oh captain, my captain

A tale of two leaders…

The opportunity of conflict and how one leads to create a resolution brought some insights to me this past week.  I learned that conflict reveals the noble or less than noble character of a leader.  Conflict also reveals one’s value toward something or someone for one is motivated to bring peace and stability to that which one loves and values and as quickly as possible.

Would a king sacrifice his queen?

By queen, I am not referring necessarily to a literal person but rather a principle or value; something that you stand by and grow with.  And that which you stand by and value defines you as well as your actions.

And I’m not talking about some little pet project  or a little nursery rhyme song to arrange.  I’m talking about building a dream; composing a symphony that draws out your heart and soul.

This past week, two leaders in my life revealed why I follow one and why I’ve lost feeling any sense of loyalty to another.  I’ve know both for relatively a similar amount of time.  Both are friends – ONE of which I devoted a great deal of time and effort towards helping to build his project.  It was rigorous.  I was one of the first people there and the last to leave but I enjoyed every moment of the 15 hour work day.  I happily gave up opportunities of work and performance elsewhere.

I thought he, OPOO, was a worthy king and I would’ve at the time helped build anything he requested.  I felt like a valued first chair in the orchestra and I took everything my “conductor” said to heart and wanted to create good work.

A conflict arose in his orchestra and he left it between myself and the other person to sort out our differences during a timely haitus during which he said he had a pile of “arrangements” to sort through.  He mentioned that he was happy with my work and that he was also excited to share something particular to me in the future.

That is fine and fair.  The hiatus was a welcome buffer and I was excited to see copies of what he wanted to share.   But a resolution between myself and the other “chair” was never met.

Four months later, the conductor began the new season with the full orchestra minus me.

And that was fine.  He was afterall, king and conductor of his project and I respected that and figured that he had to consider for himself about the best blend of sound he needed.

He never contacted me regarding the something he wanted to share with me.  More time passed and I saw the works he was creating and saw that I was edited out.   He pulled my name, picture and credit from what he was building without checking in with me.  He could’ve said thank you but that he wanted to continue composing his work without me.  He didn’t consider that those actions would break my heart and love for what he stood for.  The kindness that he once showed me to draw better art of myself cadenced to actions that I did not understand yet felt very acutely.

And I never said a word of complaint. I was gutted.  I didn’t know what to say.

Seven months passed before I wrote of it.

In the space of one paragraph, seven months later, this king that I was regarded with admiration is someone that I’ve become disheartened over finally contacted me, blaming me for not fixing the conflict.  He was angry and said that I am an unfair person.

It didn’t make sense to follow him after what HE did to insure that I have no loyalty toward him.

Contrast his leadership to another man who I’ve had some bumpiness with who incidentally took a three month hiatus to sort out his kingdom and yet made up a reason to say hello in the space of conflict and figure out how to build a bridge… to reveal to me his creativity, his strengths as well as weaknesses that he is working through – so that we can practice the creativity of forgiveness, being strong and composing something together.

He is someone I want to follow.  He compels me and inspires me.

I don’t just follow people around for everyone has their flaws.  My loyalties are to principles and values.  And people who represent these that their own humanity is transformational to themselves and to others are people that bring creativity and greatness to others and their respective lives.  Such people make life a work of art.

Are you a good king?  Are things well in your castle?

I hope all is well in your kingdom.


“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Martin Luther King


~ by jnetsworld on October 13, 2010.


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