Intriguing Leadership Quotes

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In the center of the movement, as the motor that swings it onto motion, sits the Leader. He is separated from the elite formation by an inner circle of the initiated who spread around him an aura of impenetrable mystery which corresponds to his “intangible preponderance.” His position within this intimate circle depends upon his ability to spin intrigues among its members and upon his skill in constantly changing its personnel. He owes his rise to leadership to an extreme ability to handle inner-party struggles for power rather than to demagogic or bureaucratic-organizational qualities. He is distinguished from earlier types of dictators in that he hardly wins through simple violence. Hitler needed neither the SA nor the SS to secure his position as leader of the Nazi movement; on the contrary, Röhm, the chief of the SA and able to count upon its loyalty to his own person, was one of Hitler’s inner-party enemies. Stalin won against Trotsky, who not only had a far greater mass appeal but, as chief of the Red Army, held in his hands the greatest power potential in Soviet Russia at the time. Not Stalin, but Trotsky, moreover, was the greatest organizational talent, the ablest bureaucrat of the Russian Revolution. On the other hand, both Hitler and Stalin were masters of detail and devoted themselves in the early stages of their careers almost entirely to questions of personnel, so that after a few years hardly any man of importance remained who did not owe his position to them.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
Ultimately, Hitler decided not to invade–at least he hasn't done so yet," Muller smirked as he spoke. "But what struck us both at the time was the spectacle of the leader of a great nation like Germany seemingly able to do whatever he wanted, without any apparent constraints. He could override his military leadership, ignore objections of even his closest advisors, like Göring, and simply roll the dice, gambling that sending the army into the Rhineland wouldn't provoke a war with France.
William N. Walker (A Spy In Vienna: A Paul Muller Novel of Political Intrigue (Wages of Appeasement Book 2))
It was his first definite encounter with the wary-eyed, platitudinous, evasive Labour leaders, and he realised at once the formidable barrier of inert leadership they constituted, between the discontented masses and constructive change. They seemed to be almost entirely preoccupied by internecine intrigues and the "discipline of the Party". They were steeped in Party professionalism. They were not in any way traitors to their cause, or wilfully reactionary, but they had no minds for a renascent world. They meant nothing, but they did not know they meant nothing. They regarded Rud just as in their time they had regarded Liberalism, Fabianism, Communism, Science, suspecting them all, learning nothing from them, blankly resistant. They did not want ideas in politics. They just wanted to be the official representatives of organised labour and make what they could by it. Their manner betrayed their invincible resolution, as strong as an animal instinct, to play politics according to the rules, to manoeuvre for positions, to dig themselves into positions -- and squat...
H.G. Wells (The Holy Terror)
The most intriguing correlations obtained by the Minnesota study were also among the most unexpected. Social and political attitudes between twins reared apart were just as concordant as those between twins reared together: liberals clustered with liberals, and orthodoxy was twinned with orthodoxy. Religiosity and faith were also strikingly concordant: twins were either both faithful or both nonreligious. Traditionalism, or “willingness to yield to authority,” was significantly correlated. So were characteristics such as “assertiveness, drive for leadership, and a taste for attention.” Other
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Gene: An Intimate History)
