Prof. Stefano D'Anna's Official Web Site

Infomag Interview


You say that the world is governed by negative feelings and so the world becomes worse and worse. Here, feeling is an abstract notion. In the real world, there are many problems. Don’t you think it is problematic act to define the globe via an abstract notion?
In your question there is the implication that negative emotions are an abstract notion. In reality, according to the Dreamer. negative emotions are non-existent, sort of ghosts. Nevertheless, they drive our lives and our societies. The planet’s most dreadful illness is not cancer or Aids, but man’s conflictual thinking and his sick emotionality. This psychological feature is the foundation upon which the ordinary vision of the world is built and the very cause of all the millennia old evils that plague our planet. We need great work and prolonged, intentional efforts to realize this truth and get rid of all the emotional ballast. A man cannot do it by himself. A school is needed. A School of Being. A School for Gods.

In your book you say, “The life in this world is a school for gods.” What do you mean by this comment?
This statement means that life and the School for Gods are one and the same thing. Life with all its events and turning outs, misadventures, teaches you the same things. What you do not comprehend gently, intentionally through the teaching of the School for Gods, you will learn forcefully, the hard way, through life.  The difference is that learning through life requires long time and deep suffering.

You also said, “Dream and reality are the same things. The one who has a dream also has reality. S/he just needs some time to realize his/her dream.” How does this proceed?
Your life is the way you dream it. Life and reality are one and the same thing. Our life is exactly the way we have dreamed it, in any detail. The fact is that we do not know ourselves, we do not know our dream which most frequently is an unperceived, unconscious nightmare. The Dreamer says: If you do not like your life, change your dream.

You visited our country many times before. What do you think about our management culture? Can you compare it with the case in other countries? 
I am personally a great admirer of  your country and believe very much in its future based on what I have seen in my frequent journeys to Turkey. When I come I can physically sense the energy, the enthusiasm of your people and the strong will to succeed of your managerial class. I appreciate above all a sense of humility and a great motivation to grab any occasion to learn and improve. More than in USA and in most of the European countries that I know. For a scholar of  sociology Turkey is than a most exciting laboratory,  the ideological battle field on which our civilization can win or lose the unique opportunity of a quantum jump towards an age of prosperity, a new renaissance, through  harmonization of  old antagonisms and second hand ideas.

The wealth of an organisation, the affluence of a country, the prosperity of an entire civilization relies on  the existence of emotionally healthy individuals, responsible people, pragmatic dreamers.

What was missing in Turkey was a School capable to educate such people. This is the reason for ESE to open in Istanbul as in other great capitals of the world.

You pointed attention to some main concepts in your lecture, such as leadership, motivation and ethics. How much are these concepts considered today? How should managers apply these concepts in their work? 
In the evolution of our studies on leadership and entrepreneurial psychology at The European School of Economics we are finding that the key qualities of a new breed of successful corporate leaders can be summarized in a single one: integrity. It is not knowledge, money or social standing which young people need for success, so much as the basic quality of integrity. Integrity is a sense of victory which doesn’t come from the favourable result of a battle, defeating something or somebody. It is a state of freedom, of wellbeing, of certainty which we can call of creative victory, It must be permanent in a leader. And we can hold it only through an unceasing vigilance, a continuous attention. A leader knows that s/he is always dealing with himself. S/he knows that all battle are inner battles and all victories are inner victories.

What is the quantum type leadership? Can you briefly explain it for our readers? Can you give an example of quantum leader from the history?
I am running a two day “Integrity Seminar” for international corporate leaders. This seminar is very successful and has already had a number of editions in the main capitals of the business. from Shanghai to London, New york, Budapest, Rome and naturally Istanbul. The propedeutic reading to the seminar is “The School for Gods” which has become a sort of managerial bible for a new conception of management which we could name “timeless management”. It is not based on knowledge and experience but on creative spirit, invincible faith and the development of new senses: intuition and dreaming. Among other things the course provides a journey into the minds of remarkable men, to explore their psychology, studying their words, decisions and deeds: from Giulio Cesare to Henry Ford, from George Washington to john D. Rockfeller, from Marcus Aurelius and Saint Francis to the greatest modern corporate leaders.

You always establish your arguments on “dreamer” metaphor and you build your general theory on this metaphor. What makes this metaphor so important for you? You know, the world sees many real transformations that do not seem to be explained through the metaphor of dreamer. What do you think about this?
The Dreamer and the Art of Dreaming are not metaphors but the new frontier of the leadership of the future. Our civilization needs visionary man, individual thinkers, pragmatic dreamers. …Beyond the pyramids of industry… beyond the skyscrapers of finance… behind all that you see and touch, behind all that man has conquered which is useful, beautiful and true… at the origin of every institution, every scientific achievement, there’s always a man’s dream… an individual’s. We shall devote all of your effort to the individual, to his preparation! Make it the focus of our attention. The mass is a ghost… a mechanism influenced by everything and anything… It doesn’t have faith; it doesn’t have its own will… it can’t create… Only the individual can dream and through dreaming can permanently effect changes in himself and the world around him… Dream is the most real thing…

You know, innovation is the newest trends in the business world. Is it an advantage to be able to dream in the road to catch this trend?
What I deeply believe is that innovation is an effect not a cause. When you see a creative team or a very innovative company, look carefully. You can be sure that beyond it you will always find a pragmatic dreamer, a man of integrity. Innovation only apparently is the quality and the production of a group, of an organization. In reality it always steams from the existence of an impeccable leader, an individual capable to be new at any moment of his/her life.

An organisational pyramid is inextricably bound to its leader’s breath. A golden thread ties his image and personal destiny to that of his organisation and his people.  His corporeal identity corresponds to his corporate identity, just as it was for the Ancient Kings. The king is the land and the land is the king.”