måndag 25 juni 2012

Kan ohälsosamma system generera hälsosamma ledare?

 Frågan ovan ställer sig psykologen Marilyn Murray i Moscow Times - ja något att tänka på... Läs artikeln: 'Can Unhealthy Systems Create Healthy Leaders?' här. 

People often have difficulty understanding why someone stays in such an abusive situation. Similarly, many also question why millions of Russians remained in a destructive Soviet system for seven decades.
Being able to comprehend the aspects of a particular system, whether it is a family, organization, business, government or culture, helps a person to broaden and extend that insight to other systems. This view certainly applies both to the family described above and to the Soviet system. They each exhibited one, overarching rule: unquestioned obedience to authority. In this type of unhealthy system, the immutable authority strives for power and control.

Family members and citizens have no rights and are not allowed to make any decisions. They are kept isolated and convinced that life outside their system is more dangerous than what they experience within. They are bullied into thinking that they are powerless and of no worth and that the authority is the only one capable of leadership.

The authority ensures his subject's loyalty and commitment by providing their basic necessities and convincing them they cannot survive without him. They are inundated with lies proclaiming that their present situation is the best they will ever get.

Mistakes are not tolerated and are often punished harshly. Keeping a perfect front for the rest of the world is imperative. The authority never takes responsibility for internal errors and adamantly denies any perceived weakness within the system. Secrets abound, and when problems do occur within the system, they are never spoken of, even within the system. If, however, a weakness or mistake does become exposed to the outside world, someone from that "foreign" world is always blamed as the saboteur.

The leader controls by intimidation, fear and violence. If anyone shows the slightest sign of disobedience or considers leaving the system, severe punishment and threats of deadly consequences follow, not only for the rebel but also for other family members.

We cannot help but recognize the familial resemblance between the profile of a violent family and that of the country of Russia. Mother Russia is the quintessential battered wife. She has been married to a series of unhealthy leaders. Once the bloom of romance fades and the "groom" acquires a taste of power, the old pattern is repeated. Like the wife of a violent husband, Russia has been governed by totalitarian authorities with their own agendas regarding the "family rules."
Over the centuries, Mother Russia became a fierce fighter to protect her children from outside invaders, yet she has been unable to protect herself or her children from the victimizers who are members of her own family.

So why does she continue to marry unhealthy leaders and remain in destructive unhealthy systems? Because like all battered wives, she seeks what is common and familiar to her. The Soviet system became a classic example of an unhealthy system in which implicit submission to an immutable authority reigned and those living within the system were kept ignorant about the possibility that life could be any different.
Can this unhealthy system ever engender healthy leaders? Yes. 

Unhealthy systems depend upon isolation and keeping their populace oblivious to the reality of their circumstances and without other options. However, their narcissistic leaders often underestimate humanity's innate drive to be free.

They personalize every protest and dissent and refuse to recognize that their system is destined to fail.
In the past, Mother Russia did not have options. Today she does.

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