What is a leader? Why do we have them? There is an opportunity for you to stop following and be the leader you really are.
I am in an uncomfortable situation – trying to redefine myself, but also to stay true to what I believe. I know I have to do something that is going to take a lot of leadership, but I have never really found myself to be ‘a leader’.
Though I have never been a good follower either. Much to the dismay of many a manager, I am afraid. I have been ‘unmanageable’ throughout this lifetime and the idea of following seems to go against my very soul. Not that I disrespect leadership in any way. I am in awe of the leadership that is apparent in history, and I have had some very good ‘bosses’ in my career.
I have this sense, born within me, nearly killed off through schooling!, but growing as I grow older, that we are at our very core, the very same thing – the same (what?) Supersoul, core of God, overall essence, I really don’t have a clue? I see every person in life, ‘as me’, knowing in full that if I were in their shoes, so to speak, having the same life as them – I would see the world and feel and do exactly the same – I am no different.
In this I see I am the worst – and the best – of humanity and everything done by every person. I am capable of the same, no matter of any judgement, if I had their environment, experiences, body, mind, thoughts, feelings and whatever else encompasses who we truly are at our deepest level.
This then stops me from judging a person, knowing that they are always true to their core, within the ‘system?’ they are in, that gives them their thoughts, actions and emotions that they possess. But, that can be very difficult to live with. The identity of the ‘I AM’ inside? is unknown and known at the same time. There are no words that can describe it. But, (and the words always fail here), this consciousness? all ‘feels’ like it is in Everything.
This perspective from the ‘I AM’ initially makes you reach out to everything. I am there, exactly the same as any creature looking out into its universe and perceiving its reality. If I see an animal, I can see that at the core it is looking out and within the universe, just as I am. It sees! it feels! and obviously in many different ways than our physiology allows, but it is as real as I am – It still has some connection to the ‘I AM’ that exists.
What the patterns are, or the structures, or whatever definitions can be made that we may never understand ‘with thought’ is that something even like a tree is part of that core. Now, I am no guru, or have any understanding of what IS, other than my own experience, thoughts and senses, so to say ‘I AM a tree‘ feels like a stretch to the identity of me, my ego or soul? But, it still exists. I am aware of it, that is all. It is real.
I can stretch, what may sound like insanity to some, that feeling? to being what we logically define as inorganic, the stones around us, the machine that I so eagerly type my thoughts into. I wonder sometimes that consciousness would easily be created in the machine as it is in us, for our bodies are essentially just a complex biological machine after all. It is all part of that ultimate ‘I AM’ and is me, at a level I am not sure I will ever understand. But, it is real. I know it – and no person, technology, science, religion, or whatever else, can take away that very core of you that I know. You, just know it is – and that is really tough to put into words. These words, these shapes that symbolise thoughts, are our gift and our burden until we find another way to communicate these things.
My apologies to you, to lead you to so strange a place from the, on the face of it, simple term of leader. I’ll bring you back soon – hopefully.
So, from this core, from some definition of who we really are, that I have no words for, no religion to comfort me, is connected – and in this shape and form, expresses me, the writer, here at this moment. But, it is the very same as you, the reader, very real, very alive, and connecting in many ways that thought or mathematics can never probably calculate.
So, who is the leader? – Crashing straight back, into the understandable concepts of leaders and followers.
Why, no one really.
They are not things we really need. We should never follow leaders – EVER. Why have that construct at all, it is totally unnecessary.
I type this at an interesting point in history, where I think the ideas of leaders and leadership are being questioned, by so many, at their very core.
Donald Trump has been made President Elect in the United States, and the world watches and reacts in surprising and interesting ways. He is not typically, the template style of leader that has gone on before and the result of what he does, says (and tweets) will be significant in many ways. He could do an excellent job at leadership, changing opinions about him and the establishment that eventually calms a concerned world. Or, he could cause rifts, arguments and war and send us all down into economic depression, where possibly only the military contracts will profit. But, he is there. It is done. He has that burden to contend with.
Dramatic changes like this appear to be the norm at this time, just like in my own country, we in the UK are ripping ourselves away from a collection of European countries and Brexit becomes a new concept. I personally would rather have hoped solutions to the problems that caused this be made by working with the EU and not by walking away. However, much like a person in pain lashes out at times to the person trying to help, the deed is done, and must be dealt with.
We look at the leaders in this time with an ‘expectation’.
To be a true respected leader, you really have to be damned perfect in every way. You must never have made any mistakes. You must have done everything ‘right’ in your life. Your parents, your birthplace, and millions of other judgments, you have to pass – to be a perfect leader.
A perfect leader, must have by definition, a plethora of perfect followers. All agreeing, doing as they are told, saying ‘Yes’ at their right career-building moments, even happily in the knowledge that they are doing the ‘right’ thing?
I can never be a perfect leader or follower. I am an ordinary person, I have my strengths, yes, but not without so many weakness, mistakes, faults and regrets, that make me who I am, here, now.
