A Model of Leadership Education, Part 7: Producerswebdev
This is part 6 of an 8-part article.
Read Part 1 Here
Read Part 2 Here
Read Part 3 Here
Read Part 4 Here
Read Part 5 Here
Read Part 6 Here
The fifth type of producer is the intrapreneur. In a truly free society, investment capital is plentiful—but only effective entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs can turn capital into increased value. This takes initiative, wise risk and leadership, just like the other types of producing. While entrepreneurs found or own businesses, intrapreneurs work for and lead established businesses—but unlike traditional employees, intrapreneurs lead with the Producer mindset. They run their department, team, or company with an abundance mentality, an attachment to true principles, and a fearless faith in people and quality.
Intrapreneurs don’t really have jobs even though they are usually W-2 employees—like entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs consider themselves on a mission to help society, to give it what it needs and wants, to truly serve others. Like all producers, they believe in a deep accountability, refuse to assign blame, don’t believe in failure, and give their heart and soul to serve the customer. They add huge value in financial terms, leadership, and relationships—sometimes with people they’ve never met. They pour quality into everything they do, and thereby deeply serve all who benefit from their product or service.
Great entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs have a deep faith in the market, as long as it doesn’t go against true principles or subvert freedom. Without the initiative and risk of entrepreneurship, few intrapreneurs would have a place to work and serve; likewise, without intrapreneurs there would be few successful companies. Indeed, it is hard to imagine that there would be any.
The Synergy of Created Value When All Five Do Their Part
For any company to succeed, all five types of producers must fulfill their unique roles. This is even more true for any nation.
To see how vital all five types of producers are, consider the past. Major world powers in history have failed in the same way. First, the people stop giving heed to the wisdom of the prophets. Second, voters or those in power replace statesmen with politicians, whereupon freedom steadily decreases. Third, the natural result is increased regulations and taxation, ridiculous lawsuits and judicial decrees, and governmental policies that discourage and then attack producers, initiative, and the abundance mentality in general. Fourth, investment capital flees the nation to follow the Rule of Capital—it goes where it is treated well. Finally, the people have a scarcity mentality, refuse to listen to the prophets or elect statesmen, and entrepreneurs go where investment gives them opportunity. The nation stagnates and declines.
Egypt, Israel, Greece, Rome, Spain, Italy, Bismark’s Germany, and Han China all followed this pattern. Each was a major center of world power, influence and prosperity, and each declined into a third world nation. France copied this pattern in the 1800s, Britain followed it in the 1900s, and the United States is on an identical track today.
Specifically, the U.S. is at the point where it is increasing its regulation, experiencing absurd lawsuits and court decisions, and increasingly adopting policies that discourage entrepreneurship. The next step is to openly attack investment and entrepreneurship. And when investors find higher profits in other nations, while facing decreasing returns along with public hostility and rising taxes at home, U.S. investment will dry up. History is clear on this point. There are no exceptions.
The only hope is for a new generation of producers to effectively promote freedom. In fact, the U.S. has been at this point twice before—in 1860 and again in 1939. Both times enough statesmen arose, most of them unknown to all except avid readers of history, to push aside the politicians and save our freedoms. Britain saw the same thing happen in 1216, 1620, 1815 and 1937. Other nations have followed a similar pattern. When the people listen to the prophets, statesmen promote freedom, and investors and entrepreneurs/intrepreneurs build the nation.
When the sages are ignored and statesmanship is seen as abstract and worthless, investors go elsewhere—capital flees to other nations, and the home country declines. With such decline comes moral decay, the loss of political and economic freedom, and the end of opportunity. Abundance is a true principle, yet through history most governments have made it their major goal to crush abundance and prosperity in the masses and give it to the aristocracy or royalty. Anyone who thinks this can’t happen here hasn’t read or understood history.
Finally, many producers make three predictable mistakes. Any producer who knows these mistakes and avoids them will be a better producer and create more lasting value in society.
First, producers seldom encourage their own children to follow the producer path. Many young producers will disavow this, arguing that they’ll do all within their power to teach the abundance mindset to their children. And most of them do, until the children start to get close to adulthood. At this point, many producers realize just how hard the producer role is in life and seek to help their children avoid the pain and challenge of this path.
