GRE Issue Essay 148
“The people who make important contributions to society are generally not those who develop their own new ideas, but those who are most gifted at perceiving and coordinating the talents and skills of others.”
People who have the talent to develop their own ideas may not be able to contribute much to the society if they are unable to present their skills in a suitable manner. On the other hand, people who have the inborn talent to recognize and coordinate the skills of others would be contributing more to the society that they live in. In other words, most of the important contributions are made to the society by the people who are adept at coordinating the skills of others and not by those people who develop their own ideas.
The modern world is highly competitive and people have to struggle for their survival. Nobody can earn fame and success on the basis of his ideas alone. He will need the assistance of a second person who can showcase his talent to the world. Take the example of an individual who is gifted with a beautiful voice. Can he make any significant contribution to the society without the assistance of a music company which will launch him as a singer or release his music albums? It is true that the owner of the music company would probably be doing this for monetary benefits, but he would eventually be making an important contribution to the society by coordinating the vocal skills of different people and creating music that can be appreciated by people of all ages. The individual singers may be very talented and they may even be capable of devising new music compositions, but they may not even be heard by the public unless they are promoted by people who have the skill to perceive their talent and present it to the world in an attractive packaging.
There have been numerous leaders in history who are famous for the contributions that they made to the society. Both Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela have fought against racism. Neither of the two could have been successful in his endeavors if he had not been able to coordinate a movement consisting of people who had similar ideas. Mahatma Gandhi succeeded in freeing India from the British Rule only because he was able to tap the patriotic spirit that existed in the people of those times. Wars have been won by military leaders because they have been able to coordinate the skills of their soldiers. There are soldiers who may be skilled snipers, while others may be experts in handling mortars. An army wins a war because the men who are at the top in the military hierarchy are able to coordinate all the available skills in such a manner that victory is inevitable.
There is no denying the fact that great thinkers and scientists have made innumerable contributions to society by developing their ideas single-handedly. These ideas may have been related to the conceptualization of theories or the invention of important devices. However, such individuals will be outnumbered when compared to the people who have made significant contributions by coordinating the skills of the others so that they were able to achieve a common goal. Hence, it can be said that any form of success in the modern world cannot be achieved without the efforts of leaders who can coordinate the skills and talents of the people who work with them. Therefore, it is these leaders who make significant contributions to society.