The World is a Place of Action (not things)

By | April 6, 2019

[April 6, 2019] If I were a philosopher, I would write that ‘the world is full of tragedy, chaos, misery, and at the same time, full of wonder.’ But alas, that is not the case. Even I can see that the world is a place of action; not of things. That is why leadership is the fulcrum on which we balance our accomplishments, ideas, and values.

Leaders are biased for action. In other words, leaders get things done by motivating and guiding others toward a common goal. It matters not what kind of personality a leader possesses or their intellectual level or social skills. What a leader does is move people voluntarily toward what is best, to achieve what is good.1

“Leadership is a mindset in action. So don’t wait for the title. Leadership isn’t something that anyone can give you; you have to earn it and claim it for yourself.” – Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0

I acknowledge that everyone who is a part of the human race has a degree of malevolence in their hearts. Adolf Hitler, among many others like Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, used leadership to achieve an evil end. Those are the ones we are drawn to study their accomplishments and how the skills of leadership were used to push and pull people to accept atrocities that boggle the imagination.

A uniquely human trait, leadership is more than a simple tool but a part of humanness that will always be present. Let us use it wisely. Today, there are many prophets/leaders; those who predict the future and demand we obey, else the world will end in flame or flood.1 We have free will and the ability to judge. Those abilities are necessary to advance as a civilization.

All great leaders have a bias for action. What it takes is the recognition that the leadership style is not as important as the trait to judge good from bad. To know that without a leaders motivation to act, we would not be here but still living in caves and starting fires with a stick and flint.


  1. A few such leaders who prophesize a future vision of some utopia are frequently bound tightly to wicked methods. They make many claims but all circle around an ideology that reduces humanness to some simple explanation and thus, subject to a simple solution.
Please follow and like us:
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

13 thoughts on “The World is a Place of Action (not things)

  1. Dale Paul Fox

    I have a long and relaxing weekend ahead of me. What I’ll be doing is going back over some of Gen. Satterfield’s older articles. I enjoy his website and have learned a great deal from going here daily for my dose of reality and leadership wisdom. Thanks also to all the readers who take the time to comment. I’ve learned much from them also.

  2. Maureen S. Sullivan

    Good article, entertaining and enlightening. Thanks.

  3. Douglas R. Satterfield Post author

    Some readers, in the past, have asked where I get ideas like this. While often I don’t remember (because I read a lot and often forget the origins of such ideas), this idea of “the world is a place of action” comes from Professor Jordan Peterson. I’ve referenced him in the past and would like to thank him for this bit of wisdom also.

  4. Yusaf from Texas

    The world is also a place of danger and chaos. That is why we need good leaders. We need them, not because they are our moral superiors but because they take on the risks of being a leader. There are many more downsides to being a leader than not. Just my thoughts.

  5. Ronny Fisher

    Another great article, thank you Gen. Satterfield.

  6. Max Foster

    As many psychologists have told us (repeatedly) is that men are more interested in “things” and women are more interested in “people.” Neither of us fully understand that action is really what keeps the world going because it is the grease that lubricates the wheels of our existence.

    1. Edward Kennedy III

      Thanks Max for helping make the point Gen. Satterfield was getting at. Action (i.e., behaviors toward a particular goal) is what both distinguishes man from the beast but also fulfills our destiny as being above all other forms of animal.

      1. AutisticTechie

        Thanks, Mr. Kennedy. I look forward to your next article here in this blog.

    2. Wilson Cox

      There have been several prominent psychologists who have made this very clear and given us a number of examples of how this works out in the social world. Thanks for the reminder.

      1. Mr. T.J. Asper

        Wilson, right on target. Yes, they have done so but it is up to us to make the idea work in the real world. That’s why I teach in High School and work hard to make sure my students and football players have access to an understanding of those academic studies.

Comments are closed.