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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Monday 25 June 2012

Leadership Comes From Within

What happened before will happen again.  Why?  It's easy, really - because we assume we're better than our forefathers and therefore don't need to learn from their mistakes.  We figure that the rules don't apply to us, that we can make up reality as we go along.  We want the control, but not the responsibility.  Then, when we start falling into the same traps as those who came before us, we confabulate justifications for why it's not our fault.

That's when our leaders start to outsource leadership.  But who leads when leaders followWhere do we look to?

If you follow my blog and have some background in religion/pop culture/mythology, you'll notice I constantly throw in little references to stories, characters, themes from sources as varied as the Koran, the Popol Vuh, Taoism, Inception, BSG, etc.  These references aren't random or whimsical; to me, there is a strong current of metaphor in human culture that is feeling the same elephant from different perspectives (and I'm hardly the first to recognize this).  From a linguistic point of view, this makes sense - we all do come from the same place, but how we understand our world is determined by our experience.

That's the big lesson of history - no person is an island, the chain is only as strong as its weakest link, we can only move forward together.  Leadership isn't about being in charge, it's about empowering others.  We're all pieces of one social puzzle; when we overcome the fear of loss of self, we can see that the whole truly is more than the sum of its parts.  Then  we can consciously realize our greater potential.

Or, to quote Sheppard:

True leadership never comes from without - it emerges from within.

It's time we all start leading.

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