Counsel of many

Was thinking the other day how plans frequently fail if there haven’t been advisors or counselors. To turn that phrase around: plans tend to succeed when you have input from multiple people, with multiple perspectives.

First of all, I totally hold to that proverb. I believe it lends amazing value. But there’s another way to look at it: turning over the reins.

In a sense, there are multiple people involved when handing over the reins. Instead of gathering around a round table and having a discussion, there’s a beauty and power to handing off the baton periodically. Take government positions or leading a company. No one person can stay in a role forever — either due to health, death, or statute (like presidency & serving two terms). That’s a strength, I believe. Someone else receives the ability to make change — or keep the status quo — based on their insights, their vision, and their perspective…then someone else comes along to change it later.

This serves the group, the collective in the end because 1) it’s not being all built around one person and 2) multiple people can add their respective strengths, encouragements, and reinforce previously weak points. Effectively, someone will see something I cannot and someone will build up where I couldn’t. That’s where the counsel of many brings success.

We talk about the necessity and vitality of bringing in a fresh perspective. But it’s always easier when you’re the incoming leader. Hard when you’re the outgoing politician. In the end, best for the collective.

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