Friday, May 06, 2005

Freire Friday...on leadership

As soon as [potential community leaders] complete the [leadership] course and return to the community with resources they did not formerly possess, they either use these resources to control the submerged and dominated consciousness of their comrades, or they become strangers in their own communities and their former leadership position is thus threatened. In order not to lose their leadership status, they will probably tend to continue manipulating the community, but in a more efficient manner.

When cultural action, as a totalized and totalizing process, approaches an entire community and not merely its leaders, the opposite process occurs. Either the former leaders grow along with everyone else, or they are replaced by new leaders who emerge as a result of the new social consciousness of the community (p.112, chapter 4).

Leadership has been a buzz word for so long, I think we've misinterpreted it to damaging proportions.

For me, leadership is like a night out with dinner at a nice restaurant, where the waiter is the leader. You are greeted warmly and shown to your table...your chair is pulled out for you (nice extra touch that!) are offered a drink to start...the specials are explained in wonderfully appetising detail to are given a moment or two to chat lightly and collect your thoughts as you settle in for the evening...your order is taken (with the occassional nod of agreement, "nice choice ma'am") your meal arrives in its ala carte stages, while in the depths of mealtime conversation, you hardly notice the plates being cleared, your water topped up (the new knife by your plate to replace the one you dropped!)...all because of the attentive, yet slightly distant, waiter.

15 minutes of fame and glory just doesn't work in leadership!!

No comments: