Leaders follow, followers leadPublished 10:52am Monday, November 28, 2011
I offer another potpourri of my thoughts. The reason they appear random is that they came to me randomly. After formulating their present expression, I was on to other thoughts without elaborating. To the extent you are willing to do so, I suggest you read one statement and think about it for a while before moving to the next. Think about what each can mean to you.
It seems to me leaders must be followable, and followers must be leadable. I notice not only the servanthood of leaders but the leadership of servants.
Some people are so busy knowing, they do not make the effort to understand.
Acting upon knowledge without understanding is a dangerous thing.
We cannot know everything, but we can have the wisdom to respect this reality.
Happiness can be found or chosen, but it cannot be manufactured. If the factors that make happiness possible are there but we fail to find them, we will not be happy because the factors refuse to force themselves upon us. If the factors are not there — sometimes they are not — and we take in hand to manufacture happiness, our product will not be happiness but misery. On the other hand, we can choose to be happy and we become happy even absent the factors.
Happiness is a choice and joy is a gift; but, if we fail to choose to be happy we will not be, and if we do not accept God’s gift we will not be joyful.
Most corporate and organization mission statements are nonsense because no one can disagree with what they state. A mission statement is of no help to the organization unless it is arguable. It must be sufficiently specific and concrete that someone will argue with it and it must be defended. This is why I refrain from developing these thoughts: I want you to argue with them. I do not want them to be dismissed as platitudes.
Do not let them end your life before you complete it.
He meant well, the man who commended me for being “a master story teller.” I do not think a person can master story. You just catch story in progress and join in. You go with the flow. And sometimes you are lucky to go with the flow downstream, because you find material someone left for you and you run with it. But you eventually exhaust this or just become bored with it; then the real work begins. You turn around and paddle upstream against the current, looking for what you missed the first time. This is when a person who writes becomes a writer.
We must understand the meaning of the word “criticism” and the concept of being critical. Like the similarly misused word and misunderstood concept of “discipline,” it is generic. Criticism simply means evaluation or assessment. More specifically there are positive and negative criticisms, the former being affirmation and the latter denigration. Moreover, the attitude of issuing criticism can be either constructive or destructive. This distinction is, well, critical to understand and practice.
So, we must consciously and openly invite — indeed encourage — constructive criticism. Moreover, we must be open to it whether positive or negative, or people will not risk either. We must resist the temptation to define “positive” as whatever we already agree with or whatever supports what we want to do anyway. By the same token, “destructive” is not whatever is disagreeable or inconvenient. When people offer (or impose) negative, destructive criticism, our opportunity is to construct positive results rather than suffer (or impose) negative consequences.
Many spouses are more willing to die for each other than to say a kind word when needed. I am at a loss to understand why a husband will openly denigrate his wife without recognizing he thereby admits to having chosen poorly. Her choice, however, is likely to be yet worse.
These are my thoughts. Please think through to yours.