Man is by nature a Group-forming animal
A Group is a voluntary combination of two or more people. There are three distinct types of Groups that are relevant to the QSource: communities, organizations and teams.
The specific reasons that lead people to combine and the manner in which they come together are both immaterial to this very broad definition. Nor are there any formational requirements to meet the definition of a Group beyond a tacit agreement between the members to voluntarily combine. Group membership is never coercive.
Some Group-types (like a corporation or county government) have complex formational requirements and structural barriers that make entry and departure more difficult, but that does not make them any more Group-ish than two men who simply start meeting for coffee every two weeks to talk about whatever is on their mind. Two or more people + voluntary combination—that’s all that is required to meet the definition of a Group.
We seek strength in numbers for a variety of different reasons, but the most elemental is that life itself, while technically possible as a singleton, is not practical without combination with others. Loneliness is our subconscious yelling at us to go find a partner because we are not supposed to live like that. It’s dangerous.
An illustration of this elemental need to combine is portrayed in the movie Castaway. Tom Hanks plays Chuck Noland, a man shipwrecked alone on an island in the middle of the Pacific. Initially he is consumed with learning the basic survival skills for which modern man has no direct need (like starting a fire or spearing a fish in shallow water) but which make the difference between life and death for a modern man cast out into the wilderness alone. After many failures, Chuck is triumphant at the ignition of his first fire. Dancing around the flames, he does not for the moment hear the voice of loneliness yelling at him.
But, flashing forward four years (after a self-administered root canal with a hockey skate almost kills him) we are presented with a different man. Lean and competent at survival, Chuck spears a fish with one quick flick of his wrist. But now there is no dancing. The camera focuses in on a face consumed by worry illustrating how Chuck has been worn down by loneliness. In fact, we come to find out that he has been experimenting with means of suicide because he knows he is only one unlucky fall away from dying slowly and painfully from a broken leg. Life alone is dangerous, too dangerous to be worth the risk.
We learn of this realization from Chuck’s “conversations” with a volleyball upon which he has finger-painted a face. So deep is his need to be part of a Group, that Chuck creates a co-member in his mind with whom to combine, who he calls Wilson. The Group (Chuck and Wilson) decides that the risk of death on the deep blue sea on a rickety raft is worth the slim possibility of finding other people. The ocean is dangerous, but not nearly as dangerous as life alone on the island.
Chuck’s willingness to push his boat out into the surf and abandon the safety of his island dramatically depicts the human drive to leave a condition of temporary security in search of a more advantageous position. Group membership provides Advantage: a superior condition achieved by Movement . Just as Chuck had to move from the island to find civilization, a lonely man must move outside of himself toward another man to form a coffee-Group. Reasonable minds can debate which type of Movement is more difficult.
Man is hard-wired to seek the Advantage incumbent in Group membership. Different Group-types provide different Advantages. A book Club provides fellowship for literature enthusiasts. Reading is a solitary endeavor but literature can be enjoyed in combination to mutual Advantage. The provision of legal services only requires a single law license, but lawyers combine into law firms for the Advantage provided by association with other practitioners. Although they are vastly different, a book Club and a law firm are both Groups that provide Advantage for their members.
F3 being a leadership Group, we are primarily concerned with the composition of Groups from the perspective of how they are best led. All Groups (whether they have two or two-million members) must have a leader. And, that leadership (specifically, how it is best exercised) varies with respect to the Group-type being led. Thus, while both book Clubs and law firms must have leaders, the manner in which they are most successfully led is not the same at all.
The three Group-types that must be led to Advantage are the community, the organization and the team
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ
Anything in life that we don’t accept will simply make trouble for us until we make peace with it.”
“The right way is not always the popular and easy way. Standing for right when it is unpopular is a true test of moral character.”
Margaret Chase Smith
“Persons of high self-esteem are not driven to make themselves superior to others; they do not seek to prove their value by measuring themselves against a comparative standard. Their joy is being who they are, not in being better than someone else.”
Leaders Leading Leaders
A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.
After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother of pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold.
He and the dog walked towards the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out, ‘Excuse me, where are we?’
‘This is Heaven, sir,’ the man answered.
‘Wow! Would you happen to have some water?’ the man asked. ‘Of course, sir. Come right in and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.’ The man gestured, and the gate began to open.’Can my friend,’ gesturing toward his dog, ‘come in, too?’ the traveler asked.
‘I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.’ The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.
After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road, which led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence and as he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree, reading a book.
‘Excuse me!’ he called to the reader. ‘Do you have any water?’
‘Yeah, sure, there’s a pump over there.’ The man pointed to a place that couldn’t be seen from outside the gate. ‘Come on in.’
‘How about my friend here?’ the traveler gestured to the dog. ‘There should be a bowl by the pump’ replied the man. They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.
The traveler filled the bowl, then he gave it to the dog and took a long drink himself. When they had quenched their thirst, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree waiting for them.
‘What do you call this place?’ the traveler asked. ‘This is Heaven,’ he answered.
‘Well, that’s confusing,’ the traveler said.’ The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.’
‘Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope, that’s Hell.’
‘Doesn’t it make you mad for them to use your name like that?’ replied the traveler.
‘No! I can see how you might think so, but we’re just happy that they screen out the folks who’ll leave their best friends behind.’