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Memetica. la scienza che spiega come le idee si propagano e diventano “ciò che pensi”


Leadership in the Roman Empire vs. modern Toxic Corporate Leadership

Un ambiente che ti cura… persone in via di autorealizzazione Small Signs prepare Great Stories
Daniele Trevisani e Scuola di Coaching STEP al Seminario ESA (European Space Agency), progetto Moon 2020-2030 Energy and Awareness: A new form of Inspirational Leadership
Master in Coaching STEP, Sesta Edizione, 2016 There is no Power without Knowledge. Wisdom and “Noesis” for Climbing the mountains of life
Rivista online Communication Research & Human Potential, 2015 How many energies do we really have? Our Way towards “Powerfulness”
“Il Coraggio delle Emozioni”, risorse addizionali, articoli ed estratti dal volume A new light for observing what Performances really are
Apprendere le emozioni da adulti: la “Scalata” verso lo stato di Mastery 6 Stages of Leadership. New video on the Exa-Leadership Model
Le 6 diverse azioni di Coaching e Counseling nel metodo HPM e la crescita del potenziale individuale Semiotics as a new form of Leadership Modeling
Una nuova forma di libertà: l’apprendimento intenzionale. Per andare oltre la genetica e l’apprendimento ambientale. Semiotics as a new Science of Deeper Performances. A new book explores why and how.
Articolo dal libro Self Power pubblicato sulla rivista Samurai di settembre 2015 “Efficacia Personale”, i 6 tipi di obiettivi Energy and Awareness: A new form of Inspirational Leadership
Essere Natura Daniele Trevisani, Italian Trainer, gets 1st place in Amazon “Business-Leadership” Bestsellers Ranking
Capire “di che farina sei fatto”. Il lavoro del Coaching e del Counseling

Video. Apnea and Diving in Thermal Pool, seen from a glass: a frame of Paradise and Happyness without noise

by: Dr. Daniele Trevisani (Linkedin Profile)

Speciale del mese: Formazione area Strategic Selling, articoli e concetti di formazione per un approccio consulenziale al cliente e alle relazioni in azienda

Bibliografie tematiche

 image017 Competitività aziendale, personale, organizzativa. Strumenti di sviluppo e creazione del valore. Franco Angeli, Milano, 2000. (224 pag.) – Scheda su IBS
 image018 Psicologia di Marketing e Comunicazione. Pulsioni d’acquisto, leve persuasive, nuove strategie di comunicazione e management. Franco Angeli, Milano, 2001. (256 pag.) Best Seller in Psicologia di marketing – Scheda su IBS
 image019 Comportamento d’Acquisto e Comunicazione Strategica. Dall’analisi del Consumer Behavior alla progettazione comunicativa. Franco Angeli, Milano, 2003. (288 pag.)- Scheda su IBS
 image020 Negoziazione Interculturale. Comunicazione oltre le barriere culturali. Dalle relazioni interne sino alle trattative internazionali. Franco Angeli, Milano, 2005. (172 pag.) – Scheda su IBS
 image021 Regie di Cambiamento. Approcci integrati alle risorse umane, allo sviluppo personale e organizzativo, e al coaching.Franco Angeli, Milano, 2007. (240 pag.) – Scheda su IBS
 image022 Il Potenziale Umano – Metodi e tecniche di coaching e training per lo sviluppo delle performance, Franco Angeli, Milano, 2009. (240 pag.) – Scheda su IBS
 image025 Strategic Selling. Psicologia e Comunicazione per la Vendita. Franco Angeli, Milano, 2011. (280 pag.) – Scheda su IBS
 image026 Personal Energy – Una mappa per potenziare le Energie Mentali. Franco Angeli, Milano, 2013. (100 pag.) – Scheda su IBS


 image027 Self-Power. Psicologia della motivazione e della performance. Franco Angeli editore, Milano, 2014. (176 pag.) Scheda Libro
 image030 Il Coraggio delle Emozioni. Energie per la vita, la comunicazione e la crescita personale. Franco Angeli editore, Milano, 2015. (140 pag.)

