Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Connecting Flight Between Airlines and Leadership

You learn lessons in the funniest places. The best and most obvious ones are picked up on when I am in a place where my mind is desperately looking for something to gnaw on before it starves from boredom. The airlines are brilliant for this because if you are an observer of human behavior like myself this is like being dropped into the human interaction equivalent of the Amazon rain forest.

One thing that occurred to me was the children, much the way an air raid siren occurs to a person sitting next to it. I realize children probably enjoy flying even less than I do but while I was ready to inform this particular child how she could just shut the fuck up about it, I had a revelation. Looking about, I made several observations based on this revelation:

While observing the unruly children running about (no shortage of them on flight 856) when they were finally chastised, if it was the father it took very little. An ugly glance or a polite reminder of what would happen if they didn’t behave themselves at most.

If it was the mother, there would be a short frustrated demand that the children behave AND immediately followed by the child being slapped, smacked, and in one case spanked. This isn’t to say that I’m against spanking children who are clearly in need of it, but really it amazed me at the disparity in how parents approached the use of it.

(One third thing I’d have pointed out too, the male children were usually the far better behaved ones, but maybe that’s because the screaming child next to me was a twat in training)

This actually conforms rather well to when I was a child, my father could easily command his boys to behave themselves with a word at most, usually a displeased glare was all he needed. It wasn’t from fear of some brutal beating either, we feared his disappointment far more than his anger.

Is it that children just possess an innate wisdom about this? They know when a strong respectable father figure is around they will behave themselves and the only way a mother can enforce her rule is through the immediate and habitual use of corporal punishment? The differences in these two is much like the difference between a charismatic leader who inspires people to follow and the unlovable vile dictator who gets people to obey because they are afraid of them.

This is yet another reason why women should never be allowed into positions of power and authority. Women do not know how to inspire others to follow, all they can do is intimidate people into giving in to their demands.

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