Non-western Theories of Leadership LO25639

From: Jan Lelie (
Date: 11/14/00

Replying to LO25622 --

And greetings 2 u 2 and u and u, thank you for your atditions*

i like to elaborate on the notion of two types of theories - or languages
- that we all use in order to communicate. The problem being that we
cannot use one of these languages to reflect on the other language and
vice versa. Like a not-uncle saying "uncle".

> Dear Organlearners,
> Jan Lelie <> writes:
> >So the issue turns out to be language yet again.
> >The process of splitting starts with the very use
> >of language in communicating.
> But for me it is not so much the "what" in the language used by each of
> us, but the "how".

"what" and "how", for me, are interesting, but not as interesting as "who"
or "why" used language. What and how are somewhat related to digital use
of language. Why and who are for some reason more pointing towards
analogue use of language. It matters that it is Humpty Dumpty who says
that "when I use a word, it means just what i choose it to mean - neither
more nor less". When i use words like "When I use a word, it means just
what i choose it to mean, - neither more nor less", they tend to mean more
or less what i mean, see what i mean?

I think we all are quite capable of distilling what and how meaning from
words and dialogues - like externalized, extrinsic knowledge in the
article by Nonaka, but the trouble is that in order to grasp the meaning
(in Dutch we say "begrijpen", grasping for understanding) of words, we all
need to know who and why the words were uttered by the person (through
sound). We do this through "analogue" communicating, looking for clues in
behavior. ;-) see what i mean? This is the intrinsic part of


> >The problem with a digital language - as i understand it
> > - is that there is a "no" as opposite of a "yes". Its strength
> >is its weakness. In an analogue language, there is no concept
> >of "no". There is just is as is.
> The Western mind, my friend, is far more creative than that. It often
> will, by hook or crook, make a "yes" of the "highest is" and a "no" of the
> "lowest is", even though these two values are the merely the extremes of
> many more values in between.

Too true, although i would label it efficient and causal and not creative
nor social. Like assuming that we all agree before agreement is reached.
Very efficient but dangerous.

> >Perhaps we should invent an second language
> >to talk about the meaning of our communicating.
> >Or perhaps we are already using that language
> >and fail to notice that we also communicate
> >analogously. As we do in musec and dances, um.
> I think your second suggestion has much merit. In fact, the difference
> between a "mixture of monologues" and a "dialogue" is like the difference
> between a "digital language" and a "analogue language".

Thank you, i think too.

And in addition to your attempt to explain the difference, i would like to
suggest that it also has to do with Whitehead and Goedel: the formal
Principia Mathematica (digital) points to a problem about true-ness of
certain propositions and the paradoxes they create (analogue): some things
can not be spoken about, yet they appear to be true. The remarkable thing
is that we needed the Principia Mathematica to shows us that the paradox
exists. So we need western and non-western theories of leadership in order
to communicate about leadership AND leadership only shows itself in
leadership. As you again and again show by your support.

Thank you and all the good,


<voices in the distance>
"did i make myself clear, do you think, uncle?"
"i do not know, and i'm not your uncle!"
"yes, and you're my .."


Drs J.C. Lelie CPIM (Jan) LOGISENS - Sparring Partner in Logistical Development mind@work - est. 1998 - Group Decision Process Support

Tel.: (+ 31) (0)70 3243475 or car: (+ 31)(0)65 4685114 and/or taoSystems: + 31 (0)30 6377973 -

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