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2022 Qatar Economic Forum - Governance


Among exciting conversations between Elon Musk and John Micklethwait at last week's Qatar Economic Forum, below hold my breath.

"Do you see people like Volkswagen and General Motors and people like that as the opponents, or do you see people like China, the new Chinese companies? Where do you see the most vibrant competition in electronic cars?"

(intentional omission)

"I should say, from a Tesla perspective, we don't really think about other competitors. Our constraints are much more in raw materials and being able to scale up production.

"Our constraints are not imposed upon us by competitors but rather just imposed upon us by the realities of the supply chain and building up our manufacturing capacity."

(intentional omission)

"We really don't think about competition at all. We just think about how do we address the limiting factors in supply chain and in our own industrial capacity."

K-Corporation, Governance, Chairman

What are Korean companies' limiting factors? Among others, "governance" is one of them.


A founder (including their successors, the "Chairman") holds a certain percentage of shares in Korean conglomerates and makes the company's critical decisions. Therefore, the boards of affiliated companies can't bypass the Chairman in crucial decisions.


Korean Commercial Act caught this concept and considered the Chairman a "registered director" regarding the company's business activity influenced by the Chairman. Thus the Chairman takes legal responsibility as a registered director in some instances (Article 401-2).


Korean office of the global corporation has similar governance. Their board can't bypass either regional or global head. Further, a hidden global policy obliges getting the global head's approval. The representative director of a Korean company gets an appropriate penalty for breach of such global policy. Thus, in many cases, board members are just employees from the Korean labor law perspective. The regional or global head sometimes takes legal responsibility as a registered director, like the Chairman.


Individual's emotional governance

We can apply this to an individual level. For example, emotions arise when we encounter a particular fact or situation. Feeling itself is neutral. What matter is how we respond to such emotion.


Liz Greene's description of "Envy" is worthwhile to reckon.

"The key to dealing with Envy is self-honesty and self-acceptance. Envy, in the sense that it remains an unconscious aspect of human emotion, might be better described as Self-doubt, because it involves the perception that others have more or are better than oneself. And perhaps a better word for Envy, when it is understood and worked with, might be Authenticity."

In my words,

"Emotion challenges, respond smartly." Individual's competitor is not another person but our emotion.

Buddhists do this “Respond Smartly” as “Awareness Training” (i.e., meditation), namely "Vipassanā, विपश्यना, 觀, Vipaśyanā."

Byron Katie casts similar questions in her book.

1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know that it's true?
3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought?

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