Anyway, if I didn't have to take Freddie to Mr McKeever yesterday morning, I wouldn't have had to pick him up from there yesterday afternoon, which means I would have had no reason to drive up the Henna Street hill on my way home. And that means I would not have seen the middle-aged couple in thinly-stretched lycra bike shorts and yellow safety jackets riding a tandem up the hill. I say riding, but they seemed to be stationary. Doing an awful lot of pedalling in order to stay still. It was hugely enjoyable to witness.
My Masters subject this term is an odd one. It is called Executive Leadership. It's a compulsory subject, not something I would have chosen to do voluntarily. I am finding it a bit... scattered. Every week starts off as I'd expect. Academic readings and studies and so on. Once all that's out of the way, it turns into a self-help course. This week, for example, we are learning about charismatic and transformational leadership theories. We read about definitions, studies, difficulties in applying definitions and theory to actual people, criticisms, alternative theories. All that jazz. And then the text has the heading: HOW TO DEVELOP CHARISMA. That seems out of place to me. It's like reading a thoughtful piece about the causes of World War I, then over the page it says HOW TO ASSASSINATE AN ARCHDUKE.
If you are wanting to develop charima, by the way, this is how the text book says to do it:
* create visions for others;
* be enthusiastic, optimistic, and energetic;
* be sensibly persistent;
* remember names of people;
* make an impressive appearance;
* be candid; and
* display an in-your-face attitude.
Don't be me, in other words.
(I do remember names, that's one thing. And I remember faces. I'm just not particularly good at combining the two.)
Actually what I found most interesting this week was the competing schools of thought about charisma. One school says that charisma is something inherent in a person. If you are charismatic, you are charismatic, no matter what you're doing. The other school says that charisma is temporal and situational. Once the need for a charismatic leader has passed, the charisma fades. (Or perhaps moves to the next charismatic leader, like a mist. That's not the text book there. The mist idea is all mine.)