Originally Posted by LA Guy
I hate the term "book smarts". It's used as the negative half of a false dichotomy.
I also find the idea that leaders are born and not raised laughable. Like I said, yes, there are exceptions, but by-and-large, people grow into the roles for which they are groomed. I hear about programs that are designed to help minorities (African Americans and Latinos in disavantaged conditions, in particular) speak and comport themselves in such a way that the mannerisms they've learned since birth do not impeded their progress in corporate America. By the same token that African Americans are not born mean-mugging, and Latinos are not born calling people "Holmes", Asians are not born mumbling, unable to make eye contact, etc...
There is actually a phrase in Cantonese "Dai Fong" which roughly translated, means "generous", but also encompasses openness and expansiveness, and other qualities which correspond very closely to the characteristics that Americans, in particular, like to call "leadership" qualities." So yes, in Chinese culture, at least, these qualities are valued.
I am not saying that nuture is out of the picture. I understand Latinos are not born muggers and such, but there is inherent qualities that we have that are in our genetics. Like you see kids who never meet their real parents and then they do and they have the same mannerism and whatnot. It is not all mutually exclusive.
"Dai Fong" could just not be implemented in the same manner within American culture. There could just be a different way to apply these qualities depending on your surroundings and the culture around you.
Perhaps the stress on academics over years over emphasizes just that, academics and not enough dai fong. It seems that it definitely gets lost somewhere, in my experience. I am not saying it doesn't exist, but it certaintly does not appear to be forefront.