Not long ago, my ability and desire to write a brief essay did not exist. Today I have a font of thoughts and plenty of energy, and the will to act. I will let this paper be an outcome of just sitting at the computer. What will be will be.
Because of Danny Perlman’s recent visits, I have come to understand leadership in a way I have not done in the past. My history (almost 35 years) of study and workshops with virtually every type of leader led me to concentrate mainly on dialogue and authenticity. Interestingly, my extensive research in the history of power and leadership made little mention of the importance of an Inner Circle. While much is written about power, leadership, and control, very little attention is given to the significance of the few special people who encircle a Leader.
My own organization was blessed with a wonderful, high-functioning “Inner Circle” even back in the early 50s. I had no awareness of this, per se, but I made it happen in any case. Apparently, I felt this need and acted on it. In other words, my need for commitment and honest exchange between me and a few select others was essential. Furthermore, there were no issues about who held power. The people I trusted and worked closely with always expressed themselves as if in charge. They did not subordinate themselves any more than I did. It’s also important to point out that when the power to act fell into their hands, they used it appropriately.
Danny Perlman has built and continues to build an organization that is changing the lives of thousands. What he and his inner circle have accomplished in Nigeria is an example of this. Hopefully, other nations will replicate this model and make it even better. It will not be done by a leader alone, but by a leader and their empowered Inner Circle.