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Posted by Philip on 6 June 2017, 4:27 pm in , , , , , ,

The other side of common

In my last post I provocatively suggested using the word 'common' instead of 'similar', saying that, "Using 'common' removes the positive leaning of 'similar' and suggests a more ordinary, even boring connotation" (my emphasis).

My frolleague* in leadership, Lesley, reminded me that author Margaret Wheatley often writes about the importance of common interests in leadership and social change. A couple of quotes:

"Despite current ads and slogans, the world doesn't change one person at a time. It changes when networks of relationships form among people who share a common cause and vision of what's possible. This is good news for those of us intent on creating a positive future."

"When a group of people discover that they share a common concern, that's when the process of change begins."

It's true. Acknowledging our common causes, visions and concerns is crucial in fostering crucial leadership relationships that create change.

It's when we ignore or discount our differences, or uniqueness, and only value the commonality, that we miss the opportunity for diversity.

The greatest challenge for humanity is to embrace the paradox of commonality and uniqueness, to see them as two sides of the same coin, or more accurately, at different points in a three-dimensional space of being.

Only then can we appreciate all the nuanced richness of input and experience that we all bring to the world.


*friend and colleague


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