============================================================================ From: "Carolyn Ballard" <•••@••.•••> To: "Richard (cyberjournal) Moore" <•••@••.•••> Subject: Leadership Essay Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 21:22:13 -0800 Richard- I was absolutely delighted to read the essay you forwarded on leadership by Rosa. Since becoming involved in the activist movement over the past several years, one of the things that's disturbed me is the horribly negative reaction to the role of leaders within the movement. So ubiquitous was the anti-leadership thinking of those within the movement (particularly among the youngest members), that I began to re-examine my own thoughts on the topic. I realized that I had always taken leadership for granted as a necessity, whether in business, government of political movements. However, I could never come to agree with this new thinking and reject my own notions about leadership. Instead, I continued to believe that leadership was and is a necessity. This became crystallized in one of those brief, illuminating incidents of life, when I participated in the A16 march in Washington. Our little band of university protesters had gathered outside the hostel that Sunday and began marching and chanting our way to the Ellipse, where the main protest event was occurring. Accompanying us on this approximately 8 block march was one of the legal observers. After a block or so, it became apparent that no one knew exactly which route we should be following. I was at the tale end, along with the "leader" from UNC-C and the legal observer. At that point, the observer became frustrated and told the UNC-C leader: "Your group needs a leader to show the way!" And that is precisely what Rosa has pointed out. In group actions -- whether as small as a family unit or as large as a nation -- we need leadership. True leadership is not authoritarian, heavy-handed or independent. It is collaborative, democratic, interdependent, facilitative and even visionary. Unfortunately, this current movement (and generation) has formed its notions of leadership from the model used in American business, which in turn took its model (and post-WWII leadership) from America's military-style of leadership. THAT kind of leadership is authoritarian, heavy-handed and independent and disempowering to all but an elite group. I applaud Rosa and you for bringing this very crucial topic before the RN-CJ members. In my opinion, it is a topic that deserves our imminent and focused attention, if we hope for any success in turning back the neo-liberal revolution. I also concur with Rosa's observation that there's a distinct difference between the terms leadership and leader, with distinctly separate and opposite meanings. Too often, we see looking back on the history of various popular movements -- from the feminist to the environmental movements, for instance -- that they have indeed thrown the "baby" of proven means or ideas out with the "bathwater" of the new. The anti-globalization movement today cannot afford that in the case of the proven role of leadership. In peace, solidarity and best wishes for a meaningful holiday season, Carolyn ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~***~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." - Flannery O'Connor - ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~***~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ============================================================================ Richard K Moore Wexford, Ireland Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance email: •••@••.••• CDR website & list archives: http://cyberjournal.org content-searchable archive: http://members.xoom.com/centrexnews/ Please take a look at "A Guidebook: How the world works and how we can fix it" http://cyberjournal.org/cj/guide/ A community will evolve only when the people control their means of communication. -- Frantz Fanon Permission for non-commercial republishing hereby granted - BUT include and observe all restrictions, copyrights, credits, and notices - including this one. ============================================================================ .