Friday, December 19, 2008

Starfish and Spiders

I’m in California this morning to meet with a group of pastors on denomination concerns. It’s my first time back to California since moving to Houston three years ago. Although today I am in So. Cal (Long Beach) and home during my West Coast Season was No Cal (Menlo Park) – it still very much feels like California. I’ve quickly been reminded of things I’ve missed and things I haven’t.
Flying out yesterday I nearly completed reading a fascinating leadership study, "The Starfish and the Spider: The unstoppable power of leaderless organizations."

Two quotes keep rattling around in my head:

"put people in open systems an they will automatically want to contribute [and contribute their best]" (wiki is a great example)

And my favorite thought:

"When you give people freedom you get chaos - but you also get incredible creativity"

The book is filled with examples ranging from the Quakers role in the abolition of slavery to the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous to the Apaches (both the Native American tribe and the operating system underlying most of the internet) to Craigslist and wiki as successful leaderless organizations.

A great read that I’d highly recommend for anyone interested in leadership.

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