The Declaration of Interdependence: Leadership

Once the elements of teamwork are operative, the word ‘leader’ takes on a new meaning. It is but one position on the team, and certainly not the most important one. The elements of leadership will apply to everyone, because at any given time, anyone can be called upon by the needs of the team to take on that position.

  • Leadership is a team sport. If your job title implies that you are a leader, play your position but always as a team player. You are not a Master of the Universe. You are not a Guru. You are not a Rockstar. You are a team player, serving one or more needs of the team.
  • If you want the people on a team to work better together, you need to set the example. This is true whether or not you carry the formal responsibility for ‘leading.’
  • If you want to matter, you must give. Watch closely for unexpected opportunities, because it is then that what you give will make the biggest difference.
  • Conscientiously object to any process that judges people based on a slice of their performance. What looks like failure at one point is often a necessary step before a great success. And what looks like success may be a function of the ‘high tide that lifts all ships.’
  • Therefore, be very careful when taking credit. For anything. However, feel free to give it. For everything.
  • Do not hesitate to show appreciation to those whose meaningful contributions enable yours to expand their positive influence on the world. It is through the creation of such synergy that the world is populated with the light that nourishes all enterprises: personal, social, and commercial.
  • Like respect, appreciation must align with the unique contributions of the person in order to be fully absorbed and incorporated.
  • Collaboration is one example of the most effective form of love. It requires from the collaborators the sacrifice of their illusions of control, self-interest, and separateness.
  • When you find your team – the one you resonate with and become your best ‘you’ within – you will be at the beginning of your path. Whether it involves new and daunting challenges, or it is very familiar and comfortable is not the measure of your worth. It is what you do with what you are given.
  • Seek always to fulfill your unique mission and to avoid the distractions that life throws in your path. Your faith in your team will be shown when you step out of other people’s way and let them fulfill their own most unique needs.
  • Maintain your trust in them, but ask if you can help when someone else is burdened. If they refuse, be assured they are growing from their burden and will likewise support your growth.
  • Faith in your team is only limited by your faith in yourself. Your team deserves your faith, your strongest efforts, and your most teamworthy behaviors.

Interdependence can propel us into a bright future, but it requires commitment and effort. Perhaps, like the writers of the Declaration of Independence, it should require a pledge of leadership: not ‘Lives, Fortunes, and sacred Honor’ but simply the bestowal of trust.  

In Our Team We Trust. 

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