"TO FIND A HUMAN BEING IN A HUMAN BING," Pavel Novikov

Kadrovy Management (Moscow), January 2014

 

"TO FIND A HUMAN BEING IN A HUMAN BING," Pavel Novikov

Balance between a systemic nature and client orientation. 
Not every talented personality feels the vector of its purpose as some people of genius. It is necessary to help majority of talents at little and not to suppress them and pass through filters of school and corporate standards.
Pavel Novikov, director of Executive MBA programs of Stockholm School of Economics Russia
There always exists competition in any organization, no matter if it is a little café or a huge state, or sometimes even a conflict between the interests of the system and aspirations of an individual, that is between "systemic nature" and "client orientation" both inside and outside.
"SYSTEM"
The problem is always in the way to balance this conflict preserving it in the constructive phase to prevent its growth into a destructive conflict when everything collapses but to make it help preserving the momentum of development obtaining positive energy from this competition. Unfortunately, most often the "system" prefers liquidation of this competition, suppression of initiative of an individual, waving off his opinion and proposals and thus deprives itself of this energy of development. Interests of and goals of an organization become absolute dominants and "systemic nature" defeats the "client orientation," that is a human being. Along with this, the size of an organization is not important and it is possible to become a dictator even in a collective of three people.
As a result, for provision of conflict-free existence the "system" or "king" that embodies it tries to select an obedient "nation" that is awarded for silence and obedience and is fully focused on the interests of the organization suppressing his individuality and sometimes genius that remains an undergerminated seed. Of course, if the "nation" does not like the "king" such omnipotent ruler will try to find another obedient "nation" for himself.
At this point we should not think that any existing system is always an evil and it is necessary to change it, to reconstruct radically and to break to begin with.
We know to which this may lead... But, unfortunately, a system most often does not wish to study needs and aspirations of its "internal client" and does not try to understand him.
When F. M. Dostoevsky was a young cadet of the military engineering school in 1840 he wrote to his brother Mikhail, "...A human being is a mystery. It is necessary to solve it and if you do not solve it for the whole life do not say that you have wasted time, I work on this mystery because I wish to become a human being..."
Dostoevsky who suffered a lot from the state system having spent ten years in exile and at penal colony and spent more than 20 years under police supervision tried to find this fragile balance in coexistence between the "systemic nature" and "client orientation" for the whole life. Simultaneously, he warned against bringing of the idea of pseudo "philanthropy" to the point of absolute like it was done by revolutionaries and which lead to a reverse result.
"...This was exactly like one doctor told me, although a long time ago, elder Zosima remarked. The main was already elderly and indisputably clever. He spoke as frankly as you although jokingly, but mournfully jokingly; I, said he, love humankind but marvel about myself: the more I love humankind in general the less I love people in particular, that is separately, as separate persons. In the dreams I often, said he, reached zealous thoughts about serving to humankind and probably I would really go the cross for people if this would suddenly somehow be needed, but meanwhile I cannot live with anyone in the same room even for two days... I, said he, become an enemy of people as soon as they just touch me. However, there has always happened so that the more I have hated people in particular, the fierier became my love for humankind in general. (F. M. Dostoevsky "Karamazov Brothers")
Dostoevsky studied peculiarities and individualities of the human being at the penal colony too without shunning away and without neglecting of these fallen people: "...at a penal colony among bandits I have finally differentiated people in four years. Will you believe me: there are characters deep, strong, beautiful and how jolly it is to find gold under crude crust..."
Unfortunately, prevalence of theory "X" is obvious in our country yet when subordinates are a priori appointed as dishonest people who require permanent control and urging and individuality is suspicious and dangerous over theory "Y" where individuality is welcomed and is perceived as the main asset of the organization. This is a heritage of many centuries of slavery, although this may sound traditional and obtrusive when anyone can object to me with offense, "I am no slave!" I cannot say this about myself with assurance and I wish, a Chekhov wrote, "...squeeze a slave from myself by drops...." Exactly by drops, plumbing holes for return of this slavery content and not pouring it generously on heads of the compatriots, which happens around us daily in various manifestations from a commonplace piece of garbage near the litter box to offensive behavior on the roads, in offices etc.
FREEDOM CONTRARY TO THE SYSTEM
In every human being there is his own vector of wishes, sometimes not understood ones, which sums up with vectors of other individuals that have the same or different direction should result in a certain positive aggregate vector where morality, love and kindness and not violent other's egoistic will should dominate.
The system is not incorporeal and it is always embodied by the individual who heads it and egoism of a system is always egoism of an individual.
Dostoevsky wrote about Apollinariya Suslova who was dictator in their fairly long relations before meeting with Anna Grigoryevna Snitkina (Dostoevskaya, "She demands everything from people, all perfections and submission, she does not forgive a single imperfection and she spares herself of the slightest obligations to people..." Cannot these words be applicable to a head of some organization who approaches his subordinates only with the standards of theory "X?" If Fedor Mikhailovich did not part with Suslova and did not meet Anna Grigoryeva who became an inspire and a guardian angel for him his best works of the last 15 years of his life where so many amazing feelings and thoughts among the human being were revealed probably could not appear.
Egoism of a system or, to be more accurate, in-depth fear of governing individuals to lose the power and wish to have obedient congregation drives slavery deep inside at first and afterwards it starts its "individual liberation" contrary to the system and from the system when they have ceased being allies but have become antagonists, which has absolutely negative effect both on the system and on the individuals. This conflict becomes especially terrible when a group of people, a collective, a nation loses the "moral immunity" and turns its individual vector towards certain charismatic malefactor who promises everything at once.
