• George Vasilca

Mysteries of Leadership - Third Principle - On Mutual Advantage

This post takes the discussion about the Third Principle of leadership a step further by addressing the topic of mutual advantage. What is mutual advantage? What is it based on? Why is it so important to the art and science of leadership?

As a refresher, The Third Principle of Leadership is also called Your Core Knowledge. It states that you cannot be a leader of men if you do not have adequate expertise in your trade, profession, or other activity areas. An military officer cannot lead his troops unless he's is very knowleageable in the science and art of war. A pastor cannot be a good servant leader if he's not, first of all, a good pastor.

However, besides possessing professional knowledge, an aspiring leader must also study the art of leadership. This endeavor requires the acquision ot theoretical know-how, information, facts and data from the vast fields of psychology, human relations, history and principles of leadership, time management, behavioral sciences, etc.

Shows a corn full of fruits
Cornupcia - the abundance mentality

What is Mutual Advantage?

This post discusses what it means to think of mutual advantage when dealing with other people. We will start with the abundance mentality concept and show how it leads to the "win-win" attitude. Win-win is the foundational stance for all fruitful and long-lasting relationships irrespective of their nature.

Abundance Mentality

To understand abundance and its mentality, we must first understand scarcity and its mentality.


Scarcity is defined as the state of being scarce or in short supply. Synonym words include insufficiency, limited, lack, poverty, undersupply, etc. It refers to the fundamental economic problem in society, i.e., the gap between limited resources and theoretically limitless wants.

Scarcity is the most popular way to look at life: "I do not have enough money," "I do not have time," "I am not smart enough," and "My house is too small" are well-known phrases that come up often in daily conversations. Most people have a scarcity mentality because they perceive life around them as offering limited opportunities, satisfactions, or rewards.

The scarcity mentality has led to fierce debates between economists, scientists, and politicians about humankind's future. Thomas Malthus was an English economist and demographer best known for his theory that population growth will always outrun the food supply. As a result, the betterment of humankind is impossible without severe limits on the reproduction of people. This way of thinking is called Malthusianism.

empty dinner plate

In the last half of the 20th century, the book The Limits to Growth, commissioned by the Club of Rome contained a similar warning. The Club was a think-tank of scientists, economists, businessmen, and politicians from five continents concerned about the runaway use of resources in industrialized countries.

While the book did not predict what precisely would happen, it stated that if the world's consumption patterns and population growth continued at the same high rates of the time, the earth would strike its limits within a century. As expected, both of these doomsday predictions had been proven wrong by the creativity and ingenuity of the human mind and spirit!


Abundance is the opposite of scarcity. Abundance means a considerable quantity of something, the state of having a copious amount, plentifulness, prosperity. In a sense, abundance or scarcity results from a judgment call about the existence of material possessions, intellectual abilities, and spiritual life. If you think plenty, you have a paradigm of affluence; if you believe in scarcity, your paradigm is one of poverty. This is easily observable by contrasting these two attitudes: "I will share with you the little I have," which can be affirmed by a poor person, or "I can't share with you because there is not enough of it for both of us," which may be uttered by a very wealthy individual.

Abundance mentality is the appropriate paradigm for human relations: there is enough for you and me; there is enough for all of us. Abundance is therefore the foundation for thinking positively and creatively about fulfilling other people's material, emotional, and spiritual needs.

much food on the dinner table

When dealing with people, it is the source of two essential attitudes: (1) give to others, (2) demand from others. The abundance mentality leads to altruism and courage; the scarcity mentality leads to egoism and fear. The source of scarcity mentality is observing what's outside us, i.e., the surrounding environment. In contrast, the base of abundance mentality is watching what's inside us, i.e., the Holy Spirit and the content of our Diamond Soul character.

We Christians know that the abundance mentality has a divine nature, resulting from the Almighty's infinite love and grace. Humankind can use God's love without being afraid that one of us will be left without it.

The Win-Lose Matrix

A useful way to understand human relations is to look at them through the lens of who wins and who loses in a relationship. If we arrange the words win and lose in a matrix, we will get four possible outcomes, as shown below. However, as we will see in the next post, we will end up with five results by adding the fifth possibility called nothing. We can regard them as the Five Ways or Five Strategies for managing relations between people.





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