Nov 10, 2016

When you really need a leader

Sometimes even leaders really need leaders.

There are several levels of leaders, which is apparent in any organization. There's The Big Guy or Lady on Top, who leads a whole bunch of people, and there's the little guy or lady who has leadership potential, but only has a few folks around him or her who are following their lead. In between, there are various levels of folks who lead others, either directly or by being on a team with them, or just by being that person who people look up to.

Every one of those leaders needs a leader to follow. And when times are tough, in times of huge transition, and when they just feel totally at a loss--they need that leader to be there.

So, who is it? Who do they look to?

Sometimes, when they find themselves at a loss, a leader may look towards their past. Maybe they have a mom or a dad who was their first leader, and they're fortunate enough to still have that parent available to talk to. Maybe they look to history, because every tough situation has been encountered before--they may ask "How did my favorite leader from history respond?" Maybe this is always the first step: look to the past, get your bearings. Answer the question, "Where do I stand?"

Then, they look to the future. "Okay, I know where I came from--where do I go now?" For that, they need someone big, someone who has a vision for the future they themselves envision. Someone who can, either literally or figuratively, with words of encouragement, tell them how to get where we want to go, even when it seems impossible. When things have come unraveled, this person won't be a person above them in a chain of command. It also is not likely to be a person who they recently looked to for leadership, because that thinking is what led them to where they are now.

When a leader has found themselves at a loss, unraveled from what they held to be true, they need to look around hard for that new leader. Look until they find the right person to follow. And if you don't see that leader anywhere around you--if you don't see who you can follow into the future, then maybe that person is you. Be that leader. Be that person with the vision, with the hope, with the words of encouragement. If everyone is looking at you, be the person who can get them where they want to go.

Nov 9, 2016

Do you, Mister Jones?

Needed to get out of the world this morning, needed some words, wanted to hear words written awhile ago by somebody who had a bigger understanding than that of any present situations. So, I listened to Bob Dylan. I'd never heard these words quite the same as I heard them this morning... to Ballad of a Thin Man. I put in my earphones and typed them as I heard them. Here's what I got. I'm still wondering if I'll be able to concentrate on anything having to do with the real world today. But, I'm much better off now than I was a couple hours ago when I woke up.

you walk into the room
with your pencil in your hand
you see somebody naked
and you say, who is that man
you try so hard, but you
don't understand
just what you will say when you get home
because something is happening here but you don't know what it is
do you, Mister Jones?

you raise up your head
and you ask is this where it is
and somebody points to you and says it's his
and you say what's mine
and somebody else says what is
and you say oh my god am i here all alone?
but something is happening and you don't know what it is
do you, Mister Jones?

you hand in your ticket
and you go watch the geek
who immediately walks up to you
when he hears you speak
and says how does it feel
to be such a freak
and you say impossible, as he hands you a bone
and something is happening here but you don't know what it is
do you, Mister Jones?

you have many contacts
among the lumberjacks
to get you facts when someone attacks your imagination
but nobody has any respect anyway they already expect you all to
give you a check
to tax deductible charity organizations

you've been with the professors
and they've all liked your looks
with great lawyers you have discussed lepers and crooks
you've been through all of F Scott Fitzgerald's books
you're very well-read, it's well-known
but something is happening here and you don't know what it is
do you, Mister Jones?

well the sword swallower, he comes up to you and then he kneels
he crosses himself and then he clicks his high heals
and without further notice he asks you, how it feels
and he says here is your throat back thanks for the loan
and you know something is happening but you don't know what it is
do you, Mister Jones?

now you see this one-eyed midget
shouting the word NOW
and you say for what reason
and he says HOW
and you say what does this mean
and he screams back YOU'RE A COW
give me some milk or else go home
and you know something's happening but you don't know what it is
do you, Mister Jones?

well you walk into the room like a camel and then you frown
you put your eyes in your pocket and your nose on the ground
there outta be a law against you comin around
you should be made to wear earphones
cause something is happening and you don't know what it is
do you, Mister Jones?