This is the fifth in our 6-part series of blog posts on the Cairn values. This week, Karl explores what it means for us to be empowering…
Core amongst our values at Cairn is the thought that true success is not found in being powerful, or even using our power for the sake of others, but rather in empowering people to run with the dreams that God has given them.
We hold this so dearly because we see that this is the way that Jesus led. His ministry is all about serving and empowering other people. We believe this because we understand that in this Kingdom ‘everyone gets to play’ and that the Holy Spirit’s plan for transformation is rooted in the full mobilisation of the entire body of Christ for the total work of God. He doesn’t seem to have a plan B.
In the 1950s Joseph Campbell wrote a book entitled ‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces’. It was a seminal book of how we understand the metanarrative of our world. His concept was the ‘mega-myth’, which forms the foundation of all the stories of our world … the films, the sagas the epics. The connecting story that connects all cultures is the hero’s story, the story of a hero and a quest. A story of a test and a sacrifice, a story of a mentor, a bounty won and a blessing for everyone. This is the screenplay of our world – the script for our ‘Star Wars’ our ‘Narnia’ our ‘Middle Earth’ fantasies. It is, of course, that we get to be the hero of our own stories and win the bounty for the sake of many. I would love to be the Aragon of my story, most likely so would you. It’s not surprising or wrong that I feel that way, but better, far better that, I am the mentor to many heroes and their quests. Better that I am Gandalf. Better still Jesus.
Benjamin Xander is a contemporary conductor, an expert in Brahms. In one of the most watched TED talks he speaks of an epiphany midway through his career when he embraced this value in his leadership. He realised that his was the name on the front of the cd, batten raised, and yet he never made a noise. His job, like every great leader, is to enable others to make the right noise – to leverage their ability to make a beautiful sound. He speaks of his ambition to conduct his orchestra so well, that they make the eyes of the audience shine.
Our job at Cairn is to empower people, to encourage, support and resource them. Our calling is to make other leaders shine. Our ambition is to catalyse, mentor, coach and champion thousands of leaders to run with God given dreams in such a way that one huge Kingdom dream might be fully realised. Our ambition is to celebrate their success, tell their stories and train them in this way of life.
If we are true to this value we will not be leaders who encourage followers, but leaders who empower leaders who in turn empower leaders.
Great leadership is not ultimately found in convincing others to serve your dream, it finds its truest expression in releasing and resourcing the dreams God has placed in others.