Identity Integration

Leadership builds a healthy community

It’s easy to forget that one of the key purposes for leadership is to bring people together. Absent a shared sense of belonging and purpose, there is little else we can accomplish together.

2012-06-29 15.46.17

We appreciate people who rally us during difficult moments and who awaken in us a sense of community. Some people are able to bind us together, to transform “me” into “us”. 

And when it’s time to act, when it is time to move forward to achieve great things allow us to do so together, as “we” not “I”.  These are the individuals whom we picture in our minds when we think of leaders.

Leaders reach out to us to offer a helping hand. They encourage us. They inspire us. They bring out the best in us. Leaders help us to shape or identities, and they help us understand where and how we fit in to our community.

But what are those individuals doing that empowers this transformation? The interact in ways that create a bond of trust, and inspire a common purpose. These individuals model the way one acts as a citizen, and they expect the same sense of commitment from everyone.

In this way, leadership build healthy communities.  The leadership interactions that propagate among a healthy community are recognize the complexity of the individual. Leadership interactions enhance one’s sense of individual identity, but at the same time also foster a shared identity that reinforced the individual sense of purpose so that the two are in resonance. Likewise, they celebrate the individuals autonomy and each person’s freedom to think and to act. But they but also clarify how each of us fits into and is responsible to the whole. Leadership interactions amplify and reinforce the integration of the individual into the whole.  Each has a role to play, and all are important, indeed they are critical if the community is to be fulfilled.

To build community, leadership interactions recognize and reinforce identity of the actor, the “I” and the “we”, and clarify and motivate integration of the member, the “me” and the “us”.