But his (Pericles’) successors were more on an equality with one another, and, each one struggling to be first himself, they were ready to sacrifice the whole conduct of affairs to the whims of the people. Such weakness in a great and imperial city led to many errors, of which the greatest was the Sicilian expedition; not that the Athenians miscalculated their enemy's power, but they themselves, instead of consulting for the interests of the expedition which they had sent out, were occupied in intriguing against one another for the leadership of the democracy, and not only hampered the operations of the army, but became embroiled, for the first time, at home. And yet after they had lost in the Sicilian expedition the greater part of their fleet and army, and were now distracted by revolution, still they held out three years not only against their former enemies, but against the Sicilians who had combined with them, and against most of their own allies who had risen in revolt. Even when Cyrus the son of the King joined in the war and supplied the Peloponnesian fleet with money, they continued to resist, and were at last overthrown, not by their enemies, but by themselves and their own internal dissensions. (Book 2 Chapter 65.10-12)
Thucydides (History of the Peloponnesian War: Books 1-2)
The most intriguing correlations obtained by the Minnesota study were also among the most unexpected. Social and political attitudes between twins reared apart were just as concordant as those between twins reared together: liberals clustered with liberals, and orthodoxy was twinned with orthodoxy. Religiosity and faith were also strikingly concordant: twins were either both faithful or both nonreligious. Traditionalism, or “willingness to yield to authority,” was significantly correlated. So were characteristics such as “assertiveness, drive for leadership, and a taste for attention.” Other studies on identical twins continued to deepen the effect of genes on human personality and behavior. Novelty seeking and impulsiveness were found to have striking degrees of correlation. Experiences that one might have imagined as intensely personal were, in fact, shared between twins. “Empathy, altruism, sense of equity, love, trust, music, economic behavior, and even politics are partially hardwired.” As one startled observer wrote, “A surprisingly high genetic component was found in the ability to be enthralled by an esthetic experience such as listening to a symphonic concert.” Separated by geographic and economic continents, when two brothers, estranged at birth, were brought to tears by the same Chopin nocturne at night, they seemed to be responding to some subtle, common chord struck by their genomes.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Gene: An Intimate History)
Last year, I did a comprehensive study of T. E. Lawrence—Lawrence of Arabia. Lawrence played a pivotal role in the development of the modern Arab world. He was both pro-Arab and a Zionist. Unlike today, during this time period, this was not a contradiction. I read the entirety of Lawrence’s tome, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, as well as his personal letters. Colonel Lawrence had a comprehensive and personal relation with the emerging Arab political leaders during World War I. He also encountered the Persians (the Iranians of today). He made an interesting and important observation regarding their unique view of Islam. Lawrence observed that the “Shia Mohammedans from Pershia . . . were surly and fanatical, refusing to eat or drink with infidels; holding the Sunni as bad as Christians; following only their own priests and notables.” Each of these three leaders provides valuable insight into the intrigue that is the Middle East today, because the lessons they learned from their leadership in their eras can instruct us on the challenges we face in our own time. A new alliance has developed in the last few years that has created what I call an unholy alliance. History often repeats itself. We no longer have the luxury of simply letting history unfold. We must change the course of events, rewriting the history if needed, to preserve our constitutional republic. In this volume, I discuss and analyze the history and suggest a path of engagement to end what is the latest in a history-spanning line of attempts to export Sharia law and radical jihad around the world. We will win. We must win. We have no option.
Jay Sekulow (Unholy Alliance: The Agenda Iran, Russia, and Jihadists Share for Conquering the World)
Suspense consumes your opponents, whereas mystery intrigues your followers.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Machiavelli said that a proper conspiracy moves through three distinct phases: the planning, the doing, and the aftermath. Each of these phases requires different skills—from organization to strategic thinking to recruiting, funding, aiming, secrecy, managing public relations, leadership, foresight, and ultimately, knowing when to stop. Most important, a conspiracy requires patience and fortitude, so much patience, as much as it relies on boldness or courage.
