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Friday, October 12, 2012


Is is a virtue? The military makes a big deal out of it. Business pays lip service to it. Politicians talk about having it. What’s it really all about? Getting people to do things that they would not normally do.

In the military it’s convincing people that it’s a good idea to charge a machine gun nest -and other things against their personal best interest. In business, it’s about getting more productivity out of people. That might be fine for the bosses and owners, but how does working harder benefit the peons? It only is of value to them if it helps them get into a management position where they can “lead” those below them.

Leadership is about getting people to set aside their own self interest for something else. Leaders can sacrifice their followers for the good of politicians, generals and CEOs. Religious leaders get people to give up wealth and pleasure for some supposed greater reward.

We are used to thinking of leadership as a good quality, but it all depends on the circumstances. A leader can send people to their deaths, or a leader may guide people out of a burning building. Leadership can be used for good, but it can be used for evil. Hitler was a very effective leader, but so was Gandhi.

I’m more of a fan of fellowship -everyone working together as equals, but with different abilities.

Picture it this way. A leader breaks trail with his band of followers behind him. In a fellowship, they take turns breaking trail so no one carries the full burden. The leader makes decisions on where to go and what to do. The fellowship makes joint decisions based on their differing knowledge and experience.

A fellowship shares knowledge and experience. It’s only natural that some people will have greater abilities in some areas than others. However, that knowledge is not kept secret but shared for the good of all. We don’t keep secrets to keep our leadership position as leadership has no great value for us in the first place. A fellowship is more resilient as the loss of one person does not fatally cripple the group.

Leadership has it’s place, especially in emergency situations where there isn’t time for a conference. Most of the time I’m all for fellowship and being neither a leader nor a follower.



  1. "Leadership" is a bunch of bullcrap the PTB brainwash us with in order to get us to follow the biggest pole smoker. Nobody with half a split pea for a brain needs "leadership". We are all our own "leader", if we'd just recognize that fact and act accordingly. We don't need "leaders", those charlatans have brought us to where we are. We need to lead ourselves by what we know is right. The rest will get what is coming to them. Karma is a bitch...

  2. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)October 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    The "Follow the Leader" game has put us in the place we are in now. There have been very few truly great leaders. Most are tyrants. And we allow it to happen - shame on us.

  3. I would not blanket condemn leadership. Jesus was a leader, Buddha was a leader, George Washington was a leader, Thomas Jefferson etc. etc. There are poor leaders and evil leaders, but without leadership very, very, little gets done. How many hospitals and universities were built without the leadership of a visionary? How many bridges, highways, airports were built by fellowship. Yes, bad leaders cause wars and other evils, but that is a quality of the leadership not leadership itself. Name the great ideas, inventions, or advances in the quality of life that arose out of committees. If we want to go back to the lifestyle of the Amish, fellowship could work, but that life is available to us and not many of us choose it.

    1. I did not condemn all leadership.

      Actually, most science is done by committee and collaberation.

      We don't have to live like Amish to have fellowship, but that's not all that bad either.

  4. Technically, I agree with you. Unfortunately, I believe that fellowship requires most or all of it's members to be leaders in their own right. Sadly, most folks are just ignorant sheep who must either be led or will perish.

    1. That's why a democracy can only work with a well informed public -educated, not schooled.

      For too long people have been schooled into being sheep. They don't have to be.

  5. I guess this is why I largely failed in retail management. Too much of the leadership training to bleed the employees dry in terms of productivity.

    Thanks for this post. It made a lot of sense.