The recently released movie “The Lego Movie” and in particular the movie’s main character shows some interesting dimensions and aspects of the word Leadership – and in this blog I am going to expand upon one of these dimensions, which is the point of being average and yet still capable of leading – the understanding that leadership is not dependent upon being unique, more than or special – instead it’s a quality related to how one on a internal and external level deals with issues and problems without self-interest.
For some context: The Lego Movie stars the Lego figure Emmet. He’s a very normal and average Lego construction worker, who goes to work, and goes home, and is although his commonplace life, content and satisfied with himself. But one day at work he falls victim to an accident, and a piece of “resistance” permanently sticks to his back. Because of this he becomes seen as “the one” and the most extraordinary person in the world. He’s then given the responsibility to save the world.
Yet, what is revealed (spoiler alert) is that Emmet is not really special or extraordinary, actually is very, very normal, and averagely gifted – yet regardless of this Emmet pulls through and manages to actually make a difference.
Thus, the fascinating aspect here is that Emmet is not special, he’s ordinary, but even though he’s ordinary, and average, he still makes a difference in his life and he does this through utilizing his strengths, and pushing through his fears, anxieties and self-doubts, and even though he’s not very gifted, still contribute towards what is best for all involved.
What can we then learn from this regarding the word Leadership?
Well, what I see is that being a leader shouldn’t be about being special, unique or having followers, it shouldn’t be about oneself and how one want to reach fame and popularity, instead being a leader should be about one giving oneself to the betterment of this world – giving one’s life for humanity instead of following one’s self-interest. And to do this, one doesn’t require to be special, or unique, or have some fantastic skill, instead one can make difference one’s daily living through small actions, little moments where one take an action that contributes a value to all participants.
So, this is important to understand, that being a leader is not something that happens out there in the future – being a leader is a statement that one makes in every moment of breath and that leadership is something that is physically lived, physically visible, it’s seen in the words, in the behavior and in the movement of the person – it’s a decision to lead oneself and so by example this world into a direction that nourishes life, support, and mutual growth – that is real leadership.
What we have currently in this world is not leadership, it’s rather facades that appear to be leadership, but really it’s just a form of fame, and superiority, and no actual leadership – because real leadership implies that one through and through is a leader – and being a leader through and through means that one is in-fact genuine in one’s desire to contribute to something more, and that being in hierarchical position of leadership is more a matter of practicality, the means of an end, than being the end itself. Because really, leadership shouldn’t be about being seen as a leader – it should be about leading by example and showing that there is another way to live that is best for all.
And so, this is what I see Emmet represents, he’s that normal, average person, that doesn’t really want to be a leader, neither is he very powerful, or effective; though regardless of this he has a drive to contribute, he’s got a desire to make things work, produce solutions, and bring forth change – and have the team and group as a whole create a cool result, instead of himself becoming famous and feeling good for being a apparently “extraordinary person”.
Thus, what we should take with us from this movie is the realization that the process of standing and living as a leader begins HERE, and that being a leader is first and foremost something we must do within ourselves, and with ourselves, and that it’s not so much about in what position we’re in, but about WHO WE ARE, and what we will accept and allow and what we will not accept and allow.
So, I suggest for everyone to ask himself or herself, how can I stand up within my life, my world, and become a leader? How can I contribute to my own life, and the life’s of others, and do that, not to gain fame, but from a genuine desire to empower others, and yourself – if we all did that in our daily living – this world would become a different place – and that is how we could bring heaven to earth.