And why? Why do we do this? Why do we have leaders? What do we expect from them? What do we even fear from them?
If I break it down, we need leaders to get things done. We need them as representation of what we believe, to sort out the things that we cannot and make us safe, secure and hopefully successful.
We do this, because we have always done this to start with, and it is part of how we perceive the world. Probably, because we experience being born to parents, we have to trust and believe in. We are taught we must follow behind a standard, of law, of life, of religion, and so many find that it is comforting to have an Ultimate leader looking out for them and their eternal life.
It seems natural, almost biological, to hand over our trust to leaders.
We expect them to be powerful, to wield the power that we feel we do not have – some with loving care, others with an iron fist. Our leaders will sort out any challenges and we will rally behind them.
We fear however, that some leaders get drunk with power, and wield it over us.
For most of the population of the world now, we have a ‘need’ for leaders.
But, dear reader, we are really one and the same. We really are. We are both leaders and followers in our own right. We are making a mistake of connecting the decisions and responsibility that we create to ‘a person’. Just like the child expects the parent, to sort everything out for it.
Why attach so much power to a person. They are only a person, just like you and me. I know some will resist that image – but they really are. Why push them up so high that they cannot help but fall off of our monument? Ofen hurting themselves, damaging their followers and harming those that go against them.
Why put so much responsibility on their shoulders? So much, that they have to be perfect in every way, to be able to ‘do the right thing’.
It is almost a cruelty to the souls of those in that position. That, the perfect leader has to live and breath our collective responsibilities, because we make them do it.
Of course, the position of being the leader – it is expected, desired and often cruelly fought for. To gain the esteem, to have the power, the respect, and the lifestyle. We see a microcosm of this being enacted out in many corporations of the world, where a personality needs to take on a ‘winning’ stance no matter who they pass over and how they do it.
But, there really does not need to be leaders. Everyone is ideally equal?
We are nervous with this thought, of course. If everyone is equal then it might mean anyone can somehow have power over another and with no one in charge we would have chaos. Plus, we need leaders, to ‘run’ things?
Isn’t it really a case of having a system you can ‘trust’. Of having a situation where you do not put the burden of overall ‘leader’ on someone and working it out between ourselves. Why make a person take on the sole responsibility of our decisions? Why not just have the decisions all out there there in the open, for everyone to see and work on if they wish, and making each decision where it is applicable, and not down to some binary political party voting, where so many other unwanted decisions get made, often unknowingly.
When people get to know each other, and work on things together, they gain each others trust, and most often friendship. Aren’t we in reality, friends with every other person in the world, if it was assumed that they were not in pain, crisis or mentally ill. Aren’t there people who are actually understanding of these things anyway, that are happy to help with those afflicted, that others would not normally befriend. Trust is based on understanding each other more and realising that most (all, in fact?) of us are actually good, interesting and friendly people – no matter our location, religion, political beliefs and background.
We may actually ‘love’ more people in the world than we are aware of. By connecting with them, working with them and communicating with each other, the media or cultural persona gives way to the real person – all of which are possibly capable of loving to an extent that they would ‘die’ for those that they love. Not that anyone would want them to, of course, but they are more like everyone else than is given credit for.
With more working together openly, more understanding and trust in each other can be possible. And if necessary, issues like ‘trust’ in resources can be cured technically, as simply as the blockchain in Bitcoin makes testing trust distributed and massively unprofitably possible (presently impossibly) to crack, making it secure.
The decisions that we make can easily be shared universally, openly and transparently now – this is our greatest opportunity to work together, as individuals and globally. There are answers there to pull together, and that is why I want to work with many, many others on the OpenOutsource.org project to work out how to make it a reality. It is the question of what is a leader here that initiated this questioning.
I don’t want to be a leader. This is not how it works – and I know this.
I don’t want people to join in because I am the leader – I know many that have worked with me in the past, have suffered my ideas with a sympathetic ear and will willingly join in, and I really appreciate that, but that really is not the point.
These ideas do need to be put out there. In this activity a leader fulfils an important role and this is often the main reason a leader is the one who gets it done. Admittedly, I have to start with things autocratically, to make sure the full working idea exists before I let it go, to make sure that it pays for itself and whoever joins in – and I have made a safe estimate that this will be fine once a million people become active on it. There I will release it to whatever decision system is created.
So, a leader seems to fit there and I think this whole process of someone initiating a new idea needs to be carefully worked on in sharing a system. Everybody needs the autonomy to do things – in fact in this the ‘Individual’ is key to the whole process, and to allow people to go ‘out there’ and do what fulfils their experience and what they believe in is so important.
It just comes down to definition – a leader is not one who has authority over another, this is never necessary, but of someone assuming either a role of caring or a role of expanding into a new area ahead of anyone else and hopefully introducing them to a whole new part to explore.
So, for this exercise, “I am your leader” – but, so are you…
We are all in this together.
I’ll be the parent until it grows up enough to leave home. 🙂