Rik is learning to lead

Great post by Rik on The Click Heard Round the World: Learning to lead:

Fundamentally, I need to invest more of me in my work. Not to let Rik the Quaker, Rik the dancer, and Rik the manager exist in these seperate spheres but really let all these integral pieces of myself come out in whatever settings I find myself leading.

I met Rik through Quakers in Second Life, but his blog extends through the whole of his life. I left a comment:

What great reflections Rik. I have felt similar ambivalence about exercising leadership at times.

My experience of leadership in a Quaker context (which could be a whole, messy, complicated essay, but I’ll avoid that here), has been that there are at least three elements that have contributed to my leadership: skill and two kinds of giftedness.

First is the gifts I just carry with me: self-confidence, an orderly intelligence, being an INTP.

There are skills on top of those gifts, which can be developed, that add to or extend them: ease with public speaking, good filing skills (or not!), education on the topic.

Then there’s another kind of gift I’ve experienced, that I’ll describe in religious Quaker terms: God gives gifts to the community, through individuals. The gift is exercised by me, but neither comes from me nor belongs to me.

I’ve experienced these three things most clearly in the various times I’ve been a recording clerk. I clearly have inherent gifts and skills that are put to good use in being a recording clerk, but unless the second kind of giftedness is present, it’s not pretty.