I recently came across the management concept known as Holacracy. This approach removes traditional roles and distributes work and authority wider throughout the organization. I have not done much research on it and the purpose of this post is not to comment or critique it, but it got me to thinking about our calling. Not necessarily to our vocation, but to our position. The idea that we can do anything that we put our mind to has generated a society in which it is believed that everyone can become the President or a CEO. But is this a correct or even healthy approach? Is everyone called to be the boss?
Plato argued there are basically three types of people in a society; the rulers, the enforcers, and the workers or producers. Aristotle argued that some people were meant to be slaves and some to be masters. We have seen throughout history the notion there is some sort of divine right of kings. The Bible says that we are different parts of the body. So why do we have this modern idea that everyone has the inclination or the ability to do the same job and in particular, to lead an organization?
Obviously, some rulers advocate such a distinction between classes of people because it is in their own interest to retain power—this is true in both politics and business. In my experience however, it seems that some people are called to take leadership roles, while others are not so called. There is a certain skill-set that goes along with leading well. Some people will cringe at the idea, thinking it somehow says some people are better than others or should make more money than others or have more power than and over others. In a society where power, position and pay are held in such high regard, the idea that anything less than the equal opportunity for everyone to achieve the same status is seen as unthinkable.
Revisiting the biblical analogy however, we need to recognize that we are all different parts of the body. Not all of us are meant to be the eyes or ears, but that does not make us any less important to the body. Likewise, it is obvious that not all people are meant to lead and perhaps we are best using our gifts to do that which we are meant to do instead of that which we think we should be doing.