There is a model of leadership that says there is only room for one person at the top. It says you have to fight, claw, insult, do whatever it takes to get to the top. If you are not at the top, you are a loser. Character is not what gets you to the top. Skill is not what gets you to the top. Ability is not what gets you to the top. It is “by any means necessary” that gets you to the top. In this process, you have to imagine that everyone else is the enemy, “the other,” so that you can accomplish your goal of being the only one at the top.
Y’all does it actually need to be said that this is an outdated model of leadership? It is called patriarchy. It’s vision is limited. It is filled with hating others, thereby “othering” them so that you can step on them without a second thought. It says there can only be one at the top and that one must be a male.
True leadership understands that the goal is NOT to be the only one at that top.
The goal is to help others improve their lives one way or the other while accomplishing a goal. The goal is to spread goodness to as many people as possible. The goal is for all people to contribute their gifts to build something that benefits the whole. The goal is to build community while making bread (i.e., business, church, organization).
Exclusionary practices that ultimately point towards only one person are ego driven and do not build up communities. Our current political climate speaks to this ego driven patriarchal model of leadership. Also, I hate to say it, many of our churches use this model of leadership. Any business, organization, religion or group of people that try to exclude others to preserve their way of life, their entity, has succumbed to patriarchy.
Here is the thing: Patriarchy is so five centuries ago. There is no growth in this model. It is not sustainable. It is certainly on its way out the door.
Go ahead, give it a fitting funeral and begin to revise your definition of leadership. Make sure you include others. It will help you get to your goals quicker.
When last did you re-visit how you personally define leadership? Have you fleshed out the patriarchal elements?
How are you making room for the “other” in your life, business, and organization as part of your leadership model?