Jan 20 2011

Imagine Leadership: A Reaction

My knee-jerk reaction to this video was how “American” it is. Despite its focus on the global populace, its central message of “everyone can be a leader” is a very Western idea. Having spent a month in Japan and more than 9 months preparing for that month, I can attest that the Japanese have the exact opposite mentality. They have a saying that is roughly translated as, “The nail that is sticking up gets hammered back down,” emphasizing the importance of conformity. We have gotten into a troublesome mode here in the West that is characterized by the saying “Too many chiefs, not enough Indians,” meaning that we teach our children that it is better to be a manager or leader than a worker. No one knows how or wants to do actual work anymore.

What I agreed with most was the quote from Mother Teresa: “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” We may not all be destined to be great leaders, but instead, we can all do our own small part with the right motivations. As the video pointed out, we in America have such a large portion of the wealth in this world, that we could make an incredible difference in the lives of others just by sharing a very small portion of that wealth. If you don’t really understand how truly rich you are, go to: http://www.globalrichlist.com/ and enter your annual income. You WILL be amazed. Even on a young teacher’s salary, I was richer than 95% of the world. After this discovery, I have adopted a student through Compassion International, made micro-loans through Kiva.org, and even bought livestock for people in third world countries. It’s remarkable how much good you can do with very little.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.edtechfor.me/2011/01/imagine-leadership-a-reaction/

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