Leadership can be dangerous…

Leadership can be dangerous work... (by BurntNorton)

During my trip to Chicago in May 07, I had the privilege of seeing round the Art Institute of Chicago. Wonderful… One of the paintings I saw was this one by Frederic Remington called: “The Advance Guard, or The Military Sacrifice (The Ambush)”, 1890. (click on the image to go to my flickr site if you wish to see the painting in more detail).

Made me think about a few conversations I’ve been in recently about leadership – it can be dangerous! Taking the courage to go out front, to enable people to face uncomfortable reality which may require a change in values not just approach. When things that worked for the group/organisation in the past are no longer appropriate. How this challenge can cause leaders to ‘shrink back’

Are you leading? Are you aware of the realities around the people you serve? Do you have the courage to seek to find ways to surface or ripen these issues in a way that helps people make the needed transformational change?

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2 comments… add one

  • Patrick Griffin

    One fine point however the painting of the cavalry scout being attacked is mislabled by the Chicago Art Museum! Look close! The museum label or plaque says the soldier has been shot & has blood on his horse however that’s not true! As an artist one can clearly see that the soldier is dying in a hail of bullets & that one of the rounds has hit the horse’s rump! Look closer! See??? The dust clouds about are bullets hitting the ground & not the dust from the other cavalry man riding away! Only a scholar & not a seasoned warrior would make such a mistake! I’m confident Remington would agree with me! Note: I’m a published artist & illustrator, history buff & Civil War Reenactor veteran/Gettysburg 145th. Bachelor of Science Degree/Archaeology.

  • Patrick,
    I can’t remember the detial of the description in the Art Institute. However, I agree with your comment: it was how I saw the art. I’m a great believer in seeing what’s there in a piece of art, and not relying upon what others have written. What you describe was clear to me when I saw this powerful piece. That was one of the reasons I wrote the blog article.

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