Ryan Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue)
I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whoever he was talking with something about “a thousand marbles.” I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say. “Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter’s dance recital.” He continued, “Let me tell you something, Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities.” And that’s when he began to explain his theory of a “thousand marbles.” “You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years. “Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3,900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now stick with me Tom, I’m getting to the important part. “It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail,” he went on, “and by that time I had lived through
John C. Maxwell (Leadership Gold: Lessons I've Learned from a Lifetime of Leading)
I hated all of these pursuits, except photography and horseback riding, and little did the organizers know, I was already versed in a variety of social and leadership skills. After these confidence-building challenges, the various units headed off on separate expeditions. As the individual group developed the capacity to face challenges, the instructor would ask his allotted unit to make its own decisions. I was teamed with a group of five older boys between the ages of eighteen and twenty. Our Portuguese-French instructor was a twenty-three-year-old named Jules – the moment I’d set eyes on him, I was enthralled by his handsome ruggedness, and I had made it a point to join his team no matter what it took. Meanwhile, my “gaydar” also detected a half-Chinese and part Hispanic-American teammate called Kim. He, too, was checking out our instructor, and me. I befriended Kim and roomed with him on camping trips. Singapore, being a conservative society, did not condone homosexuality, let alone at this super ‘macho’ outpost. During a swimming sojourn, I decided to pretend to drown to get the instructor to come to my rescue. Sure enough, when I feigned suffocation in the ocean, Jules headed my direction. While swimming to pull me ashore, I reached to brush his groin, as if by accident. I did this several times and felt his growing penis with every touch. By the time he’d pulled me aground, he had sprouted a full erection behind his speedo. When he gave me the kiss of life, I jabbed my tongue into his mouth. Taken aback, he withdrew contact before resuming the revitalization process. This time, he lingered when his mouth was on mine. He played it cool, since our patrol was watching the entire incident. He ordered my teammates back to their respective duties when he carried me to the tent I shared with Kim. Although he knew I was capering with him, no words were exchanged throughout the entire process; neither did he make any attestation that he was aroused by what had transpired. Before leaving the tent, he uttered, “I’ll check in later to make sure you are okay…” He trailed off when Kim entered. My dearest ex, I’m sure you are intrigued to hear the rest of my story. You will… eventually. LOL! For now, I bid you adios, because my significant other is calling me to dinner.☺   Love and hugs. Your loving ex, Young XOXOXO
Young (Turpitude (A Harem Boy's Saga Book 4))
Labels have always represented limitation, conformity, and narrow-mindedness to me since the human personality is multi-faceted and continuously evolving. Perhaps that is why I am so intrigued by the concept and labels of “introvert” and “extrovert.” Neither description accurately defines the state of my social interactions. What about yours?
Susan C. Young (The Art of Communication: 8 Ways to Confirm Clarity & Understanding for Positive Impact(The Art of First Impressions for Positive Impact, #5))
One day, meandering through the bookcases, I had picked up his diaries and begun to read the account of his famous meeting with Hitler prior to Munich, at the house in Berchtesgaden high up in the Bavarian mountains. Chamberlain described how, after greeting him, Hitler took him up to the top of the chalet. There was a room, bare except for three plain wooden chairs, one for each of them and the interpreter. He recounts how Hitler alternated between reason – complaining of the Versailles Treaty and its injustice – and angry ranting, almost screaming about the Czechs, the Poles, the Jews, the enemies of Germany. Chamberlain came away convinced that he had met a madman, someone who had real capacity to do evil. This is what intrigued me. We are taught that Chamberlain was a dupe; a fool, taken in by Hitler’s charm. He wasn’t. He was entirely alive to his badness. I tried to imagine being him, thinking like him. He knows this man is wicked; but he cannot know how far it might extend. Provoked, think of the damage he will do. So, instead of provoking him, contain him. Germany will come to its senses, time will move on and, with luck, so will Herr Hitler. Seen in this way, Munich was not the product of a leader gulled, but of a leader looking for a tactic to postpone, to push back in time, in hope of circumstances changing. Above all, it was the product of a leader with a paramount and overwhelming desire to avoid the blood, mourning and misery of war. Probably after Munich, the relief was too great, and hubristically, he allowed it to be a moment that seemed strategic not tactical. But easy to do. As Chamberlain wound his way back from the airport after signing the Munich Agreement – the fateful paper brandished and (little did he realise) his place in history with it – crowds lined the street to welcome him as a hero. That night in Downing Street, in the era long before the security gates arrived and people could still go up and down as they pleased, the crowds thronged outside the window of Number 10, shouting his name, cheering him, until he was forced in the early hours of the morning to go out and speak to them in order that they disperse. Chamberlain was a good man, driven by good motives. So what was the error? The mistake was in not recognising the fundamental question. And here is the difficulty of leadership: first you have to be able to identify that fundamental question. That sounds daft – surely it is obvious; but analyse the situation for a moment and it isn’t. You might think the question was: can Hitler be contained? That’s what Chamberlain thought. And, on balance, he thought he could. And rationally, Chamberlain should have been right. Hitler had annexed Austria and Czechoslovakia. He was supreme in Germany. Why not be satisfied? How crazy to step over the line and make war inevitable.
