The Jago principle

The Iago principle

as I posted this morning on the status update:

news-induced consideration (one week of observations): how many decisions are made by relying to the loyalty of a Jago? worth an article πŸ™‚

this article is split in two parts: a social side, and a business side.

of course, the title is a reference to “Othello”, albeit, frankly,I prefer to spell it Jago (the Italian way) than Iago- therefore, Jago will be.

as for the two halves of this article, the first one will be posted in my main pages on social networks (Facebook, based in the US, and Frype, based in EU: in both cases, /robertolofaro), while the second one will be posted on my blog (

frankly, aiming the second half was easier: I had plenty of business observations, both direct and indirect, or even reported, and therefore it is easier to carry out a “neutral” analysis.

on the social side, the risk of being superficial is quite significant- and, therefore, as I hold an Italian passport, was born in Italy, and had a chance to study it as an observer in few stages, I of course focused on Italy.

but before posting online those two articles, I would like to share some considerations on the “Jago Principle”.

The Jago Principle

first a (personal) definition: a Jago is somebody whose value is related to the access to his/her own Othello, but keeps an independent agenda.

usually, the ones relying on a Jago use him/her as a source to “seed” their own decisions.

of course, the typical safeguard is to use multiple sources, and back whatever they say with additional fact-finding: but way too often, either the sources are from the same vested interests, or the fact-finding is highly selective, and influenced by… the Jagos.

how does it work? it requires a lapse of judgement from those using the Jagos- easier, as usually the Jagos are quite adept at finding the weak spot of those they work with.

the original sin is converting a reliable expert into a filter toward reality: if you see a Jago, look for the Othello that created him/her.

in my view, any expert should welcome a constructive challenge from his/her expertise.

but I met many self-appointed experts (maybe because they followed a semester course in a subject decades ago), who are looking forward to a Jago role: being a real guru would require constant work and study, while being a Jago require just monitoring the access gate to your Othello.

a good Jago builds a reliability pattern, and then uses past successes to filter out potential challengers to his/her position (and role).

the risks for any Othello are quite obvious: the further (s)he empowers the Jago, the further (s)he gets detached from reality, as anybody and anything (say, data) who dares to contradict the Jago is eventually ostracized.

in our complex world, where people increasingly identify themselves with more than one community, we are steadily moving to something more complex that Shakespeare’s Othello.

as the Jago too can be an Othello to another Jago, in an endless, sometimes temporary, chain.


to a small or large extent, once in a while or, thanks to your social role, permanently, you might be both Othello and Jago: but never forget that, when you feel like Othello following the suggestion of your Jago… you better do a reality check.

hope? the more interconnected we become, the more we will have to cover both roles, at one time or another, and therefore more and more Jagos and Othellos will have the perspective to avoid the most damaging results of both roles.


One thought on “The Jago principle

  1. Pingback: #Synspec – XXI century #expert #team #building and #management | GettingAroundTheWorld.Net

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