Four Dimensions of Leadership – Part 4
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
Wow, we are already at the end of our series on the Four Dimensions of Leadership. In case you missed it. Part 1 is Leading from the Inside Out, Part 2 is Leading from the Outside In, and Part 3 is Leading Side by Side. Today we’ll look at Part 4—Leading Upside Down. This dimension has the greatest potential for changing history. My history, your history, the history of our community, and perhaps the world. I know that sounds crazy but give me a minute or two to unpack this one for you.
I want to start with a few questions. How satisfied are you with our political leaders? How satisfied are you with the way things are going locally, nationally, or throughout the world? Please know that I believe we live in the greatest country the world has ever known. The problem is that we are expecting others, like our elected officials, to solve our problems. We want City Hall, Albany, or Washington to solve the problem when quite frankly, the problem is us. In my opinion, the best part about recognizing that I am part of the problem, is that I can also be the solution, and the only person I need to fix is me. Mother Teresa of Calcutta said it best, “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”
Throughout history, great change has occurred one person at a time. There is an old hymn that reads, “Lord send a revival and start the work in me.” Today we can start making our world better; however that “better” is defined. One person can make a difference. William Wilberforce spent his life as an abolitionist in Great Britain. He managed to get the Abolition of the Slave Trade Bill passed in 1807. Still concerned that it didn’t go far enough, Wilberforce spent the rest of his life campaigning to have slavery outlawed in Great Britain. The law passed just three days before he died.
What are you concerned about? What change is your heart yearning to see? How are your schools doing? Do you know your neighbors? Mother Teresa also said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” We can choose to extend love to people. We can choose to love our coworkers and our neighbors. The key to starting a path to change is to value people and unconditionally love them. This doesn’t mean that I agree with them on every topic, but it does mean that I value them as human beings. This small shift in thinking will start us on a path to great change. The change we all want. A community that can discuss things that we may disagree on, and then agree to change things for the better. A community where our collective future is pursued with joy and optimism. A community that isn’t waiting on others but one that is filled with people of value, who value others and who are Leading Upside Down
If this short post has piqued your interest, then please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 174 of the Next Page podcast as we take a deeper dive into Leading Upside Down.