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Michael Maccoby
Scholar

Michael Maccoby

Michael Maccoby is an anthropologist and psychoanalyst globally recognized as an expert on leadership. He is the author of The Leaders We Need, And What Makes Us Follow.

The future for Egypt could look grim

Question: Egypt's unfolding political crisis raises a broader question: Can an entrenched, powerful leader, one who has resisted change, successfully lead a country or an organization in a different direction if circumstances suddenly demand it? Or is it necessary to bring in new leadership?

Last May, in Cairo, I led a leadership workshop for 30 Egyptian men and women who were managers and academics. These professionals seemed resigned to a dim future for their country. It seemed to me that in the land of the Pharaohs, the vision of the ancient past was more appealing than that of the future. When we discussed national leadership, the ideal was Lee Kuan Yew, an autocrat who stamped out corruption and built a dynamic economy in Singapore. There is little chance that Mubarak or any of his military collaborators will morph into a learned Confucian leader like Lee. The danger for Egypt, the Middle East and U.S. interests is that the explosive demand for human rights will result in a religious dictatorship even more repressive than the current version.

To avoid repression, either by military officers or ayatollahs, Egypt should have a transition period to a constitutional democracy with firm legal protections for contracts and individual rights. Political parties need time to develop and communicate their philosophies and politics. People need to know potential leaders. Otherwise the future for Egypt looks grim.

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By Michael Maccoby

 |  February 1, 2011; 2:06 PM ET
Category:  Crisis leadership , Failures , Government leadership , Managing Crises , Political leadership , Presidential leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: What Mubarak ignored at his peril | Next: It's not smart to act as though you're indispensable

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"The danger for Egypt, the Middle East and U.S. interests is that the explosive demand for human rights will result in a religious dictatorship even more repressive than the current version."
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Perhaps you could have been a bit more honest and put "Us interests" first? That is the real game, isn't it?

The US is like a doctor saying to a patient, "Your health is of course important, but you must understand that my bill comes first."

Posted by: rjpal | February 5, 2011 8:24 AM
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http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/10-things-we-can-learn-from-egypt-about-preparing-for-economic-and-societal-collapse_01312011

Posted by: toddhathaway | February 2, 2011 12:19 PM
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http://stevequayle.com/News.alert/11_Global/110202.alert.Celente.html

Posted by: toddhathaway | February 2, 2011 12:16 PM
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