Scheda Libro

 Libri Internazionali

I libri principali in lingue estere scritti dal dott. Daniele Trevisani in qualità di Senior Coach in ambito internazionale sono i seguenti:

  • Semiotics-for-leaders

    libro leadership



    • Semiotics for Leaders.
    • Symbols, Meanings, Power & Communication
    • New Leadership Styles, Energies and Behaviors
    • Medialab Research Publishing, 194 pages
    • Scheda libro


    • Leadership, Personal Energies & Team Energies
    • From Ancient Wisdom to Human Potential Research
    • Medialab Research Publishing, 89 pages
    • Scheda Libro
    • The Change Directors
    • (Russian Edition)
    • Akvilon Publishing, Kiev
    • Psychology of Marketing and Communication
    • (Romenian Edition)
    • Irecson Publishing



International HR, Human Factor and Human Potential Researcher, Writer

© Extracted from the book “Semiotics for Leaders” written by Daniele Trevisani, available on Amazon

Small Signs prepare Great Stories

The interesting view of Human Potential Research is that before achieving great goals, small goals are required. Why does this happen?

The reason lies in the very sense of being deeply human: born fragile, almost powerless, unable to self-sustain. From that point, arriving to a peak where one can be self-sustaining, keep going, look for challenges, and even take care of others, is a great journey.

Struggling for becoming fully functioning and gain the best of what we can be is a sacred journey. Fully expressed potential is not just a matter of performance and tangible goals, it is a value for itself, something that gives a meaning to life.

Most forms or self-handicapping come from the unknown error of listening too much to social expectations. These expectations bring you towards a statically “normal” or average state where you cannot be yourself.

You can express yourself in fields so different as sports, science, cooking, dancing, fighting, running, painting, managing. Or all together.

There is no great genius without some touch of madness.


Do not seek for the “average” path but follow an inspiration, at least one in life in a given period of time, where you feel that you can express yourself.

For any little advancement, a new sense of possibility arises, so that – as for a climber or an explorer – new horizons soon come up in your path step after step, horizons that were formerly unthought-of, or considered too far, too big, too heavy.

This “opening” is generative; it invites individuals and leaders to go ahead, to progress in a further exploration of what at the moment is barely thinkable, and to turn this attitude into advancement for the Self, progress for the family, for a Team, for a Business. Starting from the Self, we can generate progress for a country, up to the entire Humanity.

A semiotic map of what an expectation is, shows some very important connections:

  • Expectation-belief connection: you expect things based on what you believe it is true. What if someone thought you that it is better to win money betting in the financial market rather than working at your skills? What if a company leader holds the belief that the Stock Exchange will be the final moral judge instead of moral values, searching a strong future, choice after choice?
  • Expectation can generate apprehension. Apprehension is the doorway to anxiety, to fear and to terror. When one is not free to make mistakes, when one believes he/she cannot commit a mistake, this will determine a decision block.
  • Well expressed and well defined expectations can generate hope and positive promises
  • If you change your beliefs, you can change your expectations. If as a leader you set some strong beliefs, they will turn into different expectations.
  • Leading people amid the chaos of expectations, beliefs, truth and wisdom, in a stream of confusion, is real leadership.This is the deepest and highest forms of real Human Potential expression.Understanding, knowledge, curiosity, holistic interests, trials and errors, perseverance, are all ingredients that start to emerge in the alchemic recipe for a new life.

    It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them.

    They went out and happened to things.

    Leonardo da Vinci


  • © Extracted from the book “Semiotics for Leaders” written by Daniele Trevisani, available on Amazon

From the book:

Semiotics for Leaders: The Exa-Leadership Model for Leadership and Human Potential Development

daniele trevisani

by Dr. Daniele Trevisani

“People travel to wonder
at the height of the mountains,
at the huge waves of the seas,
at the long course of the rivers,
at the vast compass of the ocean,
at the circular motion of the stars,
and yet they pass by themselves
without wondering ”

St. Augustine of Hippo

Semiotics, the science of meaning, codes and communication, is an extremely powerful tool that can help leaders to be ore effective by acquiring the most profound side of leadership: the building of sense, purpose, and vision, inspiration for the Self and for entire groups.

leadership concept map
In Semiotics, Leadership can be analyzed in two very different ways:

  1.  “Denotative Analysis” (or “Denotation”): examination of behaviors, communications, acts, relational styles, the external forms or “signs” used by leaders to build and convey their leadership, reinforce it, or simply “act” as leaders (clothing and dress codes, verbal style, non verbal style, the type of car, the painting on the wall, even the location chosen for a meeting, and literally anything that can become a “sign” of a personal way of interpreting leadership);
  2. “Connotative Analysis” (or “Connotation”): the personal interpretation of a sign, the internal representation of meaning, the “story” behind perceivable traits, the evaluation of behaviors as “good”/”bad”, of tasks as “easy”/”difficult”, of people as “active”/”passive”, and any other evaluation.

