We have been following the story of Caleb in his conquest of the city of Hebron. A city ruled by giants. Amidst a group of leaders, all confronted by the same challenges, Caleb saw differently. In so doing he offered a solution that led a nation to victory. This is the impact of one leader!
What most intrigues me about the story is not what Caleb saw, but WHY he saw it? It seems that Caleb had cultivated a different mindset to his peers. This mindset allowed him to see a ‘whole city’ in Hebron. He saw the potential, the pathway, the victory. He was undeterred by the very real giants that suppressed its light and stifled its hope.
If his ‘seeing differently’ could lead to the redemption of a city, perhaps in learning to see as he did, we too could bring life, light, and hope to our own cities.
The Thing about Giants
Conquering giants is intimidating, especially in an era of hand-to-hand combat. You must get up close and personal. The opponent with the longest reach holds a distinct advantage. They can stand far enough to evade your offenses while still being in striking distance with their own.
Giants had long levers, but due to their size, could also wield larger, heavier weapons, extending their already significant reach. To make matters worse, their extraordinary length made it virtually impossible to inflict damage on any of their vital organs since their head and chest were so high off the ground.
No wonder people gave up before they started. This was the default narrative. This is what hearing the word ‘giant’ meant in their heads and hearts.
What Caleb Saw
Caleb had a different heuristic. His storyline was informed by a different set of underlying assumptions. All the above was true, but the geography of Hebron offered up an alternative.
Since it was situated on a high place, luring the giants out to a battlefield of your choosing, on uneven terrain, would negate much of their advantage:
- Lighter, smaller people could more easily navigate the mountains (Power-to-weight ratio)
- By positioning yourself on higher ground you could stare the giant in the face. His having to reach up creates an angle that reduces maximum reach.
- Giants aren’t used to looking up. Unaccustomed to this movement and posture, they would tire quickly.
Clearly, Caleb was a realist. He understood the strengths of his foe. He also studied their weaknesses. He had a possibility mindset. His internal locus of control allowed him to focus on what he could control – terrain, rather than what he could not – the size of his enemy.
In isolation this would be ascribable to personality or experience. The exception is that he shared a journey with the same leaders for over 40 years in the desert. They fought battles together, secured impossible victories together, survived together. Still, he saw differently.
SQ – Spiritual Intelligence
Enter Spiritual Intelligence. It is concerned with worldview. The underlying set of assumptions that the individual holds as absolute. These assumptions are not contextual or dependent, but the ‘independent’ variables that shape our existence. These forces are external to our locus of control but shape the very fabric of our experience.
How we perceive our interaction with these forces, truths or rules plays a significant role in the way we understand ourselves as leaders:
- Is our dignity and worth inherent and discovered over time, or must it be earned and proven?
- Do we have an inherent destiny/purpose/calling or do we make sense of life through our intelligence and creativity, justifying our purpose?
- Do we have the potential to offer a unique contribution to the world, or is this for a select few?
- Are these questions dichotomies or sliding scales?
The level of our spiritual intelligence, or rather, the accuracy of our underlying heuristics regarding these fundamental questions of life, define our worldview. These are the glasses we wear when we look at threats and possibilities.
The Smallest Domino to City Transformation
This is the question with which we have been grappling. If we want to see ‘Cities of Wholeness’, where do we start? What do we do?
Caleb’s story suggests three critical elements.
- Leadership is the greatest lever with which to change the world!
If one leader can cause such a catalytic change to a nation, imagine what a nation with more leaders can do? This is a double-edged sword. What damage can one unhealthy leader do?
- Healthy Leadership requires high Spiritual Intelligence.
A leader who understands her value, her calling and the potential of her contribution will naturally tend to altruistic leadership imperatives. The mission is not driven from ego-centric, comfort seeking narratives, but to improve the lives of her followers and all who dwell in her cities.
- Healthy Leaders Restore broken systems
These are the giants out of reach. They affect us long before we can touch our blade to them. Healthy leaders see differently. They see the advantages of the terrain and employ these efficiently to capitalize on the weaknesses in the system.
At POPUP we endeavor to create such leaders every day. City Changers, as we call them, are people who have discovered their own light. They let it shine boldly, understanding that the light in others do not threaten their own, but add to it. This is more than education. It requires an intervention that equips our learners on their pathway towards self-leadership.
Education is a powerful weapon. It is subject to the hand of the one who wields it. This is not a function of knowledge or skills, but worldview. We can teach people to fish, but understanding the eco-system, and our role in it, sure goes a long way to securing sustainability.
We firmly believe that a learner who secures their identity, discovers their destiny, and acknowledges their potential to contribute sees differently. This is the smallest domino.
Your Mission should you choose to accept it
We need you to lead us! Our cities need you to lead us!
Perhaps you need to learn to see what Caleb saw. Invest time in your self-leadership. Explore your worldview and the fundamental ideas that shape your view of reality.
Perhaps you already see, but you are keeping silent. Speak Up! Let your voice be heard. Tell us the possibilities. Lead us in the path to victory!
It takes one City Changer to shift the narrative. You are Caleb!
Redeem the city! #beone
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