Mastermind

It’s Trade, Stupid

He was kicked out.

They had no natural resources: except a natural harbor and being in a central location of the poor South East Asia.

It was a mismash of cultures: Chinese, Malays and Indians, under the British colonial rule, made from the flotsam and jetsam of the Chinese Diaspora and local Malays with a sprinkle of Indians.

Exhausted by World War II, the British wanted out of the colonial business, so they tried to give Singapore to the newly formed Malaysia.   Singapore joined neighboring Malaysia, another former British colony, in 1963. The following year riots between ethnic Chinese and Malays broke out, and Singapore and Malaysia split into separate nations in 1965.

No go there, there was Tunku, he had enough problems with his Chinese. Too many Chinese and Lee was not a weak leader, not easily manipulable.  

Kicked out of the Malaysian Federation, Lee Kuan Yew, leading a newly independent Singapore from 1965, with overwhelming parliamentary control, oversaw the nation’s transformation from a relatively underdeveloped colonial outpost with no natural resources into an Asian Tiger economy. In the process, he forged a widely admired system of meritocratic, clean, self-reliant and efficient government and civil service, much of which is now taught at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

The nation, Singapore, reflects the man: efficient, unsentimental, incorrupt, inventive, forward-looking and pragmatic.

“We are ideology-free,” said Lee.  However, rather, Lee Kuan Yew’s ideology is pragmatic: “Does it work? If it works, let’s try it. If it’s fine, let’s continue it. If it doesn’t work, toss it out, try another one.”

Lee Kuan YewIn Memoriam
Lee Kuan Yew
(16 September 1923 – 23 March 2015)

Lee Kuan Yew, Mastermind Rational, was a Singaporean politician. An ethnic Chinese born in Singapore, but educated in England. He was the first Prime Minister of Singapore, governing for three decades. He is recognised as the founding father of modern Singapore, and the only leader known to bring an entire country from third-world to first-world status in a single generation.

Although they are highly capable leaders, Masterminds are not at all eager to take command, preferring to stay in the background until others demonstrate their inability to lead. Once they take charge, however, they are thoroughgoing pragmatists. Masterminds are certain that efficiency is indispensable in a well-run organization, and if they encounter inefficiency — any waste of human and material resources — they are quick to realign operations and reassign personnel. Masterminds do not feel bound by established rules and procedures, and traditional authority does not impress them, nor do slogans or catchwords. Only ideas that make sense to them are adopted; those that don’t, aren’t, no matter who thought of them. Remember, their aim is always maximum efficiency.

In their careers, Masterminds usually rise to positions of responsibility, for they work long and hard and are dedicated in their pursuit of goals, sparing neither their own time and effort nor that of their colleagues and employees. Problem-solving is highly stimulating to Masterminds, who love responding to tangled systems that require careful sorting out. Ordinarily, they verbalize the positive and avoid comments of a negative nature; they are more interested in moving an organization forward than dwelling on mistakes of the past.

Masterminds tend to be much more definite and self-confident than other Rationals, having usually developed a very strong will. [Please Understand Me II]

Lee’s “Singapore model” included centralized power, clean government and economic liberalism. But it was also criticized as a soft form of authoritarianism, suppressing political opposition, imposing strict limits on free speech and public assembly, and creating a climate of caution and self-censorship. The model has been studied by leaders elsewhere in Asia, including China, and the subject of many academic case studies.

 English is the language of business.
— Lee Kuan Yew

In a generation, Singapore became an international financial center, the leading intellectual metropolis of Southeast Asia, the location of the region’s major hospitals and a favored site for conferences on international affairs. It did so by adhering to an extraordinary pragmatism: by opening careers to the best talents and encouraging them to adopt the best practices from all over the world.

Lee Kuan Yew was a great man. And he was a close personal friend, a fact that I consider one of the great blessings of my life. A world needing to distill order from incipient chaos will miss his leadership. — Henry Kissinger

From the beginning, Dr Kissinger says, “he impressed me with his clarity of analysis, with his strength that he showed in facing his challenges, and with the courage in which he defended his position”.  As much as Mr Lee is known for his force of personality, Dr Kissinger is adamant his friend did not gain the influence he did by charm or cultivating personality.

Singapore is one of the world’s major commercial hubs, with the fourth-biggest financial centre and one of the five busiest ports. Its globalised and diversified economy depends heavily on trade, especially manufacturing, which accounted for around 30 percent of Singapore’s GDP in 2013.

Other Mastermind Rationals include:  Ed CatmullAyn RandSheryl WudunnSalman Khan,  Susan B AnthonyIssac NewtonSharon PresleyBill GatesMasha Gessen,  Ayaan Hirsi AliRosalind Franklin, and Ulysses S. Grant

5 thoughts on “Mastermind

  1. John March 25, 2015 / 10:32 pm

    This is great!

    But I hope you would also analyze temperament in popular culture: what is the temperament, of, say, famous pop star Taylor Swift, for example? Just to appeal to kids.

    Then, maybe you could introduce temperament theory as early as possible to kids and have more visitors in your website in the process.

    Like

    • David Keirsey March 26, 2015 / 10:49 pm

      it would be nice to do more younger people, but they are harder to do right. There are plenty of Artisans, the other Temperaments very difficult detect at a young age. Keirsey (the corporation) will be featuring younger people in their magazine soon.

      Like

      • John April 11, 2015 / 10:56 am

        Do you have any input of the people who will be featured in their magazines?

        Like

      • David Keirsey April 12, 2015 / 1:32 am

        I suggest people time to time, however I am an WASA [White Anglo-Saxon Atheist] of the fifties who specialized in STEM and grew up on the Internet (before it was the Internet) so I know a lot about old dead white dudes of history, not as much about the new and up and coming crowd.

        I try to find as many younger individuals, but they are not easy to pin down having not as much observable behavior to go by.

        Like

      • David Keirsey April 12, 2015 / 1:35 am

        All of the main featured individuals of this year’s magazine were researched by me.

        Like

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