership?

The first thing that cam in my mind is LOVE. Love is an enormous driving
force. It influences one's thoughts incredably, it could cause actions
which never had happen if love (or 'great love') was not in the picture.
We probably all know this. We probably have experienced it with our
selves, or we could see the outcomes with our children or other persons.

Could love be the driving force of the leader? Is it the love and care for
the organization, or is it the love for the followers (the personel)? I
doubt, although there may be some exceptional examples.

Could there also be something like 'egolove'? And if so, is that the
general driving force of the leader? Maybe, but if so, then I think it is
a very special kind of egolove. It is to my mind not the

No, I think the driving force of the leader is the glorification of the
self by OTHERS. It is trying to be sympathetic, it is trying to win the
admiration and love of the followers. And this force could be very strong
indeed in some persons. And it could lead to extraordinary behaviour and
actions. Extraordinary in a broad sense.

But I still wonder how this driving force could be brought in relation
with the droppings of a leader. But increasing one's vulnerability could
generate a lot of sympathy and love.

Keep your orbicular muscles under control :-)

dr. Leo D. Minnigh
Library Technical University Delft
PO BOX 98, 2600 MG Delft, The Netherlands
Tel.: 31 15 2782226
        Let your thoughts meander towards a sea of ideas.


Leo Minnigh <l.d.minnigh@library.tudelft.nl>

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