Many producers recommend that their children become professionals—doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers. It is ironic how many very successful college-drop-out producers make sure that all of their children attend the most prestigious colleges available and major in the normal career fields. Even the producers who train their oldest child to follow in their path often send the younger children in other directions. And hardly any producers pass along the producer mindset to their grandchildren.
Of course, if children or grandchildren choose to take a different path in life, it is nearly always wise to support their decisions and love them unconditionally. But training them in leadership, abundance, creating value, serving society and the producer mindset is good for them no matter what path they take in life.
The historically effective solution for this is for producers to put real time, thought, planning and execution into their grandparenting role—long before they are grandparents. Truly quality grandparenting is a way for all producers to engage the prophet role for their family, to help pass on their wisdom and understanding of true principles to future generations. Great parenting fulfills this same function, and is part of propheting—the highest level of production.
The second mistake many producers make is to think that their particular brand of producing is the only one that creates real value. Like the old parable of the carpenter who believes that all of the world’s ills can be fixed with a hammer, sometimes producers get so focused on their type of producing that they narrowly discount the value of the others. Focus is good, but narrow thinking usually limits one’s effectiveness.
For example, a statesman who believes that changing government is the only real answer to society and that freedom will fix all problems, will likely reject the moral teachings of prophets and consider them mere “philosophy.” Such a person limits his statesmanship because he just doesn’t get it. So does the statesman who thinks freedom is the only goal, and that entrepreneurs are just in love with money—he will likely try to use law against entrepreneurship, which is the opposite of statesmanship. A true statesman sees that all five types of producers are vital to society. Similarly, when prophets undervalue statesmen, freedom of religion and independent thinking are often lost.
Likewise, an entrepreneur who discounts the teachings of prophets may feel successful because he’s made a fortune selling pornography. “After all, I just gave the market what it wanted,” he says. “That makes me a selfless servant of the people.” No abundance entrepreneur would think this, because value is only created when principles and freedom aren’t attacked. If economic value reduces moral or freedom values, total value is actually decreased.
Or, consider the entrepreneur who thinks building profitable businesses is the only way to create value and therefore does little to promote statesmanship—in his older and wiser years he will likely regret the regulated and declining world which he sees his grandchildren inheriting. When entrepreneurs undervalue statesmen, politicians and bureaucrats win the day and capital is discouraged and eventually attacked. The wise entrepreneur or investor will see the great value added by prophets and statesmen, and he will create more value in his life because his broader view will help him make better decisions.
The examples could go on, but suffice it to say that significant problems occur when any of the five devalue any of the others. However, when all five types of producers understand, highly value, and actively support each other, all types of producers experience synergy—and the value created is exponentially increased.
Finally, the third common mistake made by producers is to look down on non-producers. One of the true principles taught by prophets is that every person is inherently as valuable as any other. True abundance means that we respect people, whatever their chosen path—as long as it is good and honorable. Producers, all five types, are truly vital to society, but that doesn’t make producers any better than anyone else. In fact, true abundance producers know that every person is a genius. Every single person. Some decide not to develop it much, but everyone is a genius. And producing is really just about getting people to develop that genius.
Producers who understand this point are the most effective producers, because they do it all for the right reasons—a true love of and desire to serve others. This is what abundance really means. Everything else falls short. Real value means people value—and creating value really means helping people choose better lives. This is what all five types of producing are all about. Unfortunately, academia seems to have forgotten much of this. An educational renaissance is needed.
The foundation of building statesmen is a set of educational principles known as “Thomas Jefferson Education.” These principles are divided into three categories as follows:
Seven Keys of Great Teaching
- Classics not Textbooks
- Mentors not Professors
- Inspire not Require
- Structure time not Content
- Quality not Conformity
- Simplicity not Complexity
- You not Them
Five Environments of Education
- Group Discussion
Four Phases of Learning
- Love of Learning
The masterful application of these principles is what we refer to as the Art of Teaching. Mortimer Adler wrote an excellent essay on this concept in which he contrasts Productive Arts with Cooperative Arts. Below is a excerpt of that essay:
The Productive vs. the Cooperative Arts
All the arts so far mentioned, whether liberal or servile in the ancient sense of those terms, and whether useful or fine in the modern sense, are productive arts. The artist in all these instances has the skill of producing something that would not come into existence without his effort to use his mind productively. Without skilled human beings at work, the things produced would not exist.
