Three Minute Leadership: the Joy of Interdependence

So often in our lives, when asked to undertake a task, we get into our ‘doer’ mode and start working on the task immediately.  Even if confronted with obstacles we persist on our own path.  We continue to choose our independence, a beautiful and noble trait that shows the world our self-reliance, our adventurous nature and our bold daring to face challenges. There is, however, another choice.  A simple story from Bits & Pieces Magazine helps illustrate it: “One day a small boy tried to lift a heavy stone, but couldn’t budge it.  His father, watching, finally said, ‘Are you sure you’re using all your strength?’  ‘Yes, I am!’ the boy cried.  ‘No, you’re not,’ said the father. ‘You haven’t asked me to help you.'”

To achieve our greatest potential may require at times the hand and hearts of another – an interdependence.  The wisdom of the great leaders’ journey has taught them the importance of this connectivity – that we can’t do it all alone, that there are others with greater skills that complement theirs, whose beautiful difference in knowledge and perspectives and whose leadership is required to resolve the issue at hand.  It is this choice of interdependence that is bolder, more adventurous and more daring.  It is a feeling that we are releasing control, showing our vulnerability.  It is in this very act that we demonstrate our strength of our independence – we  acknowledge that we know ourselves intimately: that we know our strengths and weaknesses and when the situation needs something more that we have to offer.  These are the quiet moments of personal greatness!

Margaret Wheatley in her book, Never Eat Alone, writes:  “Relationships are all there is.  Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else.  Nothing exists in isolation.  We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone.” And as Felix Adler tells us, we are like “pieces of a picture puzzle, each differing in shape, but matching the rest, and thus bringing out the picture.”  This week may you enjoy the richness and beauty of your independence, and also take time to revel in the incredible opportunities for growth and learning presented in yet unexplored interdependencies.  And have fun doing it.

Have a beautiful day and an incredible week!!!

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