Are you leading a cult or a tribe?

Are you a lighthouse?

Are you a lighthouse?

Let me rephrase the question.

Are you a watchtower or are you a lighthouse?

Maybe it’s not easy to answer that question right away. But trust me, by the end of this post you’ll know what to answer.

Have you ever heard of the panopticon?

It’s a specific architectural concept based on the utopian idea of total control. Basically it’s a watchtower surrounded by a circle of cells facing the central tower.

People living in a panopticon don’t know anything about the outside world. Their notion of reality is limited to what happens in their inner circle.

The only thing they know about what’s outside their circle is what they get told from the tower. Usually, information from the outside world is kept from them because it would only cause trouble, make people nervous and have them question the system they’re living in. In short: it would disturb order.

So in order to enforce the feeling of safety inside the panopticon, the watchtower portrays the outside world as disorderly, chaotic and dangerous.

As a result, inhabitants even end up demanding higher walls keeping even the watchtower from getting a clear view on reality.

Or are you the watchtower in a panopticon?

Or are you the watchtower in a panopticon?

Every cult is a panopticon. And every cult leader is a watchtower.

Now what’s the architectural outlook of a tribe and a tribal leader?

A tribal is a community facing both outwards and inwards. There are walls, but they are not that tall. They give you a sense of community, but they don’t keep the inhabitants from exploring the outside world.

These cities also have towers, but they are more like lighthouses.

They flash a light in the dark. They encourage you to go out there and explore.

They offer you a hint of insight.

They guide you.

They don’t control.

They enlarge your awareness of your surroundings.

So tell me. What kind of city are you living in?

How free are you really?

And how free are you prepared to be?

And if you’re a leader: are you a lighthouse or a watchtower? Are you a guide or a guard? Are you the coach or the manager? Are you Barack Obama or George Bush?

If you ever feel like you don’t like to face the outside world, consider this: feeling free is what makes people really happy, what gives you a true sense of control.

If you ever want to be happy, if you ever want to feel in control, you’ll have to face the outside world.

The sooner you’ll start to explore it, the faster and the better you’ll get to know it, the easier it will be to deal with it and learn how to make your way.

Your way.

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2 thoughts on “Are you leading a cult or a tribe?

  1. lamazone says:

    “If you ever want to be happy, if you ever want to feel in control, you’ll have to face the outside world.”
    For me, the only thing I can just about control are my actions. Outside of me, there is nothing I can control. I can make suggestions, but that’s it. For me, real freedom is letting go of that urge of control and accepting what comes my way. It makes it all the more exciting and it makes me happy.

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