I have spent years working and much study on the role of power in important relationship. I’ve certainly experienced the challenges that every leader of people creates or is created for them through what I label “significant relationships.” Also, it is clear to me that leaders can grow in their role and in the process become a gift to those they lead. In fact, growth, when it happens is reciprocal and that as the leader begins the process of personal growth so does their environment begin to change and the people within it discover that they too must choose between “growing or going.” Nothing remains the same.
But this paper is not about power. It is about dependency and from the perspective of the one in power this is or becomes a profound experience. It is the experience I began to go through after my valve replacement and the triple by-pass on October 29th, 2015. The people that literally took over my life were remarkable in the care given to me, and this by each person that touched me.
It begins with my wife, Lenette, who has dedicated her very existence to my well being. This is not obligatory, but a true labor of love and I am unable to reciprocate. Also similarly with all the professionals and other care givers that entered my life. So the experience is one of acceptance. There is no pride, argument, resistance only compliance. When is the last time you’ve experience that level of helplessness? It took this experience for me to understand and to know.
My dependency was total. I was in free fall and constantly from my wife and to others each caught me to reset me upright. And to each when called upon I responded as if a new born baby. Because of this I knew I had to share this experience. I also knew this would not be easy and perhaps require multiple efforts at trying. How does one explain a life changing experience except to tell one’s story? And how has this changed my life? In ways I still do not understand.
As simply put as possible, we need each other and even more importantly we need different people in our lives as they each need us. This begins at birth or how do we survive? For most of us we remember nothing of this and we grow quickly toward being independent. See how quickly the child wants its own way, wants to demonstrate to one and all “I don’t need you.” But we do need each other throughout our lives. Why this is not self evident amazes me, but it, obviously, is not.
But I know this began within days of my operation and I also know it will never leave me. I am human, ergo; I need others in my life as I must be in theirs. And maybe this is the quality of leadership I have sought, as many of you have, for years. That is the realization that we need others to be significant in our lives, and the quality leader makes this obvious through each of their significant relationship. Relationship cannot be taken for granted, disrespected or lack respect and if it does to what extent is the relationship what it is, or sure to become?
I gave all of my power to others and they each used their power to help me survive. What I began to accept was that I had no choice. And neither do any of us. Sy
L&MB Magazine 6 - Q2, 2016
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