2 min read

The Way of Leadership Is Never a Straight Path — Especially if You’re Queer

The Way of Leadership Is Never a Straight Path — Especially if You’re Queer
Photo by Josh Withers / Unsplash

Over the last few weeks, I’ve written a several posts investigating the qualities and characteristics of ethical and human-heartedness leadership.

Many leadership books and trainings are rooted in hegemonic principles — the status quo. This begs the question: what about queer people?

Can LGBTQ+ people — emphasis on the letter “Q” for Queer identification — chart a path of social evolution and impactful leadership, thanks to our unique insights from growing up marginalized and being othered?

I believe that a queer consciousness — a queer identification — helps us to “think queerly” and challenge the status quo by thinking outside the narrow confines of how we were taught to think and behave.

So, what does leadership look like when queer people embrace their unique insights and life experience and take the lead?

And what if we surrendered the need to follow one leader and instead led by example?

This reminds me of how the ACT UP Collective was organized as effectively leaderless. It was composed of various committees that focused on their respective tasks.

“Actions and proposals were generally brought to the coordinating committee and then to the floor for a vote, but this was not required — any motion could be brought to a vote at any time.” (Wikipedia)

Taking this a step further than grassroots advocacy and political action, can you imagine a country led by a group of leaders — a collective —instead of a single person claiming the title of president or prime minister?

What if,

  • There was no presidential veto?
  • We no longer elected representatives of a political ideology based on charisma?
  • We lead from a collective that must work together and lead by consensus — a diverse group and representative of the society it seeks to lead?
  • Governance was comprised of a rotating group of citizens with a mandate to limit corruption through diversity and control prejudice through fair and honest representation?

This type of leadership is called “Sortition,” which Brett Hennig details in his book, “The End of Politicians: Time for a Real Democracy.”

Hennig suggests that there is a way that,

…we can fix democracy by eliminating politicians and replacing them with a representative network of everyday citizens. A wealth of recent evidence has shown that groups of randomly selected, ordinary people can and do make balanced, informed and trusted decisions. These citizens’ assemblies are legitimate, accountable, competent and, above all, convincing demonstrations that we can govern ourselves.

This might be one of the queerest approaches to “governance” I have ever heard, one that I plan to incorporate into my virtue philosophy of human-heartedness and ethical leadership rooted in the Tao Te Ching.

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