Friday, November 28, 2008
sometimes you have to be a dragon, sometimes you get to be crow
“A world of beauty, a society of love, a life of abundance and joy are not mere fantasies. They are totally possible, assured, in fact, if the human race lasts long enough for everyone to learn the information we are sharing together here. Such a paradise is what Creation was meant to be, and all it requires is for us to apply what we already know. But we have to get going and move humanity quickly in that direction, because the threat of extinction on this planet is very real and very imminent. The purification prophesied by many of our old ones is inevitable. The only question is whether it means that we change or that we are obliterated.
If you dedicate your life to keeping one place beautiful and helping a handful of people to realize their full potentials, you will be as powerful and as effective as any leader who influences millions of people directly. But if you choose to go beyond that, by winning allies and supporters, there are no limits to what you can create in the world.”
The inspiring quote by Manitonquat is from an online book: Beyond You and Me; Inspiration and Wisdom for Community Building. His chapter is on p. 180. The entire book is inspiring, thought-provoking, and helpful.
In the same book, Starhawk, talks about moving beyond standard power-over hierarchy. To share power-among in meetings, one of her groups have developed a method of animal order:
"We’ve found that certain informal roles are useful in our organizations, our celebrations, and our actions. We’ve called them crows, snakes, graces, dragons, and spiders. The task of the crows is to keep an overview, to keep the groups’ direction in mind, to look ahead, and see to the big picture. The task of the snakes is to keep an underview, to notice what’s not happening, who is not present, what problems are brewing. Graces invite people in, make people welcome, expand the group, Dragons watch the boundaries, keeping track of the details and guarding against intrusions. And spiders sit in the center of the web, linking and communicating. At times these roles are formally designated. At other times, they’re roles we can each take on. They are all aspects of empowering leadership. When they are articulated, they can be shared and rotated more clearly."
A little later in that same chapter she says another something that jumped out:
"Empowering leadership means stepping back as much as stepping forward, not doing something you are good at so that someone else has a chance to learn."
The book is from the Scrbd site, which I recently discovered. It's a great place to find all sorts of free online books and articles on any imaginable topic.