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So, this could get controversial.  Luckily, Coffee Social is filled with open-minded people who love to take ideas down interesting paths….

What’s the best way to get things done? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE our democracy, and am particularly grateful to our mothers’ mothers, who fought for my right to vote. (Well done, sister suffragettes!) But let’s just say you want to switch the country over to domestic, renewable energy or ensure that all children have access to healthcare.  I’m hoping that clean, US made power and healthy kids are goals most Americans could agree on. How to get there? Not so much.  So what do we do?  Like all healthy democracies, we debate, we vote, we compromise.  But how long does this take, and what are we left with?

coWORKer Barry is a sailor.  On a boat, democracy is too dangerous.  It’s dictatorship all the way.  Decisions need to be fast and precise and consistent, so you choose an experienced and trustworthy leader and follow her because debate and compromise just might have you hitting that tanker up ahead.

Apple comes up as another example.  Steve Jobs wasn’t exactly known for his democratic approach to business.  We put him squarely in the “dictator” category.  Would Apple be what it is today if Jobs had polled all employees about business decisions, and taken the middle ground, in an attempt to please everyone?

Or how about your house?  Do you let your kids vote on dinner menus and bed times?  You might take a family poll on your next vacation destination but you as parents set the parameters and get the final say.

Is leading a country anything like running a company or sailing a boat?  Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT voting for dictatorship here, but we have to wonder what powerful solutions we might be missing out on by running our problems through the tedious process of democracy. Dictatorship can be dangerous, but it can also be quite effective. Of course, only benevolent geniuses need apply.

Written and photographed by Natasha Juliana. Edited by Linda Jay.
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