A Virtuous Leader is a Pro who Leads from the Shield Lock
The Shield Lock is the horizontal relationship between men. It is the means by which we fight the Flux, those emotional peaks and valleys that regularly roll through our lives. The Members of a SLT are Pros who get ready for the Flux through Preparedness. Knowing that it will happen, but just not when, they get ready for the expected and stay ready for the unexpected through the development of their Shield Lock.
Leadership has its dark nights of the soul, times when a Leader doubts that he has made the right decision or fears that, despite his best efforts, the Outcome for his Group might be adverse. It is then that the Flux can drag him down into the mire, sap his Hope and leave him Inert, staring fearfully at Obstacles rather than Exhorting his followers to breach them. If dependent upon his Leadership alone, the Group would lose Momentum and start Decelerating toward the Disadvantage that results from Inertia. The Flux will render even the strongest Leader in-Effective if he insists on Leading as a singleton.
Combination is a Leader’s best Guardrail against the Flux because the odds are low that four men Leading together will simultaneously be afflicted by it. If one man is down, the other three will pull him along until he is up again. Knowing this, a Virtuous Leader never tries to Lead alone. He is a Pro, for whom Preparedness is an Essential in everything he does throughout the G3L. He constantly builds and strengthens his SLT through the same principles that guide the development of his Shield Lock. Ultimately, it is from his Shield Lock that he Leads.
This is a radical proposition in a culture that pays lip-service to collaborative leadership in theory but doesn’t reward it in practice. In practice, it is the Steve Jobs and Mike Krzyzewskis who alone wear the garlands of Organizational triumph. We may know (intellectually) that there is a Team behind these men, that their accomplishments are the product of a conspiracy to Advantage, but they alone remain the primary focus of our adulation because solo leadership is a cultural Habit.
To flip that would require more than what most “good” Leaders do from the stage, which is to humbly thank all of the people without whom their success would not be possible. That’s fine, laudable even, but it’s not Shared Leadership. Shared Leadership requires that that there be no stage. Or, if the stage cannot be avoided, that the man in the spotlight on the stage not be the Member of the SLT who bears ultimate responsibility for the Organization’s Outcome.
A mere Effective Leader may not be able to see the Virtue in that kind of anonymity. But a Virtuous Leader, Pro that he is, would see it as a necessary prophylactic against the magnification of the peaks and valleys that public success and failure will have upon his Flux. It dampens the volatility of the undulation.
It is true that success has many fathers, but that failure is an orphan. By Leading from the Shield Lock, the Pro shares both with his Brothers of his SLT—for the benefit of the people who depend upon him.
2 Peter 1:5
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge,
1 Corinthians 13:13
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 John 4:8
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
“Don’t wait around for someone else to tell your story. Do it yourself by whatever means necessary.” –Lena Dunham
Leaders Leading Leaders