Tomorrow’s	
  leaders	
  :	
  the	
  Daft	
  Punk	
  Model	
  or	
  The	
  
Triumph	
  of	
  Humility	
  
Having published...
narcissists. Narcissists may be "productive" — for the better — or
"destructive" — for the worse. In general, narcissists ...
Illustrated by Clod
The idea of applying what we could call the "Daft Punk" model to the business
world made me smile at f...
When a narcissist encounters humility
!
Announced like this, it seems unlikely. Although apparently contradictory,
combini...
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Tomorrow’s leaders : the Daft Punk Model or The Triumph of Humility

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Extract from my new book " Leaders du 3eme type"

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Tomorrow’s leaders : the Daft Punk Model or The Triumph of Humility

  1. 1. Tomorrow’s  leaders  :  the  Daft  Punk  Model  or  The   Triumph  of  Humility   Having published various posts about leadership, I am often questioned about the main qualities that tomorrow's managers absolutely must have. There is one that strikes me as fundamental and yet it is not often mentioned: humility. In my latest book "Leaders of the Third Kind", published by Editions Eyrolles, I take up this very point. With the publisher's permission, here are the extracts that deal with this subject. From "Leaders of the Third Kind" I remember one evening in December 2012, when I was teaching a course on leadership in a Specialized Master program at HEC Paris. The group couldn't stop asking questions. Some kept on coming back again and again: "What qualities should leaders have?"; "How does one become a leader?"; "Is leadership innate?"; "What is the difference between a manager and a leader?". Others were more specific, less common. One in particular comes back to my mind: "How do you explain the fact that so many leaders let themselves be led into actions that are immoral or inappropriate, or even sometimes bordering on illegal?" We all know the main reason now. It is known as narcissism. As we saw in the second part of this book, leaders are essentially narcissists. Dominating
  2. 2. narcissists. Narcissists may be "productive" — for the better — or "destructive" — for the worse. In general, narcissists have all the qualities required for leading and inspiring others. But at a certain point, success goes to their head. As they are incapable of controlling their drives, their ego, their navel-gazing — their excessive love for themselves — they believe that what applies to others cannot be applied to them. They feel they have every right in view of their personal contribution. Sooner or later, they fall, especially when they are in the spotlight. The three main reasons for their deviance: an excessive love of power, the lure of gain, and an unrestrained sexual appetite. Most cases it is only a matter of time, at least for most of them, as there are some — aware of the risks incurred — who manage to control themselves. “I had just turned on my car radio when " Get Lucky" by Daft Punk sounded out [...] everything became perfectly clear, the "Daft Punk"style had to be adapted to business! “ In my reply, I used some real-life examples and all that I had learned since the famous "Oxford revelation". But after the class, as I was driving home that evening, I had a "light-bulb moment". An image can sometimes express more than a detailed discussion. I had just turned on my car radio when "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk sounded out. The title song — the symbol of an entire generation — lit up my mind and provided me with a new reading. Suddenly, everything became perfectly clear. The "Daft Punk"[1] style had to be adapted to business! Everyone is familiar with the French group that tops the charts with each new album. In today's world where image is all, where everyone elbows others out of their way to be seen and recognized, where excessive media coverage overrides everything else, it is quite remarkable to see two artists — now world-famous — concerned with protecting themselves and retaining their independence, as if they wanted to keep their dreams intact.
  3. 3. Illustrated by Clod The idea of applying what we could call the "Daft Punk" model to the business world made me smile at first. I had a mental picture of all these executives and managers in helmets and jumpsuits wandering around the corridors of their head offices in search of the ideal leadership. And what if humility was ultimately more effective than coaching or the "King's jester" technique to get narcissists under control? What if it succeeds in avoiding the excesses mentioned earlier? The solution would therefore be within all of us. Could we control our internal drives by developing a form of humility? Humility as a rampart against stupidity, excess, and actions that are not in the general interest. Would it be possible to combine narcissism and humility in the same individual? As I approached Paris, I was thinking that this was quite simply impossible. And yet, I had to admit that this would be the best possible combination. A way of keeping the positive aspects of narcissism without the negative! “The solution would therefore be within all of us. Could we control our internal drives by developing a form of humility? “ The Strength of Humility From the Latin "humilitas", derived from "humus" meaning "earth, soil", humility is a character trait that is rarely associated with leadership. At least spontaneously. It is easy to understand why. A person who shows humility is seen for what he is, realistically. And this is of course the complete opposite of the narcissists who dominate the world today and who generally consider themselves to be superior to others in every way. They have an image of themselves that rarely conforms to reality. They have a touch of pretentiousness, self-importance or arrogance. Some speak of a heightened taste for everything that approaches the grandiose. The problem is that beyond a certain level, this can be considered a kind of pathology. We must keep in mind that humility is not an innate quality in human beings, it is acquired over time. With experience, we gain maturity, and we learn more about ourselves and others. We build up a more solid character — on an emotional and intellectual level as well as spiritually — while at the same time becoming aware of our role and our place in regard to others, in the universe, in the company that employs us, in our private life, with our friends, in our family, in our relationship. Although remaining aware of our own value, we learn to consider others and to truly take interest in them. To show humility is to accept differences, our own limits and our imperfections. But it is also to recognize one's qualities and points of differences. Modesty — which is often confused with humility — is only a representation. A person who shows humility is therefore essentially very clear-sighted about himself. He is also perceptive about others. His strength is multiplied by ten.
  4. 4. When a narcissist encounters humility ! Announced like this, it seems unlikely. Although apparently contradictory, combining these traits may possibly be one of the simplest solutions to the current leadership vacuum. To overcome their limits, maybe narcissists would simply have to develop a little more humility. A humbler behavior is really the indispensable condition for the achievement of great projects. At least today. Because times change, our references evolve, and although there is a common base, certain qualities valued in the past are no longer exactly suitable today. Napoleon Bonaparte — a pure narcissist — probably had very little humility. That didn't stop him from making his mark on history. But it was a different era. He was an emperor feared by all the surrounding nations. He was respected in his time by those around him. Today he would be considered a tyrant, a dictator, in the same way as those who have been fought against for the last two decades. Our view and our values are no longer the same. Pure productive narcissists may achieve great things, but rarely reach the final stage of leadership. The next question is to learn how to acquire this additional humility. If, for most people, it is gained over time — which in no way predicts the end result — for narcissists, it's a little more complicated in the sense that they are not seeking it. In fact, they have no interest in this character trait. Humility is generally perceived by them as a weakness! So they have to be taught. If they could understand its essence and finally convert to its virtues, they could become more accomplished leaders, those that our modern society is wishing for today. [1] Daft Punk is a French band, composed by Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, both originally from Paris. Specializing in electronic music, they launched a style that is described as "French touch". Their success is world-wide and their albums are all the rage. In early 2014, they won five Grammy Awards for the album "Random Access Memories" on Columbia Records. But the most interesting thing is that they never show their faces. On stage, they appear in futuristic costumes, wearing helmets[2]. This has become their trademark. They have created their own myth. But how should this desire for anonymity be interpreted? [2] Their inspiration apparently comes from the Brian de Palma film, "Phantom of the Paradise".

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