the Basica

  A leader has two main tasks: to provide what those who are lead need in order to do what they must do and to get out of their way. What must be provided may vary from one situation or set of circumstances to another. That may include, but not be limited to, providing such things as information, direction, guidance, specific instruction, ideas, inspiration, encouragement, support, protection, and an example, in varying combinations and degrees. But all of this must be done in a way that allows the second requirement to be met. A leader who interferes with what needs to be done is no longer leading and is only in the way.

  Oppressive and dictatorial forms of leadership may accomplish showy short term results. But forcing a person into a constant state of complete submission and self-denial only brings on an ongoing condition of pain and stress. Pain and stress, whether physical or psychological, are damaging over the long term and can only cause eventual weakness and breakdown to both the individual and the system. No system can survive if its workers and supporters are continually assailed and harmed by it. Who will perpetuate it when even those new to it quickly come to hate and resent it, while those exposed over time cease gradually (and sometimes suddenly) to be able to function properly? The structure rots from within.

  Only where freedom, joy, meaning, and fulfillment are not only allowed but promoted can a system, organization, or movement bear any significant and worthy fruit over time. This is what separates a barrel filled from a healthy tree, possibly containing a few "bad apples" that can be dealt with appropriately, from a barrel in which every apple is corrupt before it even leaves the tree from which it came.

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