Denotative Analysis should be as much as possible “objective”, non-judgmental, descriptive, sensorial, refer to perceived signs without any attempt to judge it, while Connotation, on the contrary, is and must be the judgmental side, seeking to extract the “sense” of any sign, evaluate it, confront its essence with values, beliefs, and even personal norms.
The work I conducted during 30 years of research and practice identifies the 6 main “vectors” that leaders use in generating both their internal world-views and their external communication.
The Exa-Leadership models derives its name from the word Six (Exa) in Greek language. In this model, Leadership is a holistic spectrum that can arise from:

  1. higher levels of attribution of meaning to physical power, which produces external communication signs or “power display”, acts, behaviors, or symbols used to display power and control others, show force superiority, ability to generate fear, and seek group-member’s need for a powerful group protector or Alpha Leader (Primal Leadership),
  2. attribution of meaning connected to the display of superior mental energies, superior motivational forces, being energetic and smart, motivated and mentally tough, an attitude perceivable in communication and behaviors, such as lack of fear, display of courage, determination, resistance and resilience, lack of anxiety, drive to action (Psychoenergetic Leadership),
  3. higher meanings attributing to managing the overall picture, showing a high level of skills across very different areas and fields of knowledge (Macro-Leadership),
  4. higher meanings attributed to being extremely good in highly specialized tasks, without need to getting the whole picture (Micro-Leadership),
  5. higher meaning attributed to display power and ability in managing the perfect execution of a task (Project Leadership), and
  6. higher level of meanings attributed to values, wisdom, and spirituality (Spiritual Leadership).

primal leadership power profile
Any company places expectations and very often lots of money on shaping public opinion’s views about how it wishes to be perceived.
Perception Engineering is really the effort of shaping and manipulating perceptions by scientifically placing and choosing the right “Signs” that can convey the right “Perception” in a given target audience, or change it strategically.
Any Leader and any company derives its specific Leadership Style and Behaviors from a unique mix of one or more of the six factors.
The “Power Profile” that emerges shows graphically the type of Leadership style.

Primal Leadership has to to with our animal side, the most basic instincts of survival, sex, reproduction, food, defence and attack, which require strength and fighting.
The external signs of this leadership attitude are everywhere and depict a historic stage of humanity where the animal side of humans is still the grounding force of external communication acts, even in the business environment, despite any tie or effort to acquire a higher status as “enlighted” species.
This can be the seen clearly in how western sports (as Soccer or Football, Volley or Basket) still contain a very high dose of combat and aggressiveness. Even more, combat sports, as seen in western MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) adopt a “Primal Style” of Martial Arts: external signs are filled with strong bodies, tatoos, and muscularity, behaviors as confrontation, aggression, and visually, lots of blood. For those who adopt this view, if there is not enough blood, the fight has not been good enough. Instead of showing the deep respect of the adversary in the pre-match confrontation, athletes are expected to practice “trash talk”, offend each other, show disrespect, and “fire up” the atmosphere, very likely to enhance viewer’s smell for blood. Everything is loud, from the music to the public screaming and the level of aggressiveness.
This is a completely different way of interpreting the meaning of the word “Martial Art” if we confront it with oriental cultures and practices, such as in Karate, Judo, Aikido, Wushu, Taekwondo, and many others, where the “Signs” use are much more clean, minimal, there is no unneeded aggressiveness whatsoever except for the focused action, participants are expected to behave with great composure and respect, atmosphere is permeated by mystical forces, deep inner strength, search for spirituality, no need for excessive external strengths display. The enphasis is on the search for inner energy (the “Chi”, “Ki” “Qi”) that needs no external demonstration, even when Martial Arts (as for Samurai or Ninja warriors) became a matter of life and death.
The same distinction holds true for Leadership Style. We can have an “externally powerful” Rambo-like leadership style, based on show of power, aggressiveness, status symbols like huge cars, building, private airplanes, behaviors of “boldness” and power, or a “Chi-based” style of leadership emphasizing inner strengths, based on remaining humble and internally powerful without any need to “overshow”.
These two distinct styles can be analyzed deeply by means of Denotative Analysis (what external and perceivable signs and behaviors leaders use) and Connotation Analysis (what meaning are conveyd by specific signs and behaviors). So, the Tao symbol becomes not only a graphical display, but the symbol of an entire worldview of the search for harmony and inner energies. And on the contrary, a “Death Skull” symbol becomes the sign of bravery, the lack of fear and love for fight. A storm can be used to visually “suck” the meanings associated to rapidiy, flash action, power and devastating energies.