At this point we need to turn to Dostoevsky again. By the words of Lizaveta Prokofyevna Yepanchina in "Idiot" novel he spoke about los of morality and Christian values by the younger generation of the 1860s, "Chaos and outrage! Vain! They believe in God, they do not believe in Christ! This will end when you eat up each other, I predict this for you..." So this happened...
SCHOLARSHIP AND EDUCATION
We need to speak about scholarship and education. We can recall that all most prominent malefactors of the 20th century were little educated people, Hitler and Stalin had no systemic education. Extensive reading is not scholarship because it does not imply systemic nature of education because such person chooses for reading what corresponds to his individual views. Having a powerful charisma, he can attract people by them deflecting their vector from the moral goals to the purposes and goals disguised as them.
At this point we need to remark that all great "shakers" of the world called for and started from breaking of the former system of suppression to build even a more cruel and terrible system of violence where development of talents of a personality was out of the question yet. Along with this, the most basic dogmas of these "shakers" were that this former system was absolutely imperfect and you living in it were almost perfect (except for certain groups, classes or ethnic groups).
Contrary to this, all great humanists called on people to "look for yourself in yourself," to change yourself first of all and said that external world would change for the better itself but gradually, evolutionarily and much faster than if it is changed and broken "from outside" without changing "inside" in the personality aspect. Because consequences of such breaking will not allow the personality to get opened and improved for a long time ahead because it is necessary to bring the broken system together by nails and, as a rule, together with human flesh.
Incidentally, prominent philosopher-theologian sanctifier Nikolai Bryanchaninov was a graduate of the military engineering school where the murder of Paul I took place too. Like Dostoevsky he quit the service to dedicate himself to serving of God. Dostoevsky did the same a year later having left a comfortable place in the engineering department and decided to dedicate himself to literature serving and studying of the Human being. Bryanchaninov was the first in the group and having submitted a resignation report to Nicholas I he waited for a long time and waited for the response on the march during the movement of his military unit to a war against Turkey. Many of his fellow-servicemen took this as cowardice but he was firmly assured of his vocation and finally became what he was, a prominent thinker and writer.
There is another detail from the life of Bryanchaninov who decided to live highly moral ascetic life back in the military school, which mean that he decided to go to a monastery already then. When his classmates did mischief and arranged the traditional but prohibited to cadet youth "picnics" with wine and girls they invited him but he always refused and always said, "I will not and I will not tell anyone about this but if I am asked directly I will tell because it is a sin to lie." His classmates and teachers respected him very much for this.
EVERYONE HAS HIS OWN FATE
Dostoevsky also experienced condemning and resistance on the part of the family members to his decision to quit the profitable job because at that time military engineers were the highest paid caste of the military class. He wrote even his endlessly beloved and loving brother Mikhail, "Now I am separated from all of you from all sides of everything common... Whatever I make out of my fate, whose business is this? I even consider this risk of changing of condition noble, the risk of a whole life for fragile hope. Probably I am wrong. What if I am not wrong?" He was not wrong and guessed his vector of purpose to which he dedicated his whole life and served.
What for are all these examples? They are for what has already been said. When a strong personality feels its vocation it moves to it drive by all forces of soul, surmounting resistance of the system, opinion of relatives and surrounding people. Just imagine if Ignaty Bryanchaninov, favorite of Nicholas I who patronized him and did all favors and Fedor Dostoevsky disliked by the same czar who arranged imitation of execution and imprisonment in a penal colony for him surrendered the persuasions and retained comfortable career posts of military engineers... The answer is probably clear but not every talented personality feels the vector of its purpose as some people of genius. It is necessary to help majority of talents at little and not to suppress them and pass through filters of school and corporate standards. Then the balance between "systemic nature" and "client orientation" will be long and organic, then the system will supply itself with fuel of creativity and enthusiasm for many years starting from school and university, then patriotism will be not of paper nature and "not the last harbor of a rascal and not based on the principle "I love my Motherland and I hate the state" from poems of A. Rozenbaum but a natural feeling of a human being to big Motherland with loyalty to the big system (state) and small system (organization).
Changing individually and following their purpose and studying the human being Dostoevsky and Bryanchaninov changed the surrounding world of those who read them thoughtfully and hence influenced the environment. Their ideas probably saved us and the world surrounding us from even more terrible catastrophes.
Many people call Dostoevsky a depressive and gloomy writer... What an absolute nonsense! Personal dramas and tragedies in his works makes us share them and not to turn away and mace vaccine from perception of deaths of millions "as statistical figures," which happened almost always and in the 20th century in particular.
"To find a human being in a human being," – this call became a permanent formula of creativity of Dostoevsky. It should also become a formula for opening of a personality starting from the very childhood, no matter how traditional this sounds. In "War and Peace" Dostoevsky wrote, "All great thoughts are simple." Along with this it is so difficult to embody them into reality after understanding because results of these principles do not yield an instant result but their daily and stubborn following preserve the balance and constructive competition between the "systemic nature" and "client orientation" and in general they make life much better and not in such a distant future... 

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