Leadership Paradoxes (2) – The People Paradox.

It is one thing to talk about aligning vision and institutions to the vision etc., but end of the day, if one has to take the vision forward, there has to be the alignment of people to this vision. But people are the paradox! 

On one hand there will be the 9 to 5 people who are only bothered about their daily work and emoluments and on the other hand people who want to change the world. For the latter even the institutional or organizational vision is too small and the former, all these vison discussions are “foreign” and "irrelevant". There will be others for whom the “one patient cured” is enough whereas for someone else the health care system has to change through what they do! A just and equitable society is what drives the latter whereas thanks from one patient helped is what drives the former. Some will see “New Heaven” and New Earth” as their dream others will see one life saved as their dream. There will be many who are only there for the job and willing to go along as long as their lives do not become too complicated with all these vision discussions.

It is the community of such people which makes taking forward the vision challenging. There will be some who will fast align, who will take their own time and others who will not want anything to do with these discussions. Someone has said, if there were no people, how easy it would have been to take forward the vision God has given me!

But this paradox of people has to be addressed, otherwise one will be struggling alone to take forward the vision. So the question would be, how does one work with these complex communities? It is important that one recognizes that people respond differently and then work with people based on their “perceptions” and “Paradigms” of thinking and learning.

Some will need to be logically and rationally told – that this is what they have to do – 9 to 5, and that if this is not done, the purpose for which we have been kept there will not be fulfilled! Some will have to challenged through relationships to reflect on the big picture and motivated to move ahead. Others will spiritually led to see all these vision etc. as part of a larger Kingdom purpose. Which means that no single model will work in a complex community of people. Logical people will need clear instructions, reflective people will need relational motivation, others spiritual revelation through word.

Role modeling by ones daily life of work, lovingly facilitating people to move ahead, leading by consistently communicating the revealed vision are ways by which one can align people.

But this takes time and effort and after all the effort put in, some may not move ahead at all! Then what do we do – do we give up on our vision or on the people? People – can we give up on some so that the vision moves ahead? What would the master have done – how long does one tarry before giving up? Or do we give up on both and move on to another role – but there also will be people!


That is where one needs God given wisdom and discernment – to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves, to know that if God has given the vision, he will work alongside to align situations and people to move ahead. End of the day, the vision is not mine….

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