An Open Letter

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We’re right in the middle of a nightmare. Now we’re fighting against an invisible enemy that is killing a lot of people everywhere.

The response that we, as citizens of the world, need to give is mostly directed to ourselves. It is a warning. It is a reminder. Everything that happens, as well as our lives, depend on those of the ruling power. We are the ones who make people come to power, our so-called leaders do not come from Mars and the decisions they make, especially at critical times, are crucial for the life of all. That’s no small matter. It’s not something to be taken lightly.

We have got to realize that managing a 500sq ft small-town grocery shop with two salesmen or salesgirls is one thing; managing … elevating a society in all respects … making people better deep inside, developing society in terms of human and civic qualities, not just jobs … setting an example to a country, particularly a great country, is something different, something quite different, entirely. It is a long difficult process.

The fate of the world depends on Leadership we have, (if any) and it is in critical moments like this now that you see what it means the lack of true leadership and consequently how a so-called leader regards people as zero priority.

I tell you what I think about it … I might be wrong … and believe me, please, I have absolutely no time for false modesty … I said I might be wrong because I don’t feel I have the “Philosopher’s Stone” of human knowledge … I am just a human being but at the same time, I have my opinion about Leadership, understood as Human Primacy, in all its forms, not just as a leading material role. Especially when it comes to leading a nation. And particularly when it comes to leading a great nation.

In my view, true leaders are never unilateral in their actions. They have the ability to look at a subject from different points of view in an unbiased manner and starting from this broader vision, to make the most appropriate decisions. They have a calm, contained, and focused mind, free from negative thoughts, selfish emotions, and indefensible positions. They have a genuinely open, humble, and trained mind. They have Culture. They have human qualities. Their strength is an inner strength and as such, they do not need to adopt a loud and crowd-pleasing style, because their lives … their actions … their coherence are an example and speak louder than any fake theatrics.

They do not divide people, they unite people. They do not manipulate people and they hate (from the depths of themselves) to offload responsibility for their actions to others. They admire the talent of others. They love to be surrounded by people who are like them or better than them. They do not like silent servile ass-kissers. They do not love to be surrounded by a plethora of admirers and so-called ‘friends’ squawking and blethering all around them, in a sort of blind cult of their personality.

Above all, True Leadership recognizes the inevitability of change for the better, according to the most important values of life and civil coexistence, the need for awareness of universal responsibility (not just about their backyard) – especially those who think they are at the top, and the importance of interpenetration between the economic system and moral values.

True leaders love life, they don’t lie, they don’t need to. They bring out the best in others. They’re not hypocritical. They don’t like to bullshit life and others for their ego or private interest. True Leaders fully and openly realize that they are just human beings and as such they are fallacious. They are free from the “Dunning-Kruger” effect (Hallelujah!) which clearly shows that stupid people always think they are a cut above others, when in fact they know nothing and are useless. Which is a concept that I personally understood many years ago.

Socrates (not me) the Greek philosopher (469 BC – 399 BC) said: “The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing” … I’ll add … in my humble view, also the only real Intelligence (with a capital “I”) is in knowing that you know nothing.

I am afraid that self-centered people who always think they know it all and are used to systematically blame others are unequivocally and physiologically unfit for power.

Now, back to us and the reason why I wrote this … I posted on FB an article by Heather Mallick; Why are Americans So Servile to a Clown President?

Two persons, who are connected with me on LinkedIn and Facebook, Joel Elveson and Ken Vincent, for whom I have respect, commented as follows:

Joel Elveson said: “We are very fortunate to have President Trump leading this country. He is hardly a “clown.” He unquestionably deserves to be re-elected. Our country has flourished thanks to President Trump.”

Ken Vincent said: “Massimo: You should be more careful what you post. This fool doesn’t have a clue what she is talking about.”

Ken, are you sure? Okay never mind … that’s fine Joel and Ken. I have great respect for different opinions and ideas. I am just wondering … but … what were you expecting in terms of global opinions about the current tenant of the White House and his behavior? There are myriads of articles like that all over the world. Are they all wrong? Why do they say what they say?

Usually, the crowds are like sheep without a shepherd, abandoned to the wind of the many words that float in the air and reach their ears … they get excited also about things that don’t have a leg to stand on … but only up to a certain point … because then people start speculating … they start wondering about many things. Including many intellectuals, persons of high merit, and of great culture, everywhere. Not to mention the scientific world.

How come? The reason for this is that there are things in life that go far beyond political views and that’s precisely the moment where the subjectivity (which is the result of personal opinions) turns into objectivity (which is the result of manifest facts, not conjecture, inferences, or strains of wit) because certain traits belong to the sphere of human behavior. There is no escape and when it comes to this … ignoring the obvious is useless. It’s a little bit like when one person in a couple cheats on the other … everybody knows it in the village but the person who gets cheated on.

Then there’s something else I want to say. I have to admit … I am a little staggered by the fact that we’ve been talking about leadership for a long time … everybody or almost everybody here seems to give great comments about the subject … and I bet … many here, especially among the most brilliant minds, honestly realize what true leadership really is and what is not … but oddly enough … when “the most striking example” of what leadership is not – has been thrown in their faces … few have dared to speak out … others have even gone to the extent of taking indefensible positions and insist on them. But such is life! Never mind! Everyone has their own opinions and everyone takes their own responsibility.

But aside from this … my respect for you both, Joel Elveson and Ken Vincent remains intact. That said, let’s face it, my friends, not even with a telescope we can manage to see true leadership these days. We only see a historic failure of True Leadership. Hence it’s difficult, looking around, to even imagine or remember what true leadership is.

We’re surrounded by people who are experts at winning — elections, deals, titles, bonuses, bailouts, profit, positions, advantages. And often, we’re told: they’re the ones we should look up to — because it’s the spoils and loot that really matter.

But you know and I know: mere winners are not true leaders — not just because gaming broken systems is nothing but an empty charade of living; but because life is not a game. It is not about what you have, and how much — but what you do, and why — if you’re to live a life that matters, on the basis of the most important values of life and civil coexistence. Today everything is based on a narrative of success at any cost … deceiving people is the most popular sport among winners. Especially among those who really have no merit whatsoever.


Massimo Scalzo
Massimo Scalzo
YOU MIGHT SAY that Massimo advises big and small companies, entrepreneurs and individuals on how to craft digital strategies that get tangible results from their tactics. Which is true. You might even agree with few german managers who called him “gute schlepper” (good tugboat in English) because of his inner strenght of pulling people toward visionary and positive goals. However, neither of these statements would be completely true. The truth is that from his childhood, Massimo was fed and watered to be someone who relates to people, is constructive, multilingual, loves the life and looks at the future. And the most amazing thing that came out of his attitude is the ability of conveying the same feeling to others For nearly twenty eight years he traveled and worked in management consulting in eight countries. His thoughts, notions, ideas, speaking engagements come from more than thirteen years as an entrepreneur and fourteen plus “on the road” for Touche & Ross, Deloitte and PricewaterHouse. On his path, he learned a great deal about customer-driven strategy and transformation, digital marketing and design thinking, working on behalf of a-z roster of clients, e.g. IBM, BMW, Frost & Sullivan, SAP, Oracle, Fiat, Salesforce, Accenture, OpenMinds and many other SMEs in several countries and industries. Massimo lives (as much as he can) in the greater Frankfurt area in Germany. He loves his two kids, Massimo and Amelka, more than anything else.

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