“What brings a fresh future into being is citizens who are willing to self-organize. An alternative future needs the investment of citizens – leaders not in top positions – who are willing to pay the economic and emotional price that creating something really new requires.” by Peter Block in Community – The Structure of Belonging
We are under the misinformation that leadership comes out of position. It may or may not. Position does not make or determine leadership. In fact, John Maxwell identifies position as the lowest rung of leadership (note Five Levels of Leadership).
What we have not realized is that leadership, the personal investment in change, where we step up to become part of the solution, can happen at all levels.
Leadership does not require position. And sometimes in fact, position hinders leadership. Common people, you and I, can lead from the middle. I often teach this when working with people in terms of their leadership capacity.
Lasting influence and impact come from those who invest their lives in the betterment of that thing, whatever is at the core of your heart. It comes from those who take up 100% responsibility for how something is and then set about making it better.
The one who would put down blame and excuses is powerful. Things happen, shifts are made, possibilities open up when any ordinary person makes a choice to stop deferring change to others.
Stop blaming the ‘leaders’, your parents, the school system, the government, the church, and et cetera, and you will find new energy, new reserves, new accountability to invest yourself in the whole.
When we put down our nit-picking, when we put down the waiting on someone else to fix whatever it may be, when we put down our excuses and rationalizations that justify our lack of involvement (or our lack of vision and personal risk), we put down the defeated past and we enter into future possibility and actual change.
Everything shifts and changes when we are taking responsibility for the state of things. There are no permissions required for this kind of influence. It is a matter of who you are. (And no one, has a ‘disallow button’ on who you are – unless you give this to them, in which case, you are playing small and safe).
You have what it takes to generate much encouragement and change for the society in which you live. The question is, how are you going to invest the significant force that you are? How are you going to invest yourself and to what are you investing? What is the image that you see in your mind’s eye toward a better future?
What do you want?
Step up and step in and become part of the solution. Offer yourself as part of a better future. Invest who you are and what you have. Stop making suggestions for solutions, and become a solution.
If you were to see one aspect of community and society, the context of our lives, changed, what might that be and how might you be a part of that change?