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Leaders Create Community


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I had an opportunity this week to address a group of educators on leadership.

One of the things I said to them was, “A school is the hub of a community, and a community is the hub of the world.”

I am not in the habit of christening my own comments as profound, but I realized as soon as I’d uttered it that it resonated through the room.  I hadn’t planned the comment in advance, which perhaps added to the effect.

It started me thinking about the goals and outcomes of leadership.  Though I often talk about my own family, and leading within the familial context, this, while tremendously important, cannot be the limit of my leadership if I am truly a leader.  I must apply principles I learn in the leading of my family to other contexts: micro to macro.

Given that followers need trust, relationship, hope–surely these are the ingredients of community.

The core questions, then, become, “How do I lead in such a way as to bring these about, and how can I be certain they have transpired?”

This is “The Hope of ‘What If?’”–to imagine that it is possible to extend the concept of family to the entire world–daring to wonder how community, and therefore outcomes like peace, justice and subsistence might be achieved, and then leading toward them with intent, confident that they are, in fact, possible.

And this is why the family is so important, for if I cannot lead to achieve peace, justice and subsistence (among others) there, what business do I have in assuming I might lead others to them elsewhere?

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