Sunday, October 09, 2005

R - On Leadership

Why do some people show strong leadership in one part of their lives and not others? For example a military leader may be dominated in retirement by his wife or a successful manager may not take those skills into the home, even though they would clearly be useful. These leadership skills are the recipe for success in most situations and are associated with the primeval hunter but they can come at a high cost. I believe there are two principal reasons why they may not be shown in all scenarios, even among natural leaders. Firstly, the leader may not have the energy required to maintain both areas simultaneously. Secondly, they may not have the skills required to succeed in the other domain. The apparent lack of commitment that this shows can be damaging to domestic relationships, especially where greatness has been demonstrated elsewhere.

Lack of energy. Only the most aggressive control freak would find it necessary to lead or dominate all aspects of their lives. A more balanced leader is much more likely to abdicate certain areas of control to others when it suits them. After all, it is a time consuming and high risk strategy to try to be in control over everything. Where the stakes are low, the leader may simply allow a situation to continue unchecked. If a person is highly focussed on success, such as in a military campaign, isn't it unsurprising to discover that they do not put all of the same energies into their domestic lives? However, there is a risk that this gets out of hand and the action required to turn a situation round is suddenly much greater than anticipated.

Lack of skills. This is less obvious because most natural leaders do have the ability to gain skills necessary for success as part of their natural leadership qualities. Not many people have the skills necessary to get a team through a survival scenario and fewer still the mental fortitude to keep going despite all odds but those who anticipate such an event may choose to gain those skills, thereby making them natural leaders in such a scenario. So why not choose to acquire the skills necessary to maintain a harmonious domestic relationship?

It is possible (but unusual) that the leader is so far out of his depth that they cannot acquire skills. After all, a military or high performance business role is normally male oriented, where subordinates are relatively easy to understand and the rules of engagement clearly defined. Not all marriages are blessed with such clarity and not all leaders have to understand the complexities of feminine emotions. Is this the fault of the HOH for not defining the rules of engagement? Possibly but don't forget that the HOH needs clear rules himself to work towards - the kind that are offered by Loving Domestic Discipline but not necessarily found in time. The primeval hunter skills don't help within the household unless they are carefully applied, which, as already discussed requires energy and new skills. Perhaps the hunter has bigger issues to deal with. After all, as long as any indiscipline remains within the confines of the house, it does not expose the family unit to external threats. This is a risky strategy, however.

Finally it is important to note that not all successful leadership is male dominated or associated with primeval hunting instincts. The more cooperative side to leadership is also important, including in an LDD relationship, it is just that this article attempts to explain one particular apparent contradiction of the strong leader but weak HOH.



At 13.10.05, Blogger C's Correction said...

I find your article both enlightening and disturbing…

I have gained enlightenment in understanding the complexities of the military leader, this I thank you for. You have gone a long way to helping me comprehend the thinking behind such a mindset as a revered leader. I now understand how hard it must have been for him to make the necessary physical and emotional adjustments after his military campaign.

Your parallel with the manager I find rather disturbing. Is this your veiled attempt in telling me that you find your leadership at work preferable to that at home? Or that you are unable to control my myriad of emotions?
Darling R, as my respect for you grows, my ability to discuss decreases… I feel somewhat hurt by your article but feel that airing my views by being objective I am inadvertently disrespecting you.

Your thinking is clearer than mine. You are altogether deeply sagacious; more intelligent; more stable; stronger; more thoughtful; altruistic; logical and calmer than me.

I on the other hand, am a whirlwind of confusion; turmoil of emotions; a hurricane of feelings and desire. I am volatile, selfish and blindly demanding. My world does not inhabit the same order or structure that your world does…

I need your leadership and strength to carry me through… without leadership then everything else described in could not be realised. Leadership is the pivoting point which pulls all other aspects of LDD together. In other words if you consider the analogy of building a house: Without a solid foundation no matter how strongly you build it the house will collapse. Leadership is this foundation and this must be realised and worked on for everything else to fall into place.

My deep love,


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