Tony Blair (A Journey)
One day, meandering through the bookcases, I had picked up his diaries and begun to read the account of his famous meeting with Hitler prior to Munich, at the house in Berchtesgaden high up in the Bavarian mountains. Chamberlain described how, after greeting him, Hitler took him up to the top of the chalet. There was a room, bare except for three plain wooden chairs, one for each of them and the interpreter. He recounts how Hitler alternated between reason – complaining of the Versailles Treaty and its injustice – and angry ranting, almost screaming about the Czechs, the Poles, the Jews, the enemies of Germany. Chamberlain came away convinced that he had met a madman, someone who had real capacity to do evil. This is what intrigued me. We are taught that Chamberlain was a dupe; a fool, taken in by Hitler’s charm. He wasn’t. He was entirely alive to his badness. I tried to imagine being him, thinking like him. He knows this man is wicked; but he cannot know how far it might extend. Provoked, think of the damage he will do. So, instead of provoking him, contain him. Germany will come to its senses, time will move on and, with luck, so will Herr Hitler. Seen in this way, Munich was not the product of a leader gulled, but of a leader looking for a tactic to postpone, to push back in time, in hope of circumstances changing. Above all, it was the product of a leader with a paramount and overwhelming desire to avoid the blood, mourning and misery of war. Probably after Munich, the relief was too great, and hubristically, he allowed it to be a moment that seemed strategic not tactical. But easy to do. As Chamberlain wound his way back from the airport after signing the Munich Agreement – the fateful paper brandished and (little did he realise) his place in history with it – crowds lined the street to welcome him as a hero. That night in Downing Street, in the era long before the security gates arrived and people could still go up and down as they pleased, the crowds thronged outside the window of Number 10, shouting his name, cheering him, until he was forced in the early hours of the morning to go out and speak to them in order that they disperse. Chamberlain was a good man, driven by good motives. So what was the error? The mistake was in not recognising the fundamental question. And here is the difficulty of leadership: first you have to be able to identify that fundamental question. That sounds daft – surely it is obvious; but analyse the situation for a moment and it isn’t. You might think the question was: can Hitler be contained? That’s what Chamberlain thought. And, on balance, he thought he could. And rationally, Chamberlain should have been right. Hitler had annexed Austria and Czechoslovakia. He was supreme in Germany. Why not be satisfied? How crazy to step over the line and make war inevitable. But that wasn’t the fundamental question. The fundamental question was: does fascism represent a force that is so strong and rooted that it has to be uprooted and destroyed? Put like that, the confrontation was indeed inevitable. The only consequential question was when and how. In other words, Chamberlain took a narrow and segmented view – Hitler was a leader, Germany a country, 1938 a moment in time: could he be contained? Actually, Hitler was the product
Tony Blair (A Journey)
What intrigued Felix was how the primarch explained his actions. Whichever he said was most important to him depended on who he was speaking to. In this way, the primarch directed the energies of his followers according to their own prejudices without actually lying to them.
Guy Haley (Dark Imperium (Dark Imperium #1))
He said the strategy of the VC was the same as International Christian Leadership’s,” gushed Robinson, “except applied physically and militarily.” Robinson’s vision of Worldwide Spiritual Offensive could not yet accommodate Ho Chi Minh’s tactics, but Sullivan convinced him their enemy was a worthy one. “They spend hours, days, weeks, whatever time is necessary setting up for the LEADERS and then either by ambush, assassination, or other intrigue, they do away with them—not the people, the leaders. He said to kill 32 top level people”—as the Vietcong had done the previous month—“was tantamount to immobilizing thousands.
