Leadership of the ‘ordinary’ (1/3)
For far too long, we have organized ourselves into pyramids and put a handful of people at the top.
We have celebrated them with disproportionate amounts of power and attention. We have even perpetuated the lies that they are the ones who made it all happen. We’re all smitten by the founders, the pioneers, the great leaders of our world.
In doing that though, we have completely put all the other ‘work’ of leadership in the shadows. We have made invisible the others all around who also played their part.
Why did we end up overvaluing one part of the pie so much more than others?
Leadership of the ‘ordinary’ (2/3)
Can everyone then have a chance to contribute with their own unique flavour? Can they be recognized for that? Can each contribution be seen as an ingredient of the whole that we call leadership?
There are lots of people who would say NO!
We are wired to be hierarchical. There is only one leader — the one in the pack. That task of leading is of much higher value and needs recognition and celebrating. This is how human beings have been all throughout.
All of that is true.
At the same time we are in transition. As we transition into newer ways of being, can those be accompanied by newer ways of seeing?
Can we see the whole ‘field’ around leaders that if often shrouded in darkness? Can we celebrate those who contribute just by being normal and doing their own small unique thing? Can we value the ordinary?
Leadership of the ordinary (3/3)
What then seems to be possible is a structure where limelight is shared freely and dynamically. Each is free to step up as the situation demands, and the ‘leader’ moves to the role of a facilitator.
This requires huge sacrifices by the leaders who today who have concentrated power and fame. It requires us to celebrate the mundane acts that actually are crucial to upkeep of things. It requires a rewiring.
When we are able to do this, we will see that several people choose to do different things rather than race to the top. Approval, power and influence are natural human needs. When they are concentrated at the top, that top becomes a contested place.
When they’re shared, there is no ‘top’ anymore.
Do you feel it is desirable? Is it possible?