There is a brilliant article on the idea of leadership being about hosting rather than being a hero.
Its brilliant, not because its a radical power to the people rage against the corporate machine type approach but because it seems so attractive, empowering and just makes sense.
Leaders who journey from hero to host have seen past the negative dynamics of politics and opposition that hierarchy breeds, they’ve ignored the organizational charts and role descriptions that confine people’s potential. Instead, they’ve become curious. Who’s in this organization or community? What skills and capacities might they offer if they were invited into the work as full contributors? What do they know, what insights do they have that might lead to a solution to this problem?
Leaders-as-hosts know that people willingly support those things they’ve played a part in creating—that you can’t expect people to ‘buy-in’ to plans and projects developed elsewhere. Leaders-as-hosts invest in meaningful conversations among people from many parts of the system as the most productive way to engender new insights and possibilities for action. They trust that people are willing to contribute, and that most people yearn to find meaning and possibility in their lives and work. And these leaders know that hosting others is the only way to get complex, intractable problems solved.
I absolutely love it when I host or am hosted. It just enables me to feel alive, more fully human, freeing and just great. My best moments, memories, experiences and times in life are when this happens. Can it not happen more in the work place, at church and in places or situations that seem to get a bit stuck into a rigid way of thinking?
I am aware how I have sometimes lost my ability to host and be hosted in some contexts.
That’s why I love good conferences, working and being over meals, talking, sharing, doing life and why when I lose site of that and shut that off I am a poorer friend, colleague and person.
I want to rediscover what it means to host and be hosted, to do it better and to live and work more fully as a result.