And in the end we follow them-
not because we are paid, not because we might see some advantage,
not because of the things they have accomplished,
not even because of the dreams they dream
but simply because of who they are:
the man, the woman, the leader, the boss
standing up there when the wave hits the rock,
passing out faith and confidence like life jackets,
knowing the currents, holding the doubts,
imagining the delights and terrors of every landfall;
captain, pirate, and parent by turns,
the bearer of our countless hopes and expectations.
We give them our trust. We give them our effort.
What we ask in return is that they stay true.
With leaders who are at times pirates, we can colour outside the lines and think outside the box. Organizations, institutions, and communities want leadership. Exploration of past times included pirates who navigated new and treacherous waters and helped find new nautical paths past the visible horizons. Yesterday, someone told me a recent comment I made about a need to name school and community values was received with openness and yet I felt that openness was not reflected by the group. Leadership is speaking one’s truth while honouring truths of others. It is a respectful rather than ‘relativism gone wild.’ What can each voice add to the conversation? It is lonely and dangerous being a pirate without others helping in the navigating.