In Lab - Archive


Franco Marzo Trainer and business developer consultant

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? The question was posed by George Berkeley, an eighteenth century Irish bishop. In his critique of science, Berkeley argued that objects exist only as perceived. Therefore, if a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, then it makes no noise.

Just like Berkeley’s tree, leaders without followers, without someone who listens and responds to them, can still be considered as such? The reason why I’m mentioning this is because your followers, especially employees and customers, are no longer the same, they have changed over time. Up until recently they followed you because you knew things and you knew how to do them; you were an example and always knew where to go and what to do. Nowadays, with internet, they know everything; through wiki-how and the thousand "do-it-yourself" tutorials they can learn to do just about everything: lasagna “alla bolognese”, explosive devices, drones and even small robots; role models are no longer viewed as such, each day the credibility of politicians, entrepreneurs, bankers etc. is reaching new lows. People are becoming increasingly wary. In the end, if they need to know where they are, what’s around them and where to go, they no longer need a leader, they just google it.

So what can you do today if you want to be a leader? And above all, what’s the point in being a leader anyway? There is one thing missing, the most important: motivation, passion, in one word: energy! Years ago I invited a few leading figures from different sectors to a round table to try and understand what kind of dynamic energy moves organizations. There was an army general, a manager, an orchestra conductor, two entrepreneurs, a theatre director and the principal of a school. Everyone with his own experience. What impressed me was what the theatre director said about energy coming from authenticity. An audience applauds when the characters in a comedy seem true to life. I was intrigued by the fact these theatre characters often seem more authentic than real people. "About the first" - said the director - "you can be sure that they tell the truth, as for the latter you'll never be".

Authenticity is about Being and not doing, either one is authentic or he isn’t. So if a leader has to transmit energy and energy comes from authenticity, how can one be authentic? The answer: "just be yourself, be true!".

Additionally, is it enough to be authentic, or is something else needed?

The entrepreneur and the manager spoke about music, art and beauty, and the ability of a leader in  finding it in everything he does, according to them, beauty creates energy. I’ll never forget the words of Alberto Bombassei, owner of Brembo, and a current Member of Parliament: "a good looking brake works better than an ugly one". In short, if a brake can be beautiful (besides painting Porsche’s brakes red, he also won a golden compass award), then believe me, anything can be beautiful!

So here are the 10 rules for the dynamic leader.


The ten commandments of the dynamic leader


1 Try to be what you really are: acknowledge and accept your talents and limits;


2 Do only the things you really believe in; as an actor make sure there is no difference between what you are and how you “act” on the proscenium of your life;


3 Do not be a prisoner of "yourself", it may no longer work. Like great actors, you can change film and role, but still retaining your “identity”;


4 Energy stems from interest, the force that is exchanged between two Beings. Without this interchange there is indifference. Now that you are aware of who you are, try to get to know your collaborators and clients: form a connection with their Being;


5 If you want to “know” them, listen to them with all your senses: shake their hands, eat with them, look at them straight in the eyes, smell their scent;


6 Don’t just tell them what to do, just show them the direction and infuse them with your Energy, they will find the destination as well as the best way to reach it;


7 Get a clear picture of the route you want to take: where do you actually want to go? What do you really want? Write on a piece of paper what you are aiming to be in a year’s time, in two and then three! Read what you wrote after a few days and see whether you are still of that opinion! Make the appropriate changes and then set off without hesitations!


8 If you want to thrill your collaborators fill them with pathos. Passion is a two twofold feeling, with Christ it was suffering and pain, with music it’s sheer pleasure. Make them “suffer”, but let them also have fun; share their pain, but also their delight;


9 Look for beauty in everything you do, and if you find it difficult, look within you, you’ll find it!


10 Love life and if at times it makes you furious, sleep on it, tomorrow will be a wonderful day!



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