Ten Points of Leadership

At Margie’s request [see previous article], here are Ten Points of Leadership, which I prepared many years ago for a poster at workshops. They are a summary of the parts of RC leadership theory that are most important to me. You might have a different list. 

1. Decide to lead.

Choose one thing you want to change.

Tell your counselor, “I decide . . . .” (Use the present tense.) Let yourself discharge, and say whatever thoughts and memories come to mind. At some point you will start thinking of specific steps you need to take. Telling your decision is important, even if you made it a long time ago.

Communicating your decision will bring your chronic distress to the surface for discharge. This doesn’t seem to depend on the scope of the decision (“I decide to never yell at my children again” or “I decide to end racism in my city”). Making a decision contradicts the distress recordings of powerlessness and insignificance that are installed on us as young people.

A “decision” is different than a “direction.”

2. Allocate resources wisely.

Figure out how to use your time and energy well. Use your wisdom and intelligence. Discharge will help.

It is difficult to know when to say no, to refuse to help. It is also simple. When I asked Harvey Jackins, “How do you know what to do?” he answered, “At any moment you do what makes sense.”

You will be pulled in different directions. The more you discharge, the more people will want your attention. This makes it challenging, because we never expected to be leaders. We are pleased to be wanted. It is important to check whether your actions are consistent with your long-range goals.

Be sure to build strong RC Communities. It is important (necessary, if we want to change the world) to lead both within RC and in the wider world. Infuse the power of RC into your wide world work.

3. Build alliances.

Build close, honest relationships with others—especially with people who are different from you.

No one person has enough understanding to do this work in isolation. We fall into the trap of generalizing from our own limited experience.

Listen to the many different stories from people of other backgrounds (class, and so on). Don’t generalize from listening to one person of a different background than yours.

4. Seek unity.

Make friends. Where do you agree? What do you both want to do to make the world a better place for people?

Work to increase understanding.

Center your efforts on a progressive policy and program (for example, ending war, hunger, poverty, child abuse) rather than on painful emotion (for example, burning the U.S. embassy).

Learn about what will bring about the political change you want to see.

5. Identify new leaders and support their development.

There is a great need for leaders. No one person has enough time or energy, or a wide enough perspective, to bring about the transformation of society. It is particularly beneficial and necessary to support leaders who have different backgrounds and identities than yours. This requires you to identify areas of unawareness in yourself and to learn from their perspectives.

6. Distinguish between tactics and strategies.

A tactic is an attempt to improve a particular situation—for example, electing a particular person to office, calling a strike, stopping a development that will pollute a river. These are important struggles. Choose ones that you can win, and use them to make friends, build confidence, organize, and learn. But don’t confuse tactics with overall strategy. You can lose a particular battle, but the struggle can still be useful in developing a larger strategy to transform society. Strategies are long-range. They depend on organization, discharge, and building unity.

Organize, organize, organize! Building strong RC Communities is organizing for wide world change!

7. Prepare yourself to handle attacks effectively.

Attacks and diversions are often initiated by privileged groups or individuals who feel uneasy about and threatened by change—particularly change that will promote a more just society—or by people who use attacks to get attention for themselves, to feel important, or to compensate for being silenced by their parents or other authorities (religious or educational, for example).

Attacks are attempts to decrease the effectiveness of a person or a group. Individuals who are attacked by vehement criticism and threats may become afraid or silenced—or be so distracted or confused by the attacks that they function less effectively. People who see someone else attacked may be afraid to speak out. Groups are attacked in an attempt to undermine their ability to implement more equitable policies and practices. Rumors and innuendos about sex, money, or motives are often used.

8. Get enough exercise, rest, discharge, and play. Have fun.

If you are exhausted and stressed, you cannot have fun, and you cannot lead effectively if you are not enjoying it. Distinguish between worry and productive work. They are different phenomena.

9. Choose to be hopeful—and communicate hopefulness to others.

Many young people are inundated with messages that they cannot make a difference. That and their confusion about the irrationality they see in the world (war, poverty, abuse, oppression, and so on) create patterns of hopelessness, which some people try to disguise as apathy or cynicism.

There is good reason to be hopeful. And communicating hopefulness to others will help build a community of wide world changers around you.

10. Don’t seek perfection!

You will fail. You can’t be perfect, but you can be effective.

Attempts at perfection come from childhood distress recordings, for example, “If I were perfect, my father would approve of me.”

Julian Weissglass

International Commonality Reference Person for Wide World Change

Santa Barbara, California, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of wide world change

(Present Time 186, January 2017)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00