The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Finding the leader

When teams work together, they search for ways to understand if they are on track.

Quite often, the project they are working on is new to everyone. It’s a situation in which they might neither know how the outcome may look like nor how to get there. It’s a difficult situation for everyone. Individuals are confronted with two desires. One is their desire to feel safe, for example by knowing what they do or by being able to explore possibilities without fear. And the second is the desire to feel safe in the group, for example through having a sense that the group knows what it does or what its objective is.

When neither of both is accessible, the group or the individuals will turn themselves toward whom they perceive to be the leader capable of giving the answer they hope for.

The one they might find easier to follow is the one that highlights all the dangers. That is because he is the one who is focused on protecting the team from danger.

The drawback is that by turning towards such a leader they cannot look at where they are and thus if they are on track. All they can see is the danger they are trying to prevent. It makes it harder to keep an eye on the direction they have chosen and if they are aligned with it.

As he highlights a danger, they turn their focus towards the danger. What nobody will then ask is if that danger is an obstacle to their objective. A named danger will be seen as having to be prevented.





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