tao flash skull symbols

The choice of any symbol will denote not only a graphical choice, but the appreciation or belonging of the individual to an entire world-view.
Semiotics is not just visual, it is poli-sensorial. The way you shake hands can convey meanings (gentle, strong, or agitated), what you eat and the way you eat it, even the way you walk and your posture.
The same holds true for the choice of a manger of a specific dress-code, the verbal and nonverbal signs used, the parfume he/she will use, the place where he/she will want to set the next meeting or the painting on the walls.
The Exa-leadership model attempts to grasp which variable is most active in a leadership style, and what generates strong leadership as opposed to weak leadership.

by Dr. Daniele Trevisani


Semiotics for Leadership book cover thumbfree-landscape-desktop-wallpaper-16145-276x172free-fantasy-desktop-wallpaper-8818-276x172

Semiotics is both the newest and the most ancient Science of Performance.

The book visible at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B015WQQTQK represents a view of Leadership based on an ancient Latin and Greek tradition, Semiotics, that is completely unknown to most of the managerial world.

The Semiotic view on #Leadership is based on the Power of Example, standing among the crowd and not in the higher floors of Corporations, eating the same food as your last employee, trying to bring a strong contribution and forgetting short-term economics.

The Semiotic approach has a strong attention to Signs (including behavioral patterns of Leaders and actions that communicate a value and a worldview), a perspective that is absolutely opposed to what we see in Multinational Companies worldwide.

The Semiotic approach is opposed to “easy” Leadership approaches that history proved to be catastrophic. “Easy” and “fast” in Leadership, are always fake promises. Cases like #Enron, #Volkswagen, #Lufthansa, Fukushima, the predatory sick attitudes of Leaders in Finance that generated the #subprime word financial crisis and so many other disasters are due to to “Toxic Leadership becoming real-and only leadership”, Value-Empty Leaders, NPL tricks brought to the level of business religions, Business Gurus becoming “prophets with a microphone”, crazy outdoor parades sold as Leadership Training, “5 Minutes Management Solutions” (you know very well they are useless, don’t’ you?), and other “fast & easy” approaches, that are the exact contrary of a Semiotic deep-meaning based approach.

The Semiotic approach looks for Semantic Maps (equivalent to neural maps, but applied to the level of deep meaning) and searches deeper significance, how to make real #values become solid leadership behaviors rather than standing only on useless Corporate Advertising and paper that nobody really reads.

A way to look at Leadership in a different perspective

Rooted in ancient Greek and Latin Philosophy, employed to uncover the secrets of the Pyramids or for cracking secret codes, it is also the most ancient Science of Deep Meanings.

It can be used to enhance Power, seen as the capacity of reaching a goal or get something done, by means of psychological operations and communicational strategies. When we join these concepts, we obtain an extremely focused tool for targeting leader’s behaviors towards a deeper Value-Based Leadership, self-aligning Crew Behaviors and People rather than forcing them, and obtain a new and much needed and meaningful Discipline of Leadership based on strong values and consequent behavioral decisions.

Semiotics is also about Human Energies, which are most of the times activated at their peak only when looking beyond the surface al looking for deep meanings. Reaching a goal, heading towards a vision or fulfilling a task requires energy. One of the highest skills of leaders is that of activating people’s power and energies towards a goal by means of Signs. To activate means to put those energies into a flow, a flow that can build or destroy almost anything.

