Of course I'm liberal, I believe in liberty.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Stratum IX Leadership

The other night I rediscovered an post I made to the Wesley Clark blog back in October. Most of this is cut-n-paste from the three articles I list at the end. If I were younger and deciding what to major in, I'd be tempted to go for something in the cognitive sciences instead of physics. Perhaps in my next life... Anyway, I found this interesting.

Posted to mark's weblog on Sat Oct 2nd, 2004 at 05:25:17 PM PDT

For some reason I found myself thinking about that old New Yorker article about presidential candidates and complex thought.  That article was revered in Clark circles for the line "Kerry was not the sharpest of the Democratic candidates this year (Wesley Clark scored in the parallel stratosphere)".  Well I decided to do some googling this morning to find out more about Cason and the theory behind this article.  Here is what I found out.

The four types of mental (information) processing are:

  1. Declarative processing:  Argument by making simple, unconnected points.

  2. Cumulative processing:  Argument by making a number of connected points.

  3. Serial processing:  Argument based on an "if-then" structure, "if A then B and hence C"

  4. Parallel processing:  Several serial arguments are linked together.

[To determine which type someone is,] he observes the logic you use in arguments, when they become so heated that you forget you're being watched. If you easily interweave several lines of argument at once, or argue from several perspectives, you operate on a higher stratum than someone who makes simpler assertions.

Declarative types: Bob Dole, Michael Dukakis, Gerald Ford.

Cumulative types: Bill Clinton, Walter Mondale, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, Al Gore

Serial types: Dennis Kucinich, Carol Moseley Braun, Ronald Reagan, J.F.K., John Kerry

Parallel types: Wesley Clark

Stratum I: These jobs might include shop floor operator, salesclerk, or general police officer; most work is routine, and supervision is commonplace for new tasks. Such jobs are good fits for "level one" people, who can cope with thinking about a time horizon of one day to three months.

 Stratum II: First-line managers, shop-floor supervisors, foremen, proprietors of some small businesses, and police lieutenant positions have a felt-fair pay level of one-and-one-half times what a Stratum I employee might get. This job fits people with a three-month to one-year time horizon (who can handle assignments that take that long to fulfill).

Stratum III: Department heads, workshop managers, owners of multistore franchises, and police captains would make felt-fair pay that was three times that of a Stratum I employee. Stratum III managers typically know personally all the people below them in a hierarchy. Many professionals with high technical skill levels operate at this level, managing just a few people. People with a time horizon of one to two years can handle this.

 Stratum IV: A plant manager, editor of a large media operation, lab manager, or any line leader with responsibility for diverse constituencies would earn felt-fair pay six times that of Stratum I. Appropriate time horizon: two to five years.

 Stratum V: Positions at this level include large-company divisional executives, business-unit heads (at the vice presidential level), production directors, and CEOs of 5,000-employee organizations. Most "zealot" jobs are probably Stratum V positions. Felt-fair pay: 12 times Stratum I. Time horizon: five to 10 years.

 Stratum VI: From here on out, the air gets rarefied. Positions include CEOs of companies with 20,000 people, or executive vice presidents and business-unit leaders of larger companies. Felt-fair pay: 24 times Stratum I. Time horizon: 10 to 20 years.

Stratum VII: Positions include CEOs of most Fortune 500 companies, high-level civil servants (like the Sir Humphrey character in "Yes Minister"), and other leaders whose decisions might (or should) be sweeping enough to take decades to fully realize. Felt-fair pay: 48 times Stratum I. Time horizon: 20 to 50 years.

Stratum VIII: The CEOs of General Electric Company, the General Motors Corporation, and other super-corporations have Stratum VIII jobs, with a felt-fair pay level 96 times that of Stratum I. If you are chosen for such a job, you'd better be one of those rare people (like Jack Welch) with an innate time horizon of 50 to 100 years, or your corporation will probably decline.

Stratum IX and higher: Now we move beyond the mere CEO level, to the geniuses who operate on behalf of society's far future, or whose work embodies extraordinary complexity ... for example, Christ, Buddha, Confucius, Mozart, Galileo, Einstein, Gandhi, Winston Churchill, and a few business leaders like Konosuke Matsushita and Alfred Sloan, who graduate from running Stratum VIII companies to looking out for society's development. Most of us cannot count a single Stratum IX person among our acquaintances. And their felt-fair pay? Well, James Joyce spent his life in poverty.

I'll let you Clarkies draw your own conclusions from this.  :-)

(1) New Yorker article
(2) 04-05TOCandROTheoryOverview.pdf
(3) strategy+business article