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Three Fears, Three Joys

On September 03, 2010, in Leadership Plus, by Neculai Fantanaru

Rise above your own weaknesses, without affecting the well-defined essence of your leadership.

Lord Glenarvan, together with his little crew, of which were part and Mary and Robert Grant, rushed into the unknown, with the thought of finding Captain Grant. For months, they crossed seas and oceans, with no result. Reaching the shores of Australia, they were stuck for good in their search, especially since their ship, Duncan, had been damaged. They felt like hikers abandoned by their guide on a desert island.

Quite by chance, in their search on the island, they found the Scottish Ayron, one of the shipwrecked men of Britannia vessel, whose captain was Harry Grant. Lord Glenarvan, who was the initiator of the search expedition, and also the leader of the entire crew, aware that their roads were blocked and that his erudition was in vain at that moment, he demanded Ayron's opinion, asking for his advice, and demanding him to lead them through the woods of the province Victoria to the Eastern coast. Ayron accepted:

- Thank you, my lord, for the trust you gave me, and I hope to be worthy of it. I know this country a little, and I will be helpful to you.

Leadership: Do the situations you traverse by accessing a guiding role gradually and fundamentally modify what happens to the image discovered by the view raised towards an invisible point?

When the music changes, the dance changes as well. There is nothing more enviable than the destiny of those heroes who have achieved great things. However, the important man is the one who had led them to success. Ayron, who imposed himself from the very beginning with a sharp personality, became the only guarantee to save Harry Grant. His presence was an invincible force. The physical and moral energy of the small crew led by Lord Glenarvan, reaching its maximum intensity, would have given up if their savior had not appeared - envisioning them a future fulfillment of their goals, thus edging hope into their souls.

The main challenge the leader had to face consists of disappointing results. Deserted on the shores of Australia, Lord Glenarvan, whose knowledge of guiding the entire crew based on every moment of the journey, had reached the moment when he had no more power. It was the moment when, for the first time, his forces had left him, and he had no longer the same self-confidence. For the first time the crew shared his fears. Because their Duncan ship was damaged, and they had no map to rely on Australian land. Besides, they had not advanced at all in their quest to find Captain Grant.

An invisible point is a test of appreciation of the distance you travel without a precise target, against the background of challenges that test the limits of your abilities to manage certain situations from which you might not escape. In leadership, this thing can be translated through the following phrase: man no longer belongs to himself, but to the events he does not consider himself guilty of.

Leadership: Do you subscribe to the plan of the tendency to be self-sufficient in the stages of the reality you explore?

To be part of the plan of the tendency to be self-sufficient in the stages of the reality you explore, means to be aware of your temporary condition as a leader and to try to position yourself in another strong post, that involves a certain comprehension of your Self. Try to know the limits of your involvement in a large project before you develop an objective perspective on the role you play in the dynamic of the events.

The science to exert yourself as leader, together with the science to keep yourself at a distance from the „primordial effects" in order to objectively observe, judge and analyze the facts, can receive the most priceless lesson that you can learn from monitoring a long chain of adversities.

Someone who permanently renews himself carries on forward and extends his privileges over the space-temporal experience, fructifying the reason core of the theory according to which "a look from the outside can give you a better perspective, while a look from inside the borders prolongs your imprudence".

If the connections of leadership disappear together with the privilege to detach from the reality that you experiment, you will automatically spare the input of your inner voice that whispers relentlessly: "Are you aware of your own capacity to do everything?" This is how the directions of approaching leadership are misunderstood, as well as the causes that determine the apparition and proliferation of the depth phenomenon called "reflection".

To identify the deficiencies of your own self-knowledge in order to subsequently fill them out, this won’t encourage you to take attitude and go to the bitter end. But it will awaken a certain dose of awareness that will alienate the opprobrium and inconsideration of others.

Leadership: Can you pay more attention to your position in regards to what you’ve missed sight of, taking into account the probability of staying too much in one place?

A drop of wisdom. In every leader's life there comes a time when everything seems to be collapsing. Then, wisdom urges him to leave the place to another one who will be more useful than him.

In that crucial moment, Lord Glenarvan's wisdom was tested, not his courage or his spirit of initiative. Meeting Ayron, he gave his place, the leading position, to him, because he no longer felt able to reach his goal. It would have been a wrong decision if they were stubborn to continue the search expedition without knowing which way to go.

You cannot progress if you stand still. Sometimes, you have to give up your position of the leader and transfer the rights conferred by this function to somebody else, to be able to step forward to a hopeful future and to evolve. All probability calculation formulas would have given little chance of success to the crew, with Lord Glenarvan as its leader, no matter how autodidact he was. All his knowledge could produce no results compared to the ability of Ayron, the Scotsman, who knew the territory, and knew almost certainly where the captain was.

What you can lose sight of throughout your journey, as a manifestation of a conscious attempt of forcing the changing of events, is a generalization of suspicion and fear in an area of the ridiculous, when you become frightened by what you might find at your destination; not even mentioning how you might want to return to "civilization", to the old life story.

To face the hardships and dangers of the journey means to depend entirely on your personal ability to decide what is best for you, without standing in the way of the success that awaits those who follow you.

Three fears, three joys. In my opinion, a leader is afraid of three things: to lose his power of influence because of his disappointing results (which means to be dismissed from his position), to express his feelings openly, and to make enemies.

Lord Glenarvan showed a great maturity in thinking and a high capacity of understanding, giving up his position of the leader to the Scotsman. He understood that his crew had no chance to succeed with him leading them. Thus, he rose above his own weaknesses, without affecting the well-defined essence of his leadership.

You cannot stop, nurse, encourage people with promises in vain. You cannot lead them living with the regret that you do not know which one is the direction you should follow.

Nevertheless, it was a great joy to Lord Glenarvan and to his crew to be around of the one who, fully devoting to a dangerous mission, could fulfill it. It was a great joy for him to be able to communicate with Ayron openly, without any conflict of interest. It was a great joy to escape the burden of shame and even of his conscience because he was not able to achieve his goal.

Leadership is the journey towards an UNKNOWN that lures you in many ways by raising curiosity, but that leaves you with a gruesome message in your consciousness: "once you have stepped on my path, you can no longer give up on me."

Conclusion: Like anyone who has a higher level of influence, the leader has his fears and joys that appear in critical situations, when it seems that he no longer has ways out of the impasse, or in situations of success which enjoys everyone. Like a sun that rises and then sets, the leader must know when and how to pass the baton in order for the initial goals to be achieved.

When the tree fears become real, and especially when another man more competent than you arises, you must admit and give him your place, no matter how painful it would be. Be glad that there is still someone able to accomplish what you have started.

* Note: Jules Verne - The Children of Captain Grant, Editura Herra, 2003.


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