Semiotics for Leaders helps in increasing Personal Power in a powerful and ancient tradition of Wisdom and Meanings

Book Page on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B015WQQTQK

Author: Dr. Daniele Trevisani, European Fulbright Scholar in Communication and Human Factor, Senior Analyst, Special Forces Trainer, Coach and Counselor at www.danieletrevisani.com

Semiotics for Leadership book cover thumb© Article by Daniele Trevisani, from the book “Semiotics for Leaders” (see in Amazon more details about the book)

There is no Power without Knowledge. Wisdom and “Noesis” for Climbing the mountains of life

Even small tasks like making a phone call or going into a bar and interact with someone, can become huge mountains to climb when we are empty of energies. And very often we give up even before trying reaching the first step.

Our view is that it is always worth trying to improve ourselves, we can become alchemists of our personal growth, alchemist for organizations or clients, and deeply inside, researchers.

Researchers do not just look for data. Researchers look for knowledge, meanings, truth, getting rid of fake perceptions. The result of a good research into the truth is “Noesis”, the generation of new patterns of thought, new light, new knowledge that replaces fake or unreal assumptions and truths.

Been rooted in ancient European philosophical texts, we will often pay a tribute to Latin Wisdom, phrases that explain, much deeper that modern “fast and easy” manuals, deep meanings for leadership.

Qui audet adipiscitur

S/he who dares wins

The art and science of accessing and opening the vast amount of hidden human energies has just begun.

Fortunately, a new Science of Human Factor is rising, a science of what Humans can do, achieve, and generate, when functioning at their best.

Any science is based on knowledge. As the following semiotic map depicts, knowledge or “Noesis” is strongly related to Power. Cognition, knowledge, and therefore training, study and research can generate Power

map 01

Having “Power without Knowledge” is like giving a gun to a 1 or 2-years old baby, that will use it as a toy, very likely killing someone by mistake, generating severe damages. Knowledge, instead, can become the instrument for developing and improving the world we live in.

For functioning at our best, we need to take into account the fact that we are made of physical matter (bones, muscles, tissue…) but also have dreams and feelings.

Our intangible states, emotions, our levels of consciousness, our values, desires, memories, assets and skills determine the performance we can achieve, the life we can have, the mountains we can climb, the oceans where we can swim, the landscapes that we will be able to see.

The HPM Exa-leadership Method derives its name from the primary objective of Modeling, giving “shape” to Human Energies, generating power and “crafting” intangible possibilities into real life and real action, as much as an artist gives shape to its distinctive and unique form of art starting from a vague idea.
Semiotics for Leadership book cover thumb© Article by Daniele Trevisani, from the book “Semiotics for Leaders” (see in Amazon more details about the book)

Semiotics for Leadership book cover thumb© Article by Daniele Trevisani, from the book “Semiotics for Leaders” (see in Amazon more details about the book)

“Powerfulness”, the deep sense of being and feeling powerful

Knowing how many energies we really have, opposed to an out-of-focus picture or distorted perception, is a precious piece of information.
To learn that, we have to acquire new special skills, the skills of “self-focusing”, installing a “mental radar” that scans our deepest “signs” of internal energies, and their flow.
Semiotics therefore is not only a science for external signs, but also a discipline for self-listening and self-improvement.
The “Psychophysiological Flow”, as Ikemi points out, is a concept created by Carl Rogers, founder of the Humanistic Psychology approach, to describe the ‘sensory and visceral experiences’, or the flow of internal sensations that the individual can perceive, experiences that are sometimes aware and sometimes denied from awareness.
We often do not see the signs of stress that our body is giving us. We do not see the level of energies in people around us. We do not perceive the active values in others, they mental maps, despite the many “signs” that we could learn to perceive and interpret.
One of these experiences, in our approach, is the ability to read our “potential energy” as opposed to “supposed energy”. Our perception is distorted by so many external messages on what we can do and we cannot do, that we stop listening to what our soul wishes for us.
Rogers stated that there is an ongoing flow of experiencing inside every human being and that the ability to connect with this flow (become aware of it) and to provide correct labels for the perceived sensations and emotions (process called by Eugene Gendlin “Referencing”) has a direct impact on emotional wellness. A person can turn to it and discover meaning from those experiences.
He also articulates the relationship between words and this flow of experiencing which can be used as a ‘referent’. Matching words and the referent ‘encourages a further flow of the experiencing’ .
As this semiotic map shows, the search for power is a search for potency, effectiveness and strength, but also an opposition to a miserable state of “powerlessness” that ruins so many lives and organizations when faced with really sever challenges.

