Fresh Facts 2: Leadership

First off, didn’t Cassie do a great job last week? I think you’re going to be hearing a lot of good stuff from Amy Beth’s buddy going forward. So where’s AB? Off to a remote part of China for she’s not sure how long. We’re really proud of her readiness to go where she’s called and grateful for the years she was the pen and voice (outside this side of the weekly note) of AHO. Most all the farmerly connection and content on our site is her work; it’s second to none on any organic site I’ve seen, Bravo and Thanks.

Okay, I’m always amazed that in a state of 35 million, there are still huge tracts of beauty and solitude, creeks you can drink straight out of, lakes reflecting incomparable grandeur under skies so full of stars your jaw just hangs open in wonder.

Now granted, you don’t just drive anywhere close to these places, and you’ve gotta pony-up for a good back-pack, a great sleeping bag (go with the warmest Big Agnes® you can find + the good pad) and get the Jet Boil® set-up which boils a cup of water in a minute at 11,000 feet! ** Recommendations made in this column are the opinions of the author and are pretty darn right**

Beyond good gear though you’ve gotta be healthy and reasonably fit. Another plus is to have a really good friend who enjoys the same experience to share it with. For me the last decade, that’s been fellow organic peach farmer Paul Muradian. Unlike us mortals, Paul sees details—teeny flowers, birds, glacial polish, trees—the rest of us would miss. He’s the same way on his farm; detailed observation coupled with wonder harnessed to perseverance is really a prerequisite for success in organic farming.

We also developed plans under the stars that were we kings for a few months would eliminate most of the world’s problems.

Since we are an over-managed and under-led people, let me share some basic non-political management vs. leadership concepts and see where you fit.

Management is concerned with doing things right, while leadership is about doing the right things. Management is efficient, leadership is effective. Management is transactional, while leadership is transformational. Management answers how, leadership answers why.

That was leadership-101; let’s go deeper. A destination better than the present is called hope, and good leadership inspires the journey, but there’s a catch. To get to the better destination requires change and change is a function of loss; you have to let go of here to get to there. That’s why truly great leaders are usually sacrificed by society once the destination is reached, think Churchill or MacArthur.

A leader’s primary job is to define reality for the led in a self-sacrificing way. The best example of a great leader in my opinion is a healthy mom. She’s always defining reality for her child; she’s leading and directing her child to the best place their talents and abilities can take them. No one is more sacrificial.

If you take nothing else, grab this. We lead out of who we are. We have to lead ourselves to the better destination before we can guide others. And that better destination is a lot more enjoyable if you’re fit and in good health.

Author Uncle Vern

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