Is it a leader’s responsibility to get everyone in the same boat or equip the many boats on the river to move in the same direction? Read more…

20120619-165658.jpg

Unanimity is not unity.

But unfortunately lots of leaders buy the lie that they should get a grand vision and inspire great people to get on board of their personal dream and accomplish good stuff together.

Let’s all get in the same boat.

The energy is focused on a vision and on consensus. The product is typically one of three results, at least as I have seen it:

(1) People buy into the vision. They get on board. Everyone’s energy focuses on one vision. Some good stuff happens. But the effort is centralized and usually not reproducible without large amounts of resources and often leaves people inspired without the margin to even pay attention to the dream growing in their heart.

(2) People buy into the vision. They get on board. Everyone gets bogged down trying to come to consensus around that one vision. Dissension occurs. Divisiveness happens. The leader blames people for standing against a grand idea, describes it as some form of “attack” or “persecution” or “purging,” and goes with the group that sides with the leader to try it again.

(3) People buy into the vision. They get on board. Everyone focuses on one vision. Some good stuff happens. But the leader gets prideful. Things fall apart as the leader burns out or gets depressed or falls into self-destructive choices.

Maybe there is another option.

What if the leader led by serving? What if the leader believed in the respective dreams of people in their daily rhythms? What if the leader equipped people in their relationships and ideas rather than tried to rally everyone into personal relationship and the leader’s idea?

This would be the equivalent of trying to swim out to everyone in a boat on the river in an effort to encourage and equip people to sail in the same purposeful, intentional direction. There would be a need for shared leadership so that the leader doesn’t drown. One mission rather than one vision. One grand purpose rather than one great idea.

And no more “all in the same boat.”

The latter might actually produce multiplicative results that could be lived / implemented anywhere?

Every metaphor breaks down. Strengths of this suggestion? Weaknesses? Concern? Comments?

Praying we will grow as leaders who lead people rather than enlist people.

Much love.
-jason

3 thoughts on “Is it a leader’s responsibility to get everyone in the same boat or equip the many boats on the river to move in the same direction? Read more…

  1. Good word. I feel like the greatest leaders are not the ones who have sold me on their vision and rallied me to their team. But the ones who have lead me the most have asked what God was calling me to do and we worked to partner together for the advance of probably a more diverse kingdom impacting strategy.

  2. Great visual as well, Jason! Isn’t this the only thriving parenting “model”, as well? Embracing the recognition that our children belong to God, that their unique gifts, talents, personalities were given by Him to serve people and glorify the Giver – is the healthy, freedom-producing undertaking of parenting! Teaching them to “sail”, sticking with the armada for a short time as their skills and confidence develop and then commissioning them to “break formation” to accomplish the distinctive endeavors that God prepared – before the foundation of the world for them to join Him in!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s