Dominators

A portion of the population has always been inclined to compete and to dominate. Sometimes its friendly play. Other times, its serious – very serious.

In bygone days of competition between tribes this was important in gathering the team for combat to preserve your hunting grounds from invading neighbours.

The hierarchy model adapted to commerce, the production of value. The dominators lead and manage teams and organizations, communities and nations. When raised to management, former line workers undergo a transformation. The promotion of social status with power triggers a hormonal change, promoting higher testosterone levels. This hormone makes one more competitive and, for many people, increases the desire to dominate others.

Today we have a world of abundance, yet some continue to want to hoard and dominate. Unfortunately, Mother Nature designed us this way. Its in our genes. Its in our hormones (mainly testosterone). We need leaders and managers, but they need to remain in scope. Nature’s way of managing dominators can be a bit extreme. Can we reel them in judiciously?

Today we don’t really need to compete and dominate on a grand scale when our advanced technologies and practices produce such unimaginable abundance. At the same time, we have the technology to manage our population growth (on the demand side of the equation).


Today, as life becomes more complex and anxieties rise, we push these top dominators into top leadership roles. Their lens puts them at the centre of everything. They can point to any invader and gain a mindless following. They come in all political colours, all points on the rainbow spectrum from left to right, from Hitler to Stalin, Castro to Duterte (you can fill in the blanks).

Of course this never ends well.
Hysteria sets in.
Lines are drawn.
You are with us or against us.
War drums pump the hormones.
The evil ones must die!

The background anxieties of modern living are funneled into the purposes of the fearless leaders. The dominators point fingers of blame, use whistle calls, draw clear lines between good (us) and evil (those people). It is simple and clear and our follower instincts kick in. You are the righteous. You would put down your own life for what you believe is right. And maybe you really would.

But the Alien from another planet looks down and sees a very different story. The Alien sees the species Homo Sapiens with DNA and hormones designed for a foraging society acting as a cancer in a land of plenty.

Should we allow our evolved DNA and related hormones dictate the shape of our civilization, our future together as a species? Even though our world is fundamentally different? Can we manage the tendencies toward domination judiciously? Awareness is the first step.

About Randal B. Adcock

President and Chief Innovation Officer, Wayfinders Business Co-operative
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