For this analysis it is important to introduce a new concept: “powerfulness”, the deep sense of being and feeling powerful when confronting our hopes and lifes challenges, feeling a powerful to overcome obstacles, and training every single day to improve our own inner power.

The search for Human Performance has to be connected to higher values, a fight against impotence, powerlessness, conditions of poverty, misery, suffered. In this sense leadership achieves a strong and solid emotional meaning for those who engage in this search and strong ethical values.
The tasks we are able to perform in life, are really deeply linked to the energy level we are able to access and generate.
Semiotics for Leadership book cover thumb© Article by Daniele Trevisani, from the book “Semiotics for Leaders” (see in Amazon more details about the book)

Semiotics for Leadership book cover thumb© Article by Daniele Trevisani, from the book “Semiotics for Leaders” (see in Amazon more details about the book)


A new light for observing what Performances really are

Getting rid of anxiety, depression, sick moods, is important and is a strong achievement for a good work on Human Potential. But it is not enough. After “cleaning” your machine from any unwanted burden, after fixing it and removing the dust, you might want to race with it, or use it for a wonderful trip to any destination.

The race of life or the trips of life as an opportunity are so many, and the time so little, that it is really worth trying to get rid of any unnecessary dust and burden that are cluttering our energies.

A human potential model aims at reaching positive conditions, as feeling good and full of energy, and considers this condition as a sacred destination for all Human Beings.

The following semiotic map shows that performance can have two very different set of meanings

  1. A demonstration, a sort of “presentation” or show
  2. A form of expression, a contribution.

Our approach is solidly grounding into the second area: performance and leadership as a field of self-expression rather than a mere “packaging”, nice to see but deeply unuseful and empty of values.

performance 2

Leadership has to do with the ability to unveil full Human Potential in the people that work towards a goal and in an organization.

Full Human Potential is a goal to achieve for mankind and for every free soul.

This dimension is not only practical, it becomes spiritual, it goes beyond the individual and reaches families, teams and organizations, or even entire nations and areas. When positive leadership unveils, we see a huge wave of positive energies coming out, projects, advancements, energy that busts the fog that blocks the sight of the positive destiny that every soul was born for.

Every Human Being derives power and performances from the ability to generate the right level of energy for the task – not more (it would be a waste of energy), not less (the task would not be accomplished).
Semiotics for Leadership book cover thumb© Article by Daniele Trevisani, from the book “Semiotics for Leaders” (see in Amazon more details about the book)

Semiotics for Leadership book cover thumb© Article by Daniele Trevisani, from the book “Semiotics for Leaders” (see in Amazon more details about the book)


The conceptual network of Human Power

Power is the capacity of reaching a goal or get something done.

Reaching a goal, heading towards a vision or fulfilling a task requires energy. One of the highest skills of leaders is that of activating people’s power and energies towards a goal. To activate means to put those energies into a flow, a flow that can build or destroy almost anything.

Power to act and to generate changes makes the difference between life and death. Think of how important leadership can be in managing a fire brigade team, or coordinate a rescue team, and you will find easily how leaders need not only external signs of leadership (e.g. uniforms) but really internal set of tools and values that make them special people.

Several “semantic maps” (a Semiotic tools) will be used to show the meaning connections among hot topics of leadership.

As this first semantic map shows, ability and power are closely connected to skills acquirement, to mental faculties, to knowledge, and leadership.

map 01

This map shows connections among concept from WordNet® an official database from Princeton University[1].

Given this complexity a working model that deals with the ambition of helping humans in reaching their full potential in leadership should really be holistic and pragmatic.

  • Holistic (in this approach) has the sense of encompassing the large variety of disciplines that enter the field of real leadership, such as management science, biology, psychology, linguistics, communication, neuroscience, and several others.
  • Pragmatic” in our view, means “practical”, focused on “what works”, what can be useful, centered on the real-life possibilities of applications and the will of finding really working paths of improvement.

