“I am aware that I am surrounded by people who feel that they could do the job better. Strong people with powerful characters but, for better or worse, the crown has landed on my head.”
-QUEEN ELIZABETH from “Crown”
I wrote about this quote and the Netflix original series a few months ago, but it is something I find myself continually referencing. It was on my mind when I wrote about balancing empathy and authority as a leader a few weeks ago as well.
Too much empathy and a situation called "artificial harmony" occurs. Where everyone is nice and forgiving, but there is no accountability and nothing ever seems to get done.
Too much authority without any empathy and a "mean spirited attacks" environment becomes the prevailing culture. Stuff gets done, but out of fear and control. It tends to wear people out and minimize individual contribution as they submit deeper to the rule and interests of a few autocratic leaders.
That quote was also on my mind as I spent a recent weekend with a couple of dozen shiny and silver headed kings (men in their 50’s & 60’s mainly) in the mountains of Colorado. We were there to “father” and mentor a few dozen warriors (30’s mostly) becoming young kings in the Kingdom.
Their gifting, potential, and good hearts were apparent for all to see. In fact, for some, their incredible ability and potential had made them kings far earlier than they were ready to assume those crowns. Some were not bearing the weight so well. The consequences in their marriages, parenting, and in pretty much every other way, were revealing themselves as well.
But they were extraordinary and were committing to learning to wield their abilities and strength. They dug in for four days of excavation of their hearts, souls, and minds…and committed to a decade more of the same. As I look across the landscape of this country (in my mind’s eye), I am imagining little campfires where these young men reside: Atlanta, Omaha, Seattle, and many points in between.
Little outposts of the Kingdom where a fire has been lit and will be stoked into a raging one over the next decade. Campfires that will stay within their stone boundaries until their appointed time. When the flames begin to lap over the side and warm everything around them. Where the fire is contained until it becomes impossible for it not to take a larger stage.
It was an honor to see these young men take a lower seat. It was humbling to see them honor the voices of experience around them. The nobility and responsibility of my life is rising.
For the next generation of leaders in my life, the crown has landed upon my head. It is an appointment I humbly and anxiously assume. I pray you do the same.
- Are you covered with the battle scars that are the source of real wisdom?
- Are you aware of the both the privileges and responsibilities of your leadership?
- Are you really ready to assume the full weight of the crown that has landed on your head as a leader?
- Do you have the margin of time, energy, and resources it takes to really lead others well?