We are all in this together. We are all ‘in the same boat’, on the same planet, mostly sharing the same goals, of survival first, then opportunities to live our lives in constructive and peaceful ways. Yet sometimes we lose this focus, in the interests of the individual, and while short term imperatives may be gratifying in the short-term, they often leave the wider community worse off. Like the ‘tragedy of the commons’ paradigm, greed and selfishness ultimately lead to depleted outcomes for all when resources are finite.
This is where leadership comes in. Give and you shall receive. Receive more respect and support from like-minded people, thus propagating more of the goodwill and implementation of sustainable behaviours. To inspire others to change their ways, in some cases, as role modelling is provided by those with authority and credibility. Be willing to suspend short-term gratification in the service of longer-term strategic benefits. To be the change you seek in others.
A convenient yet important recent example relates to the man in the picture, the captain of our cruise and adventure for the day. He was not averse to pitching in, contributing to other duties on-board, when we were at anchor and eating, or preparing for our water-based activities. On a boat and at sea on the ocean, you depend upon your crew, and your captain, as the leader sets the tone. To be successful is to be safe, and supportive of each other. This captain did just that. In so doing, loyalty is elicited, camaraderie achieved, and in the event of difficulty, a willingness has been nurtured to pull together for the common good. A fitting analogy for the broader benefits of positive leadership through cooperative participation and respect for your fellow person and other life-forms.