An aqueduct is an old and fascinating water transportation system that leads water to places that water naturally would not have gone. This art and engineering has made it possible to take the water to new places and to cultivate something new. The Latin word dux means leader and ducere means to lead something or someone from one place to another. This is what we see in aqueducts, water with all its power being led from somewhere to a new place.
A leader or the dux has this role, to lead the organization and people from something to something. Leaders who can bring their organization through changes are the leaders who will bring growth for people and organizations. To build an aqueduct requires that one understand today’s situation and see that new areas need to be cultivated. We have water but not in the place we want it, we have land but no water to cultivate it. A leader who knows his organization and people will also know where there are gaps and where he needs to build bridges. I often find that the greatest problem in leadership is that leaders are not aware of today´s status and are afraid that if it doesn´t look good it will reflect on their personal leadership. They don’t understand that they are the solution to the problem and often, instead of taking action and enlarging the table of people around them, they become obsessed about their position.
Leaders who are able to see the situation of today and have the imagination to see the potential of tomorrow are leaders who will make changes. But to make the needed changes you need wisdom and courage because leading an organization from the safe place or established place to a place where new things are taking place is not for the faint hearted. An organization can struggle and not be flourishing for years but we know what we have and changing to something unknown or to an image that someone may have is a dangerous thing for many. They prefer the problem of today instead of the tension and friction that comes with something unknown. They will never build an aqueduct because they are afraid it can be more unpleasant than looking at the dry land.
However, leaders who dare to stand in this unpleasantness will be those who lead water and people into places they have never been before. Living as change-makers, leaders who always dare to see new possibilities and make the right decision about what to follow, also understand servant leadership because its not about my name or position but about getting the best for the people I lead.
Are you an aqueduct-builder or one that holds on to what you know and what has been? Is your leadership serving the organization and the people you are to lead? If not you can be the dam that holds back the energy and power that comes when the right dux or leaders are given room to build what they see before their inner eyes.
Let change begin. Let the messy process of new beginnings be celebrated and give room to the ones with dreams and vision. Step aside if you don’t like messiness and change, but whatever you do don’t stop it. Your people and your organization deserves better and all the energy that comes with water flowing into new areas that have not yet been cultivated will bring fruit for a new time.
Aqueducts – we are not here to see the water, we are here to make waves. That is what is called leadership.
‘Til next time,
If you want to stay dry move away, but if you are ready for a splash get on board….