Pequeños grandes hombres

CAMBRIDGE – La historia muchas veces se escribe en términos de héroes militares, pero el enorme potencial de liderazgo humano va de Atila el Huno hasta la Madre Teresa. La mayoría de los líderes cotidianos siguen sin ser aclamados. El rol del liderazgo heroico en la guerra conduce a un énfasis excesivo en el mando y control y en el poder militar duro. En los Estados Unidos de hoy, el debate presidencial se produce entre el senador John McCain, un héroe de guerra, y el senador Barack Obama, un ex organizador de la comunidad.

La imagen del líder guerrero perdura en los tiempos modernos. El escritor Robert Kaplan señala el nacimiento de una “nueva clase guerrera tan cruel como siempre y mejor armada”, que abarca desde los mafiosos rusos y los cabecillas del narcotráfico en América latina hasta los terroristas que glorifican la violencia a la manera de los antiguos griegos durante el saqueo de Troya. Kaplan sostiene que los líderes modernos deben responder del mismo modo y que el liderazgo moderno exigirá un ethos pagano arraigado en el pasado.

Los guerreros inteligentes, sin embargo, saben cómo liderar con algo más que el simple uso de la fuerza. Los soldados a veces bromean diciendo que la descripción de su trabajo es sencilla: “matar gente y romper cosas”. Pero, como descubrió Estados Unidos en Irak, los corazones y las mentes también importan, y los guerreros inteligentes necesitan del poder blando de la atracción así como del poder duro de la coerción.

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