A holistic/pragmatic approach to Human Potential does not make a clear line between pathological conditions and “normal” condition, sick or fit, white or black, but considers instead any human as a “system” whose energies can vary along a continuum, a system whose possibilities can unfold given proper stimuli, starting from any condition and state.

The holistic/pragmatic approach therefore becomes useful both for counseling interventions and for coaching, for research purpose and for management of HR interventions, for sports athletes and for high performance teams in any field.

There is no limitations to what can be achieved by a good work on Human Factor, since wherever we have a Human Being, any form of improvement will be possible given the right will and the right knowledge.

Knowing how humans function enables almost everything.

Ipsa scientia potestas est

Knowledge itself is power.

The clinical area is not marginal. It also concern the psychosomatic improvement, the mental condition, or the advanced frontiers of human understanding.

A solid work on Human Potential, Performance and Leadership must comprise the Mental State in which humans work, as well as that mental state is the right one for the goal, and how to improve it. It must also include a strong foundation, teaching values and forcing them to be appliedby leaders into everyday behaviors and everyday decisions.

[1] George A. Miller (1995). WordNet: A Lexical Database for English. Communications of the ACM Vol. 38, No. 11: 39-41. Christiane Fellbaum (1998, ed.) WordNet: An Electronic Lexical Database. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Semiotics for Leadership book cover thumb© Article by Daniele Trevisani, from the book “Semiotics for Leaders” (see in Amazon more details about the book)


Semiotics for Leadership book cover thumb© Article by Daniele Trevisani, from the book “Semiotics for Leadership” (see in Amazon more details about the book)



“People travel to wonder
at the height of the mountains,
at the huge waves of the seas,
at the long course of the rivers,
at the vast compass of the ocean,
at the circular motion of the stars,
and yet they pass by themselves
without wondering ”

St. Augustine of Hippo

Semiotics is the Science of Signs, Symbols, Meaning Communication, the science of secret Codes, the science that aims at uncoding reality.
Semiotics, also called Semiology, analyzes the functions of signs and symbols in human world and in any other system, and is the foundation of any modern communication science and Systems Science.
The roots of Semiotics can be traced back to Aristotle analysis of persuasive messages, to ancient Latin and Roman thinkers that tryied to decode how persuasive speech functioned and European philosophers from the medieval age onward.
Considered a part of philosophy, barely knowm even by academics, it has been neglected by modern psychology and management science, considered too exoteric, alchemic, and strange.
Its roots, based on a “search of meanings”, are disturbing for the narrow-minded short term-based companies cultures, and in modern eras dominated by hard data. In “fast and easy” mental diets, that search seemed too hard to be achieved.
But than, deep “crisis of meanings” arrived. The collapse of giant Multinational corporations like Enron, the “Too-big-to-fall” companies financial collapse of the Junk Bonds era, the “fall of the Giants” in the Internet Golden Age, Corporate Scandals like Volkswagen diesel engines crisis , huge catastrophes like Chernobil, Fukushima, Three Miles Island, just to mention a few.
In all of these Crises, the underlying root-cause problem was the Leaders’s lack of values, its behavioral consequences, the loss of meaning of what wise and good Leadership really is. A Value-Baesed Leadership, a Wisdom-Based Leadership mentality, was lost.
Well, when we look at any type of crisis, organizational crisis, personal crisis, and human factor crisis in a broad sense, meaning is not just something. It is everything.
Without a sense of meaning in what we do, we would not even wake up in the morning. Organizations that perceive no more meanings in what they do, dissolve quickly. Leaders whose words seem just empty talk, lose power quickly and get caught fast as bureaucrats or fake leaders rather than charismatic leaders.
From public speaking, to leadership behaviors, up to the ability to reveal codes and mysteries of mankind, semiotics is the basic discipline that can shade light where other cannot.
Its applications are so widespread that any field of human life is potentially explorable as a system of codes, signs and meanings, external behaviors and deeper intentions, external representations and inner values. And we can remember, just to mention some, that Semiotics is the science behind any type of Secret Code decoding. Therefore, it can be very useful to unlock some Secret Codes of Leadership.
This work aims on Semiotic for Leadership is the search of a new contribution to some of the yet unexplored areas of Leadership.
In a Semiotic view, it is important to identify which communication systems leaders employ to define their leadership, and therefore, a Semiotics of Leadership can really be seen as a science of the different Leadership Styles and different communication styles.
Every leader learned a different set of signs, to convey different sets of meanings and underlying values.
The Semiotic Exaleadership Models identifies the “6 Primordial Models” used by leaders to establish their status and communicate. We will get to them very soon.
As a preparation, think of symbols as “denotators” (signifiers) of some deeper and sometimes hidden meanings. Semiotics takes care of this special relationship between external symbols, signs or emblems, and deeper meanings, up to the level of what effect they can produce on people.
Can the use of a given word be persuasive? Or is it better to find another word. How will a given body language sign be interpreted by the audience? Can that uniform really convey respect? What do you have on your desk or at the walls of your house? Are you aware of the interpretation that people give to them?
Symbols can be representative of a whole world-view, such as the swastika used by the Nazis Party, or the hammer and sickle of the Communist Party. But also the body of a bodybuilder in a Gladiators movie, a symbol of power, strengths and courage. Even objects can be used to convey meanings. A luxury car or a fancy house can be used as a symbol of status, and this attempt can have the desired effects of depicting a positive image, or instead become a boomerang on relationships.
Even the red light that you see at the traffic light is a sign with much deeper meanings (stop, danger, blood).
A semiotic analysis of Leadership must therefore look at the associations between Leadership and its significant connections, such as power, status, leadership communications, understanding and misunderstandings, ability to convey powerful messages, human energies, and how they are brought out at their best, not only through words but with an entire set of tools.


