Thomas Hylland Eriksen is a Norwegian Anthropology professor that has achieved more than any of his fellow anthropologists: you only need to read his books once.
His books are gems. My favourite is ‘Small Places — Large Issues’, followed by The Tyranny of the Moment.
And we have a lot of this tyranny in management. The book feels dated more than a decade after written, but its principles are sound and even more prominent today. For example the argument in favour of ‘private periods’ of thinking without interruption. Have you heard about that one?
In the 24/7 regime we live in, the instant is a premium. Forget instant coffee, it is instant knowledge and instant answer. It is instant broadcasting, and posting, and liking it, and requesting an (instant) answer. Prisoners of the moment, our concept of space and time is changing fast.
The world is split between the ones who say that we are going in the wrong direction, the ones who say this is great, and the other third who say, what the hell are you talking about? The later is Age Related Incomprehension to ridiculous dilemmas.
There is a tyranny of the moment in our management lives. You’ll find it in the Outlook calendar booked weeks in advance, the secretary responding with the usual, I don’t know if this will be possible until (read here months in advance, even) and the Overall Kingdom of Busyness for the Sake of It.
Again, another leadership, little reflection. Much of this may be self-inflicted. This is bad enough. But as leaders, we are inflicting that tyranny on those working for us. Surely, we must stop and think
(What a minute, did you mean now? in this very moment? what a Tyrant!)
Perhaps there is a form of Liberating Leadership waiting for a book.
Would you like to comment?