Dictator Leaders Can’t Handle Your Freedom

Sunset at Skinners Pond Harbour Beach, in silence, without talking.

“There’s no “I” in team, Grif. (Church)
Ya, and there is no “U” either.
So if you’re not on the team, and I am not on the team, nobody’s on the god damn team. The team sucks!”

(Red Vs. Blue)

I don’t talk much any more. Well, not as much. I wish it was even less though, but I am still a reserved extrovert after all, so things still leak out of me. If you read nothing else, take time to read the quotes in this article.

If there is anything I avoid today it is people talking about leadership.

“Solitude is out of fashion. Our companies, our schools and our culture are in thrall to an idea I call the New Groupthink, which holds that creativity and achievement come from an oddly gregarious place. Most of us now work in teams, in offices without walls, for managers who prize people skills above all. Lone geniuses are out. Collaboration is in.
But there’s a problem with this view. Research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption.”
(NYTimes’ The Rise of the New Groupthink, Susan Cain)

Leadership is something that was forced on me as a cultural shift came to influence what my job was about. I wanted to serve, not lead…. and when my choice of service became more and more about leadership, I ran….. I am the “INVISIBLE: humanitarian after all, I don’t want to be visible, the guy up front, out front.

I used to talk and share my opinions freely at meetings, thinking that this was the point. One day, after many years in the game, I realized that very few “team” meetings ever changed much of anything ….. ever. This has been my experience anyway.

Then we have these other meetings, the ones giving a façade of collaboration, to candy coat the fact that it’s really about telling you what to, i mean, a hem, “we” will do. Frankly, this is what leadership is now.

“There is no I in team.” Until someone pointed out the “i” is in the “A” hole.

The “A” hole is anyone who would say the likes.

Sometimes we share the same dream, other times we don’t. So! So?

Those touting such phrases are mostly those with the power, the agenda setters, and they are using the, “There is no “i” in team”, to slap, bully, and manipulate people to shut up, sit down, and run with their program, or get lost. Stop rocking the boat. Get on board, or go away. They do not want your input, just your manpower. To be their cog…..

“There’s no “I” in team, Grif. (Church)
Ya, and there is no “U” either.
So if you’re not on the team, and I am not on the team, nobody’s on the god damn team. The team sucks!” (Red Vs. Blue)

“The longer human institutions survive, the more privileged the ruling class becomes, the more excessive………and the more power can be manipulated to reward those who kneel at its altar” (Wayne Jacobsen)

Bottom line, if I value what I see, I will work with you on it. If I do not see the value, I won’t. You should do the same. You are welcome to do the same. Toss whatever labels our way leaders choose, but let us please stop bullying, marginalizing, and threatening people by tossing labels.

I heard a leader say that, “Complainers (a label) don’t want solutions.”  Sure, guy, again, the only solutions being tabled are yours, guy with the power and priviledge. Slap them in line or marginalize anyone who says “NO” with some derogatory term. Is there really no peacful way to say, “No, I’m not running with that”,  to leaders, without criticism?  Not in this kind of leadership.

The most clear, innovative, and fruitful people I know live their lives apart from group think. This choice, in fact, is exactly why they are so incredible, and innovative in their activity. They are not restrained by slow team think, or the norm. Yep, group think often retards activity and certainly originality.

“Decades of research show that individuals almost always perform better than groups in both quality and quantity, and group performance gets worse as group size increases…..
People in groups tend to sit back and let others do the work; they instinctively mimic others’ opinions and lose sight of their own; and, often succumb to peer pressure.” (NYTimes’ The Rise of the New Groupthink, Susan Cain)

What I have observed is that the active, innovative people are gleaning from people all the time, naturally. Through their daily interaction with a plethora of people, they continuously glean perspective, input and the insight required for clarity of purpose and activity. They don’t need meetings.

Anyone who would say something like “the “i” in team is in the “A” hole.” Is the “A” hole incarnate. Anyone who lables those with opposing views, as negative, whiners, and complainers, is a manipulator. These terms are used to dismiss, ostracise, punish, silence, or marginalize someone, serving as a warning to others watching to stay in line, because, see what nastiness comes to those who step out of sync.

I do not want to be a participant in this game.

They can’t handle your freedom.
Run! Run from them, you are a tool to them, not a friend.

“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” Lily Tomlin

Collaboration, and especially partnership, is always willing, and chosen. Character respects you when you are not willing, or choosing.  When it is forced, or manipulative, it is no longer, friendship, family, or fun. It’s leadership rape.

The world believes the solution to everything is better Leadership….. that is a false premise.  I don’t think better leadership is the solution.. I think how we do leadership IS ACTUALLY the root problem. In things like family, mariage and many of our organizational systems.

I am thankful I can work on a remote boat, and hidden away in some forgotten little corner of the wildness in Mali, West Africa.

I don’t want to  be in any position to tell you what to do. I do not want to design programs to keep you busy, or create some way for you to get “plugged in” without developing the skills that enable you to figure that out for youself. This is the root problem here; you are asking me what to do. You should not be. It is a symptom of  a deeper problem. An inability to hear the true heartbeat.  Tossing you into my machine to keep you busy only masks the issue. People  hearing and in tune with the true heartbeat will find they have no shortage of great things to do. They certainly are not waiting for me to create something to plug them into.

I would love to assist you on a journey that enables you to figure that out for yourself.  You do not need my voice, my ideas, my voice to tell you what to do. You need to learn how to hear that other voice for yourself.

You don’t need a leader, you need a life. Go live it, and figure out what to do for yourself, instead of hanging on to other men’s (mostly men’s) whims and words as if we are in some kind of perpetual childhood.

You have a better leader than this.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Karen Hooper says:

    Never was into the group thinking & needed to hear this ! Too much pressure to be moulded by the powers that be .!


  2. Karen Hooper says:

    Glad the individual person can still express their opinions , ideas . Will never be popular & almost always be stifled but God hears & cares . Thanks for this – needed to hear it . Never was into Group thinking ! Lol my brain just won’t go there . Lol


  3. Nadine says:

    Beautifully written. It’s exactly what I needed to read, right now, at this stage in my business/life. I really appreciate that you took the time to write this. Thank you.


    1. Thank you for taking the time to wade through this article…. I wish you clarity on your journey, and in the choices you need to make.


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