© Article by Daniele Trevisani, from the book “Semiotics for Leadership” (see in Amazon more details about the book)

Copyright, testo originale di Daniele Trevisani, dal volume “Psicologia di Marketing e Comunicazione”, Franco Angeli editore, Milano, 2001.

Un aspetto semiotico aziendalmente rilevante è dato dalle modalità di descrizione del segno, tra cui l’analisi denotativa e l’analisi connotativa.

L’analisi connotativa richiede l’utilizzo di frame interpretativi (angoli di osservazione valoriali e sociali del prodotto). A seconda del punto di osservazione semiotico, infatti il prodotto diviene “segno” di un insieme di relazioni tra oggetti sociali. La pelliccia può divenire “segno” dell’appartenenza ad una classe agiata o di aspirazione ad appartenervi. Questo segno assume una valenza positiva o negativa in funzione del frame interpretativo adottato: un frame alto-borghese porterà alla decodifica della pelliccia come oggetto di classe e distinzione. Un frame ambientalista porterà ad una decodifica della pelliccia come sinonimo di superficialità del proprietario. Inoltre, connoterà in esso il possesso di valori antisociali, consumistici, antiambientalistici.

È il frame di osservazione, in altre parole, che determina il giudizio del prodotto e il suo luogo all’interno dei valori e significati del soggetto.

Mentre l’analisi denotativa si prefigge la descrizione “oggettiva”, non valutativa, dei contenuti manifesti del prodotto o del messaggio, l’analisi connotativa si prefigge di stabilire le associazioni di significato legate al segno.

analisi denotativa, analisi connotativa
analisi denotativa, analisi connotativa

Definire la funzione semantica del prodotto permette di capirne il suo significato sociale e simbolico, i vincoli e le barriere che esso può incontrare, i motivi di accettazione e rifiuto che esso incontra sul mercato.

Principio 10 – Carica simbolica  – loading semantico del prodotto

· Gli effetti pragmatici (vendite, reazioni del mercato) derivano dalla capacità di definire le componenti sintattiche del prodotto (forme, strutture, e caratteristiche) e le componenti semantiche (valenze culturali e valoriali, simbolismi ed associazioni).

· Il valore del prodotto aumenta al crescere della carica simbolica che esso assume.

Materiale estratto dal libro di Daniele Trevisani (2002), “Psicologia di marketing e comunicazione”, FrancoAngeli Editore, Milano. Copyright. Pubblicato per concessione dell’autore da www.studiotrevisani.it.
E’ consentita la riproduzione solo con citazione dell’autore e del volume originario.

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