Natural causes or forces, without human intervention, would not produce them. Thus, for example, caves that can be used as shelters for human beings are purely natural things. So, too, are the calluses that form on the soles of the feet and serve, as do shoes, the process of walking. But shoes are artificial, not natural; and so, too, is the simplest hut or house that serves, as does the natural cave, the purpose of sheltering. In short, the materials out of which useful things are made, left to themselves, would not naturally tend to produce these things. Useful products emerge only when human artists intervene to fashion, shape, or transform raw materials into the desired products. Now consider such things as the fruits and grains we eat, the health we possess, and the knowledge or understanding we acquire. We might call these things, respectively, the products of agriculture, of medicine, and of education. In the case of the fruits and grains, as well as edible animal organisms, prehistoric people were hunters and gatherers. This means that the edibles they consumed were all products of nature, which they merely picked or killed in order to consume them. Farming began when human beings acquired the skill of working with nature to facilitate the production of fruits and grains and also edible animal organisms. Farming thus became the first of the cooperative arts. Long before the art of medicine came into existence, human beings possessed health as a result of natural causes. They also recovered from illness and regained health as the operation of natural causes. Medicine or the art of healing emerged when humans acquired the skill of co-operating with these natural processes to preserve health or to facilitate its recovery after a bout with illness. Hippocrates, whom we in the West regard as the father of medicine, wrote treatises setting forth the rules of healing as a cooperative art. They were rules for controlling the regimen of the patient, the food he ate, the air he breathed, his hours of waking and sleeping, the water he drank, the exercise he engaged in, and so forth. Administering drugs, introducing foreign substances into the body, Hippocrates regarded as the least cooperative of all medical treatments. Surgery he regarded as a drastic measure to be resorted to only when all cooperative methods failed; it was, strictly speaking, an operative rather than a cooperative procedure. Finally, we come to teaching, and here it is Socrates who first depicted teaching as a cooperative art. He did so by comparing his own style of teaching with the work of a midwife. It is the mother, not the midwife, who goes through the pains of childbirth to deliver the child. The mid-wife merely cooperates with the process, helping the mother in her efforts, and making childbirth a little easier and a little more hygienic. Another way of saying this is to point out that teachers, like midwives, are always dispensable. Children can be born without midwives. Knowledge and understanding can be acquired without teachers, through the purely natural operations of the human mind. If any art at all is involved in this process, it is the intellectual skill of the learner, not the art of the teacher. Teachers who regard themselves as the principal, even the sole cause of learning that occurs in their students, simply do not understand teaching as a cooperative art. They think of themselves as producing knowledge or understanding in the minds of their students as shoemakers produce shoes out of pliable or plastic materials. Only when teachers realize that the principle cause of learning that occurs in a student is the activity of the student’s own mind do they assume the role of cooperative artists. While the activity of the learner’s mind is the principle cause of all learning, it is not the sole cause. Here the teacher steps in as a secondary and cooperative cause. Just as, in the view of Hippocrates, surgery is a departure from healing as a cooperative art, so, in the view of Socrates, didactic teaching, or teaching by lecturing or telling rather than teaching by questioning and discussion, is a departure from teaching as a cooperative art.
What This Means for All of Us
Anyone acquainted with the difference between the high-tech medicine practiced in our most advanced hospitals and the kind of medicine practiced by the family physician will have some appreciation of the importance of healing as a co-operative art. Whether the future holds any hope for the resuscitation of family medicine to regain the merits of healing as a cooperative art is a problem that deeply affects our lives and the lives of those who come after us. Industrial agriculture, like high-tech medicine, also violates the principles of cooperative art, especially when its processes pollute the environment. The old-time individual farmers did not do so. They, more than healers, manifested their awareness of agriculture as a cooperative art. They did so by their inclination to pray for the kind of weather and the kind of environmental conditions without which all their own efforts to cooperate with nature might be of no avail. The act of praying clearly reveals their recognition that the forces at work in the production of food were not entirely within their own control. No one prays for results that are entirely within his or her power to produce. Anyone acquainted with the present deplorable state of education in our schools and colleges will also realize how far teaching has departed from its mission as a cooperative art. Here, too, we face a need for profound educational reform that will affect generations to come and the whole fabric of our society.