You've to read this one if you're into collaboration. (Courtesy - David Gurteen's RSS) :)
Comments from yours truly: Excellent stuff! I enjoyed reading this passionate article of yours (Dave's) immensely. But then, I have a few things to say - Yeah...collaboration is the way to go; but I think natural leaders will emerge in any group that you bring together - whether you like it or not. What we probably need are leaders who are 'genuine' leaders - those who know when to follow and when to let some one else lead! I read this fascinating article on how some birds fly (was that geese?) and how they take turns in leading the flock! But yes, the downside when it comes to human beings is - once a leader, always wanting to be the leader - ego, power et al. I don't see any way out. Blessed are the teams that have a 'leader' that will let others be leaders when the situation calls for it. Somewhere, deep inside, each of us wants to find the leader in ourselves, even if we weren't the type that wants to crush others in the way. The bottom-line is this in my view - Collaboration is a paradoxical concept that still calls for leaders that can also follow. How the team manages and balances this paradox determines its success! :)
Response from Dave!
Thanks for your comments. The only leaders who I have respected as genuine are those that reflect and pursue consensus, rather than using power or rhetoric to overcome resistance. I think the desire in all of us to be leaders is a latent sign of competitiveness that comes out in times of stress. When there's an ecological crisis in nature, the dominant ones, the alphas, come to the fore and behave very aggressively, killing the weaker animals and hoarding food until the crisis is resolved. It's nature's balancing mechanism of last resort, and the fact such behaviour is so prevalent in man indicates, I think, how intense the stress of our modern, overcrowded, unsustainable 'civilized' world is. /-/ Dave