The leaders 

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2014/06/30 • Analysis & Opinion

When will a real national elite emerge in Ukraine, one able to lead the country out of the economical and moral dead-end? 

For the past months Ukraine has been painfully trying to find its way. But the impact of the recent shocks will go away sooner or later, and the long-term development of the country will be come the most important task. There are two key issues within the development of any strategy: who are the strategists and what goals do they pose? From the perspective of running the country, the second question depends a lot of the consequences of the first one, as the level of education and moral roots of the elite is what defines the face of the nation and, in the end, the fate of the state itself.

Unfortunately, during the years of independence Ukraine managed to completely devaluate the meaning of the national elite, having equated to the people that simply managed to become rich fast. Confucius ones said that it is “shameful to be ignoble and poor, when the country has a way, and noble and rich, when it does not.” The noble and the rich that have been exploiting the country for two decades were unable not only to build something, but even to lay the foundation of contemporary statehood, having left Ukraine as an eastern-feudal state without any way.

In order to change the situation, new Ukraine should pose the task of educating a national elite as the primary goal. An elite, which will be able to determine the strategic aims of the state without mixing it together with its personal ones, as the predecessors have done.

Who is training this elite today? It looks like the contemporary Ukrainian higher education system has no time for this. Some universities with “history and tradition” are drowning in corruption, others are replacing knowledge with chauvinist patriotism, and the vast majority of the institutions (with usually grand, pompous names) simply sell worthless diplomas. This is how holders of “red diplomas” emerge, who are unable to write a seventh-grade dictation, but who throw around “intelligent” words like “cognitive dissonance” and “bifurcation point.”

What merits individual attention is the sphere of education that involves short-term training programs. If you type “training” into Google, you will see a huge number of proposals in teaching leadership skills. So how does it happen that in a country with hundreds of professors and thousands of leadership program graduates, there is no real leader able to lead Ukraine out of a moral and economical dead-end?

The following question emerges: can leadership be taught just like finances, accounting or any other profession, and don’t these “leadership” program replace fundamental education and manners? Why then waste years on education? It is much easier to listed several fables abut leadership, enforce them with a couple of tricks from the trainings about how to make friends, increase sales, increase revenues – and you’re done. But it pure shamanism, which creates and illusion and inflates the ego of the poorly-educated person with leadership ambitions, just like a protein shake inflates the muscles of a bodybuilder who fancies himself an athlete and a warrior. Such education births “the national elite,” which does not know how to spell, has no idea about grammar and “communicates it relevant messages to the followers.” It is pseudo-leadership, a masquerade of sorts, which hides the lack of a real foundation. Leadership based only on the cult of money, which consequentially led the country into this dead-end that it is desperately trying to get out of.

Many governors sent the future leaders of the state to study at the best foreign universities on purpose. Ukraine doesn’t need to even do this. A whole class of Ukrainians who got an excellent western education and who were able to save themselves from the virus of corruption emerged during the years of independence. Many of them are ready to help their country find a right way, including that in the educational sphere. But the state has to finally open its doors for them, as widely as possible. We will be unable to educate our own strategists and change the country with the help of shamanism, “cognitive dissonances” and “bifurcation.”

Source: Forbes

Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina

 

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