Did Dali draw his fabulous soft watches thinking of the leaders and managers?

Salvador Dalí. The persistence of memory. New York Museum of Modern Art-1931-

Dali, through his concept of soft watches, makes it possible to make an astonishing parallel with the behaviors of individuals. Dali illustrated, fortuitously, the relationship between hard skills and soft skills, and the difficulty  of cohabitation of these two major abilities.

Dali’s fabulous design illustrates this paradox.

In other words, the challenge for an officer or a Manager, is to stick perfectly to the field, to stick to the reality of the world that surrounds it, as do so well the soft watches of Dali, while reaching, if possible, to give the exact time in all circumstances!

The Hard skills for a leader or a Manager are the set of measurable competencies that constitute his managerial capacities: project management, objective, control, sanctions (positive or negative), technical skills… Hard skills are all abilities that rely on the rational brain. These are the ones that are taught and measured in schools or in training within companies.

However, there is in every individual, this soft part, this part of irrational will say some, often unpredictable, which, according to the events and the experience of the person, is going to push the latter to act or react in a more or less strong way, so more or less well adapted, and therefore in a more or less rational and profitable way for himself and/or for others.

Like Dali’s watches, to the contacts of events that arise, individuals marry, with more or less happiness, their environment. For this, they bend to the emotions aroused, within an emotional brain 10 times faster than their rational brain.  How can we ensure, in this context, that the hands of the rational and the responsibility can, nevertheless, succeed in turning round and indicating the right time?

As a result, is there a characteristic of the internal mechanics of individuals that would allow them to function harmoniously and to indicate the right time in all circumstances? In fact, there is one. This is a hard characteristic, since it can be evaluated (perhaps in a forthcoming article), this characteristic indispensable to the smooth functioning of the soft capacities of individuals is called maturity.

Maturity is the ability to act responsibly and autonomously. This ability implies that the individual knows how to handle his or her emotions, rather than being driven by them. No hard teaching can withstand the strength of emotions generated by fear, dependence, rivalry, self-centeredness… that put the individual in agitation.  Individuals who are in turmoil see two of their main faculties regress significantly: their IQ and their ability to listen. When these two abilities are severely altered, they put the person in an inability to act effectively. The watch is no longer synchronous, it derails just like the individual.

Some might argue that it would be enough to seek to be flat watches, that is, it would suffice to hide its emotions, to put the lid on it. But this sweet dream is as disconnected from reality as that of the serpent who dreams of being as straight as a stick on the pretext that it has a back pain.

Our emotions, our soft capacities are essential, indispensable, they put us in motion (desire) and which allow us, in all circumstances, to adapt to our environment and its necessities. Our ability to master them is therefore a major issue of our balance in the world around us.

In conclusion, we are beings comparable to the soft Dali watches. This representation tells us the need not to uncouple the Soft skills of the Hard skills, under penalty of obtaining, and therefore to see mediocre results in organizations that are not aware of the need for a holistic approach.

Working Hard skills is indispensable, but it would be advisable to realise that this is not enough, except to be in denial of reality, that shows us this extraordinarily visionary painter that was Dali.

Dominique Gavotto

Dominique Gavotto

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