In response to the post, “It’s a Small World,” and the subsequent comment, a reader writes:
In actuality, Moses did get to see the Promised Land as he was lead to the top of Mount Nebo. But, what he did not get to do was to actualize personally the fulfillment of the promise given to him for his descendents. That opportunity was not afforded him because as a leader he took all the responsibility upon his shoulders for the success and failure of those he was leading. He stepped into a position that was not for him. Under the pressure of being number one he became the one left behind. You would think that he would have learned that lesson from his leadership training in Egypt where today pyramids are only markers of past failures not modern successes. You would think he would have learned that lesson in his field training where he was mentored by one who would always be greater than him.
The success of leadership in any organization is not who will be number one but how well do we actualize the promise that not “one” will be left behind. We cannot build our hopes on the shoulders and backs of others for the simple reason that they were never meant to be strong enough to bear the burden of our success (or failure.) When we begin to define success as a vertical achievement we may experience the same decline and fall known in another biblical illustration called “The Tower of Babel.” Their failure was because they desired to raise themselves above the rest without building first the kind of foundation that would support the effort. Perhaps too many schools are struggling today under the weight and pressure of exemplary schools simply because they want to build vertically for themselves instead of laying a broader and more stable foundation for everyone. The task is too great for one person and too important for it to focus on clambering for the pinnacle.
The lesson from Moses may be “the one left behind is the one who forget the team effort.” I agree with you that we can certainly learn from the past and not duplicate failures or spin our wheels on past successes. I would press each of us further to remember the goal of our leadership and not focus on leadership as the goal.”
Leadership isn’t a job, it’s a calling. CL, great post!
Think. Work. Achieve.