The coal or solar, is a metaphor for sustainable versus unsustainable energy. Using too much coal, would cause a tipping point in a system, causing the whole system to collapse.
This is an idea that has been for years in my mind, and I haven’t been able to verbalize it. There are leadership practices that are just not sustainable in the long run, yet they are being repeated day after day.
In my mind, ideal leader would optimize the system especially for the long run. Goals are necessary and even checkpoints for the goals. Goals and checkpoints are guideposts to keep on the right direction and push the habits that actually run the show, to the limits in order to learn and create even better habits.
Manipulation has limitations to meet progressively higher goals. Eventually the system that has been driven by manipulation will collapse, whereas system driven by long term optimization will start to flourish.