The Builders' Manifesto

While I think it may be a wee bit over the top, you have to love Umair Haque’s latest “The Builder’s Manifesto” on the need for Builders instead of Leaders. Definitely an idea here.

This relationship isn’t working out. Its time for us to explore other government opportunities. We’ve tried to make it work. But it’s not us — it’s you (really).

I’ve been thinking a lot about leadership lately. Specifically: why, today, when a wave of crises is sweeping the globe, does leadership seem to be almost totally absent?

The answer I’ve come to is, ironically enough, leadership itself. I’d like to advance a hypothesis: 20th century leadership is what’s stopping 21st century prosperity.

  1. The boss drives group members; the leader coaches them. The Builder learns from them.
  2. The boss depends upon authority; the leader on good will. The Builder depends on good.
  3. The boss inspires fear; the leader inspires enthusiasm. The Builder is inspired — by changing the world.
  4. The boss says ‘I’; the leader says ‘we’. The Builder says ‘all’ — people, communities, and society.
  5. The boss assigns the task, the leader sets the pace. The Builder sees the outcome.
  6. The boss says, ‘Get there on time;’ the leader gets there ahead of time. The Builder makes sure ‘getting there’ matters.
  7. The boss fixes the blame for the breakdown; the leader fixes the breakdown. The Builder prevents the breakdown.
  8. The boss knows how; the leader shows how. The Builder shows why.
  9. The boss makes work a drudgery; the leader makes work a game. The Builder organizes love, not work.
  10. The boss says, ‘Go;’ the leader says, ‘Let’s go.’ The Builder says: ‘come.’