Sharing Leadership Roles for Social Change

by Emanuel Kuntzelman


As we look up into the autumn sky it is likely that we will see a flock of geese flying in that familiar V-shaped pattern on their way to winter watering holes.  The geese I have met—mostly hissing at me in order to poop in peace on the running paths of Chicago’s Lincoln Park, don’t strike me as highly intelligent creatures, yet they manage to demonstrate a high degree of cooperation.  Did you know that the reason they fly in those V-formations is to create a natural windbreak so that the whole flock has more energy to travel great distances, and that they naturally rotate the point position among the entire group so that they all equally share the burden of leading the way?  It makes those bird brains look pretty smart compared to many of the so-called leaders of today.

These are interesting times, and we are quickly realizing true leadership does not come from traditional positions of power from the top down. In this redefining of effective leadership, it is so important for all of us to work towards grass roots change on a local level in every way we can.

In social transformation, large institutions will be the last things to change.  The bigger the institution, the slower the change.  Since government is the biggest institution we have, don’t look for it to lead the way or we shall be sorely disappointed.  Life in these times of exponentially accelerating change is supposedly governed by, well, government, but the more urgent the need for innovation, the more resistant our political and educational institutions seem to be.  Information on a computer chip can be doubled every 18 months but our government, even when operative, moves at the proverbial snail’s pace if it moves at all.

The last thing I want to do is make any sort of political statement. So, politics aside, I would simply like to make some observations on social organization.  Historical moments of transformation such as we are now experiencing are always accompanied by a fearful knee-jerk reaction to get back to the past, to the old ways, to fundamentalism.  In challenging times such as these, resorting to the outmoded thinking that got us into the problems we have, is hardly the solution and will not have a lot of staying power.

If we want to catch the wave of the future, we need to look far beyond political squabbles and individual self-interest.  There is a new groundswell of common sense, innate spirituality, social justice and environmental respect that fuses together in a movement that has staying power because it responds to the collective human code of fairness.  In her visionary book The Aquarian Conspiracy, Marilyn Ferguson foresaw back in 1980 that a time like now would arrive when the burgeoning number of organizations and initiatives, like Greenheart Transforms and all of our friends, would serve as catalysts to help synchronize a new community of cooperation that can experience the most innovative ideas of our times and lead us to a more promising era ahead.

It’s happening here and now, right before our eyes.  Don’t look back to the old leadership models.  Let’s all work together to create community that provides a nurturing environment for our human potential.   We can all be the change we want to see by taking our turn in leading the way forward.  Join a club, activate your principles, volunteer, lend a hand, attend a transformative event, flap your wings and fly into the future.


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