Jeff Sharlet (The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power)
Israeli intelligence, on the other hand, relied mostly on human resources—had countless spies in mosques, Islamic organizations, and leadership roles; and had no problem recruiting even the most dangerous terrorists. They knew they had to have eyes and ears on the inside, along with minds that understood motives and emotions and could connect the dots. America understood neither Islamic culture nor its ideology. That, combined with open borders and lax security made it a much softer target than Israel.
Mosab Hassan Yousef (Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices)
What Hegel taught that intrigued the powerful then and now was that history could be deliberately managed by skillfully provoking crises out of public view and then demanding national unity to meet those crises — a disciplined unity under cover of which leadership privileges approached the absolute.
John Taylor Gatto (Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher's Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling)
have always found it to be one of the more intriguing idiosyncrasies of the human condition that a problem that is handled quickly and effectively will almost always serve to generate more long-term customer loyalty than when the original service was delivered satisfactorily.
Richard Branson (The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership)
her imperative to “think dialectically”—a maxim drawn from her study of the philosopher G. W. F. Hegel. Because reality is constantly changing, we must constantly detect and analyze the emerging contradictions that are driving this change. And if reality is changing around us, we cannot expect good ideas to hatch within an ivory tower. They instead emerge and develop through daily life and struggle, through collective study and debate among diverse entities, and through trial and error within multiple contexts. Grace often attributes her “having been born female and Chinese” to her sense of being an outsider to mainstream society. Over the past decade she has sharpened this analysis considerably. Reflecting on the limits of her prior encounters with radicalism, Grace fully embraces the feminist critique not only of gender discrimination and inequality but also of the masculinist tendencies that too often come to define a certain brand of movement organizing—one driven by militant posturing, a charismatic form of hierarchical leadership, and a static notion of power seen as a scarce commodity to be acquired and possessed. Grace has struck up a whole new dialogue and built relationships with Asian American activists and intellectuals since the 1998 release of her autobiography, Living for Change. Her reflections on these encounters have reinforced her repeated observation that marginalization serves as a form of liberation. Thus, she has come away impressed with the particular ability of movement-oriented Asian Americans to dissect U.S. society in new ways that transcend the mind-sets of blacks and whites, to draw on their transnational experiences to rethink the nature of the global order, and to enact new propositions free of the constraints and baggage weighing down those embedded in the status quo. Still, Grace’s practical connection to a constantly changing reality for most of her adult life has stemmed from an intimate relationship with the African American community—so much so that informants from the Cointelpro days surmised she was probably Afro-Chinese.3 This connection to black America (and to a lesser degree the pan-African world) has made her a source of intrigue for younger generations grappling with the rising complexities of race and diversity. It has been sustained through both political commitments and personal relationships. Living in Detroit for more than a half century, Grace has developed a stature as one of Motown’s most cherished citizens: penning a weekly column for the city’s largest-circulation black community newspaper; regularly profiled in the mainstream and independent media; frequently receiving awards and honors through no solicitation of her own; constantly visited by students, intellectuals, and activists from around the world; and even speaking on behalf of her friend Rosa Parks after the civil rights icon became too frail for public appearances.
Grace Lee Boggs (The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century)
I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say. “Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter’s dance recital.” He continued, “Let me tell you something, Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities.” And that’s when he began to explain his theory of a “thousand marbles.” “You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years. “Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3,900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now stick with me Tom, I’m getting to the important part. “It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail,” he went on, “and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. “So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1,000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container right here . . . next to my gear. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. “I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight. “Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time. “It was nice to meet you, Tom. I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band.” You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about.
John C. Maxwell (Leadership Gold: Lessons I've Learned from a Lifetime of Leading)
Machiavelli said that a proper conspiracy moves through three distinct phases: the planning, the doing, and the aftermath. Each of these phases requires different skills—from organization to strategic thinking to recruiting, funding, aiming, secrecy, managing public relations, leadership, foresight, and ultimately, knowing when to stop. Most important, a conspiracy requires patience and fortitude, so much patience, as much as it relies on boldness or courage. The question that remains: What would a world without these skills look like? And would a world with more of them be a nightmare or something better? That’s for you to decide. In the meantime and for the record, I simply present what happened.
Ryan Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue)