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An organization’s leader

I chose the word “organization” very carefully. I did not say pod or company because this goes beyond the scope of the workplace. An organization is a group of people that share a purpose.

In 2013, I met a man that completely changed the way I think about leaders. This man was friendly, but intimidating at the same time. His directions were stern, but everyone followed them without question.

This man led a group of people who were very good at what they did. They participated in an activity that required a lot of teamwork. Each person in this group were already considered extremely strong individuals, but teamwork was the deciding factor for the success of the group.

The way this group operated was much different than anything I’ve experienced and it’s hard to describe how well it worked. The first time I participated, I was completely overwhelmed by how well everything worked while under pressure, just by the singular action of following the leader’s direction. Everyone had immense respect for the leader because he was on the front line along with everyone else. This group moved through obstacles like a rolling ball, everyone stayed close and moved as a single cohesive unit. This was the opposite of divide and conquer. Individual skill contributed to keeping the group as tight as possible, but following the leader’s direction was key.

Does that sound like your cookie cutter leadership article? It probably does. So why was this leader so different than everyone else? His charisma, willingness to stand on the front lines, and long history of success made me trust him completely. I wasn’t close friends with this man. In fact, I rarely spoke to him. In addition to that, the exclusivity of this group allowed me to surround myself with people who were extremely talented.

There’s not really a purpose or message in this blog post. This is just something I needed to get off my chest. I miss being part of a team that was led by that man. Will I ever find a group that operated as well as they did in the professional world? I have my doubts. Granted what we were doing was much different than programming. With all of today’s politics and bureaucratic bullshit, it really shows how inefficient things can get.

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