Sunday, November 8, 2009

Leadership and Friendship

While overseeing a rather extensive program, I have frequently been faced with choices about what was best for the overall program. Often this includes creating opportunities for other people's skills and abilities to shine, but once in a while it can be a challenge to maintain relationships and also support the development of a high-quality program. In one particular instance many months ago, I chose to let go of an individual in order to allow growth of the broader program in new ways. Even though I liked this person and valued the connection, it was clear to me that he wasn't really a fit for the direction of growth I envisioned.

There are many circumstances in which I'm sure it is still true that who you know is more important than what you know. Our connections with other people are incredibly valuable, and I believe that the most inspirational visions evolve from partnerships. That being said, there are times in which a vision or purpose may require something beyond the capabilities of current connections. My preference would be to maintain the friendships and partnerships that I have in place while pursuing a vision or purpose that augments or surpasses them. This can involve some tricky navigation, and ultimately it requires partnership and understanding on the part of someone else.

I am a bit sad today that the connection I had with this particular person was not strong enough to survive my purposeful decisions. Even though I have tried on numerous occasions to reconnect, I received a clear signal recently that there was no willingness on the other side of the equation. At least not right now. What I want to do in the future is to more effectively and engagingly bring others on board with the vision(s) I create, so that the partnerships and connections I have are strengthened even in the midst of difficult choices. Still, to a certain extent, every partnership requires willingness on both sides.

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