Strong Leaders Need Strong Peers

Who are your peers?

I’m currently meeting with a small peer group. We live in various parts of the U.S., keep in touch via email, conference calls and individual phone calls. At least once a year, we try to all physically meet, to do work together, share ideas, meals, arguments and laughter.

This is very important to my continued growth as a spiritual person, a thinker, and a doer. Without strong peers, it can become difficult to continue to develop in ways that are not the product of whatever hothouse of thought or practice we end up in, or whatever systems that undermine our best efforts to rise to the challenges our souls feel we are capable of.

Along with this peer group, I have friends at home to hang out with, to share projects with, and have fun amongst. There are also people in my life who periodically serve as teachers to me. All of this is important, including having friendships with people engaged in projects radically different than my own.

The peers I am speaking of, though we each have our own particular work, all have projects that dovetail with each other’s. We have different world views and approaches, it is true, but our work, as a whole, is more similar than not. We each are involved in various forms of leadership, which amplifies the importance of our coming together.

Strong leaders need strong peers. We need people who call bullshit, who act as sounding boards, who lend support and insight, and we need for them to be people with a pretty clear comprehension of the nuances of our mandate. I can bounce ideas off other friends, or my partners, it is true, and those interactions lend their own perspective to my project, but when I need to plumb ideas about deep foundations, or the large trajectory we all seem to be on, I require these particular peers.

Who inspires you, helps keep you on course, helps you remain accountable, or to steer in a slightly different direction when necessary? The first answer to these questions is our own internal compass, the second might be a good partner, family, or friends, but the third number – and no further along the count than that – should be some trusted peers.

Let’s help our work. Let’s keep each other strong.

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