DBU Oxford Seminar Post-Trip

Before landing in England, I noted the “largely twenty-first century phenomenon of distributed power does not invalidate people’s attention and attraction to strong, individual leaders . . . people groups still look to a person to represent or personify their cause and values and at times accomplish it for them.” Having focused thoroughly on the concept of incarnational leadershipin light of a handful of notable English figures perhaps I might offer an explanation as to this human tendency. I alluded to the reason briefly by mentioning the people’s inclination to find those who “personify” their cause. Perhaps leaders emerge, and fewer those leaders whose legacy spans centuries, because they are those few persons who incarnate the work people desire to see accomplished.

Conceivably, even, there is a correlation between the magnitude of a leader’s legacy and the level to which he incarnated the cause. I might be able to offer a verygeneric scale of some sort:

Magnitude of Legacy = Level of Incarnation

Appreciated presently in a singular community = 1. Served the Cause

Appreciated presently by two or more communities = 2. Initiated the Cause

Appreciated in historical anthologies = 3. Employed for Cause, “Model the Way”

Glorified through tales and fables = 4. Lifelong Invest. to Cause, Sweat/Tears

Appreciated in common social dialog = 5. Life Invest. to Cause, Incarnation, Blood/Life

 I recently heard psychologist Jordan Peterson argue in response to some questions on socialism and collectivism that “if you are going to pursue things of value in a social environment you’re going to [unavoidably] produce a hierarchy.”[1]I would make a similar case for leadership. Regardless of the occurrence of the distribution of power, we will never see “the end of leadership” or the human attraction to strong, individual leaders because as a society who places value and emphasis on certain causes and goals, we will inevitably become aware of and lionize those individuals who partially or fully embody – incarnate – those values.


[1]Peterson, J. Accessed July 12, 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1PeOfbT_q0

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