Level 5 leaders channel their ego needs away from themselves and into the larger goal of building a great company. It's not that Level 5 leaders have no ego or self-interest. Indeed, they are incredibly ambitious -- but their ambition is first and foremost for the institution, not themselves.

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Feb 22, 2005

A French Librarian Hates Google?

THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF FRANCE is claiming that Google, as an American company, is guilty of "the American crushing domination of ideas as presented to future generations worldwide."  Read the BetaNews article about it here (via Slashdot), and the original editorial by Library President Jean-Noel Jeanneney here.  The editorial is written in French, but with a great twist of irony, you can use the Google translator to read it in English.

From BetaNews:

...Google said it was surprised by Jeanneney's remarks. "For our perspective he (Jeanneney) had concern about Google Print because we partnered with Anglo Saxons. This is a first step for us; we can't do everything at once," a Google spokesperson told BetaNews.

I was surprised also.  I expect a person responsible for maintaining the integrity of the World's written Word to be very excited at the nigh prospect of indexing and searching millions of texts using a proven Internet search technology.  I can only assume this expectation stems from a deeper expectation that the President of a National Library would be a Level 5 leader.  Apparently, Jean-Noel Jeanneney is not Level 5, otherwise he would be opening talks with Google offering everything at his disposal to accelerate development of the French version of the technology.

P.S. With statements like Jeanneney's it is difficult for me to not have a sardonic perspective towards a completely similar, analogous American effort:  A democratic Iraq.  Europe complained for 3 years about American imperialism, and this week suddenly decides to cooperate.  Let all Americans be reminded of the words of Walt Whitman, as excerpted for us by Instapundit.

UPDATE: Austin Bay thinks we shouldn't be so cynical about the winds of change in Europe.  Sounds good to me.

posted at 09:18 PM by Chris Chew in Politics, Technology

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