I love an old African proverb that says,
“If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.”
I love the invitation embedded in that proverb, but if I am honest, I have to admit that my native wiring is to go fast and furious. In fact, I think that for most of my life my practiced approach to community was to find others that wanted to run fast and furious with me. However, living in community is far more than that.
High capacity leaders in the 21st century are those that live and lead in community. It is one result of a tectonic shift in culture. For example, it used to be that the notion of a leader as Lone Ranger was a good thing. Riding in on a white horse to save the day single-handedly is the way great leaders carried themselves. That day is over. Today, leaders that operate today as autocratic individualists are suspect.
Here’s the catch, for all the potential of leading in community, moving into community comes at a high front end cost. To develop community requires vulnerability, sacrifice, substantial time, and one of the toughest challenges for leaders — the subordination of personal opinions to the collective discernment of the community.
Leaders that live and lead in community pay attention to healthy process and cultivating safe environments. They transform basic conversation into relationally based journeys of discernment. They submit their personal agendas to the group and allow collective wisdom to shape priorities and decisions. They champion the contribution and giftedness of others in the community. They make themselves dispensable.
Even though leaders are surrounded by the people they lead, the reality is that most live in an ongoing state of isolation. So, even if you as a leader are the only one at risk, it is time to seek out, form, choose, and live in interdependence with others.
So, what lives deep in you? The desire to simply go fast? Or the conviction that you long to go far?[If you would like a .pdf version of a reproducible article describing the “5 C’s of a High Capacity Leader” send me an email request and I will forward it to you. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org]