In Nature, Power Is Dispersed

Below is Whisper #6 from my latest book, 48 WHISPERS, which is a collection of photographs and personal meditations created across a decade of travel to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and the surrounding northern plains. 

I was walking alone in the wilderness one evening when the epiphany I had been seeking materialized. It appeared suddenly, popping into my head in the form of five simple words: In nature, power is dispersed.

Profound in its simplicity, this realization offered a long-awaited clue about the rightful place of shared leadership in human society. For a decade I had devoted myself to the development of a new management philosophy designed to strengthen the voices of others. “Everybody leads” had become my mantra. This strategy had subsequently propelled our company to unprecedented heights while giving deeper meaning and purpose to the people who worked there. The appearance of this message instantly provided me with enhanced clarity, even certainty, that because this approach was aligned with one of nature’s most sacred rules, it held favor over the long-standing tradition of top-down bureaucratic control.

In nature, power is dispersed. “Of course,” I whispered to myself with satisfaction. “That’s it.” Armed with this insight I began posing a series of questions to the natural scene that surrounded me.

“Where is the monolithic headquarters of this wild place? Where are all the managers and supervisors? Which of you scattered pines is in charge of all the others?”

My smile widened with each question as my confidence grew. I was on the right path. Nature was confirming it. The leadership power of nature is diffused by design. Humans, as a manifestation of nature’s power, ultimately aspire to organize in this same way.