Ego vs. Eco: Top Down Leadership vs. Servant Leadership

A friend posted this graphic on Facebook. It illustrates well the old thinking that imagined humans ruling all of creation based on an erroneous interpretation of the passage in Genesis that says we were to "subdue" the earth and have "dominion."

The Eco figure illustrates the way the world actually works. Our oikos or home works when we live in harmony with all of creation. We endanger our ecosystem, our oikos, the more we try to live as if all of creation is ours to use however we wish. Pope Francis' recent encyclical is an eloquent analysis of this.

Ego vs. Eco serves as a wonderful graphic to illustrate the central difference between the old, command and control model of leadership and servant leadership.

In the old model, those at the top of the pyramid gave the orders and everyone below them was expected to obey no matter how ridiculous the command. As long as peasants were immobile, illiterate, and uneducated, the old model could persist. The people at the "top" of course liked this model.

Servant leadership on the other hand recognizes that any organization depends on the skills, talents, efforts, and commitment of all the members. Servant leaders know that their company or organization is an ecosystem: to perform well, everyone needs to work in harmony because everyone has a role in the health and success of the "organism."

I could not find the source of this "Ego vs. Eco" graphic, but I thank the creator for this great tool for explaining servant leadership and the way in which it is in harmony with the way the world really works well.