Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Government in the Cloud / Continuing the Dream with Action on the Ground #servantleadership

The concept of servant leadership is an ideal. It trumps selflessness and sands down profit-seeking motives to the degree that the concept is exercised in our unique heart and minds. An inspiring way to act is certainly done by putting others first before oneself, yet in actuality this reality is not rampant across the land. 

  • How can we make it an ever increasing reality in our country?
  • What short and long-term value can people find in being of great service to others? 
  • How does our culture help or disregard raising kids with a focus on serving the community creatively?

The cultures in which we are brought up and eventually help sustain sees it as a foreign concept. Many of us live in a reality where we must work five to six days a week to make ends meet. There is no time for idealistic dreams when we are struggling to pay the rent or put food on the table. It would be quite a luxury it seems to have a lifestyle of service. Even people who are committed to serve and protect us, like emergency response personnel, doctors, police and our men, women and children in the armed forces can begin to see their work as just a job. That happens when the rank and file do not recognize the power they hold as individuals to be change agents.

The Notion of Play and how it Connects Servant Leadership to the Heart and Mind

Children naturally gravitate towards a rule of law where equality reigns. There is no desire to create a hierarchical play structure in kids. New ideas can come from anyone. People want to be loved and cared for and it is rewarding to love and care for others on a deep level and this is what we teach our children. In order for this to happen more, there needs to be freedom for individuals to choose HOW to serve according to what their interests and desire are. Not everyone wants to experiment with a holocratic skateboarding company concept, yet everyone can find something that they are passionate about and if it is worthwhile and to the benefit of the community they will apply their passion towards the empowerment of others.

Servant leadership happens best when things are allowed to unfold on their own and people feel that they are free to create, join, leave or even change parts of the process. In essence, people who want to ‘give back’ and care for their community do it out of the love and kindness of their heart in a sincere and genuine manner, as opposed to feeling forced to do so or with a misguided attempt to fulfill the expectations of others. Play is like this. It is recreational and floats well in an unstructured setting.

This kind of leadership is not about being called a leader, or gaining favor in the eyes of others…thats posing. In its purest form it is a form of altruistic love that starts with an intent to give without expectation of receiving. It is something that stems out from the heart. The person just wants to give of their time and energy. It is an attitude, a state of mind, an outlook as much as a continual decision to look outside of oneself with a sincere regard to make things better for other people. 

Is it possible that we can shift cultures across the land to bring light to the values and benefits of being pumped-up leaders in service? Are there competing agendas that take away from the growth and proliferation of more members of our communities to lead in service?

I believe so and to change that, the best way forward is to be the change we want to see in the world. That is standard cliche at this point, yet it becomes a true reality according to the sustained intention we consistently choose. Only go in service for something that interests you rather than what everyone else is doing. This is the best predictor of sustaining momentum in the service to others. If it doesn’t move and rivet you, it will be hard to continue on after the initial thrill is gone and then we are left with passion and energy that was raised up with nowhere to go. The successful servant leader will be serving in a way that engages them in heartfelt ways that also pique their desire to continue.

The idea of a ‘company in the cloud; is actually a play on words. What is actually implied is that the those in service to the community lead because of their great engagement to the cause and form a government in the cloud based on a principles of looking out for others in our communities and across our great land. A movement across the country like this binds everyone into an organization, regardless of what their unique passion for serving in the community is. It is as if a floating government based on the altruistic ideals of the founders, movers and shakers of our American quilt comes alive and operational through our hearts. This idealism in action is both durable and flexible and being sustained only by our decision to get up the next day and continue to serve. The ‘take-away’ here is that it must be genuine for you and for this to be so your heart must be in it. 

Changing people is hard if not outright impossible, especially the older we get. We get set in our ways to an extent. That is why it is pivotal to focus on growing this from the bottom up with children. Each new generation can grab hold of this idea because it rocks their heart in a healthy way. Suddenly then, life is not about making money, advancing a career, buying nice things or gratifying oneself… but about bringing value to others.

This job of changing the culture then cannot be left to one person or a group of people. It cannot be left to schools either or ‘others.’ That would be disempowering ourselves. No, instead, we can acknowledge that it is in us to be forces of nature for the good of others. Enough people doing this starts a movement of lovingkindness that is fierce in its determination to make things better. 

We need not combat the forces that prompt us to serve ourselves only. Instead, we can take leaps of faith that life gets better as we strive to effectively make it better for each other.

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