Over the long haul, truly effective leadership always starts and ends with a feeling for and about the people involved. Leadership always involves a group, a team, an organization, or a community – in other words, other people. Leaders never accomplish anything alone. Thus it stands to reason that leaders should pay close attention to the people they influence and the people who might be helped or hurt by their decisions and their actions.
In his monumental 2011 study, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, psychologist Steven Pinker marshaled an enormous array of historical and psychological evidence chronicling the human struggle to emerge from savagery, barbarism, and a blinkered focus on survival and security to enlightened civilization, democratic social organization, and global concern for all people. The persuasive insights and sheer volume of Pinker’s evidence overwhelms the popular but shallow notion that people in general are now more selfish, more corrupt, and more violent than ever before.
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