It happens all the time.
You’ve surveyed the landscape. You’ve seen a gaping hole. You’ve become agitated, unable to tolerate the absence of a vital community thriving in that unoccupied space.
Not one to go on wishing without acting, you forge a community around a vision you’ve articulated to bring the needed communal presence into that space. People gather. The space begins to be be filled. A culture develops. Something special is happening.
And then someone passionately, vociferously wants a different sort of culture in that same space with those same people. The people you’ve gathered. In the place you’ve gathered them.
You’re too nice to be mean.
You value input, so you can’t write people off. You insisted on shared ownership, so you can’t divest participants of their stake without being a hypocrite. And maybe you’re a people pleaser, so you can’t quite bolster the courage to take a stand for your values over this other person’s values.
But, if truth be told, it feels almost as though this member of your community is attempting to hi-jack the people you’ve gathered and the culture you’ve nurtured and take it in a radically different direction.
It’s not every day that Gardens Don’t Launch pulls a line of wisdom from George W. Bush. But today we do.
You’re the gatherer. So you’re the decider.
Pillaging is easier than gardening.
It is very, very hard to gather people. If you’re the church planter, then you’ve taken a bold and risky move by staking this thing that everyone else calls a “career” (but you’re not allowed to because it doesn’t sound spiritual) on the success of a venture that everyone else can walk away from without missing a fiscal beat. In a “real business”, the other people in the organization call these heavily-invested pioneers “boss”.
Ultimately, you need to be ready and willing to pull the culture-hijacker aside and lovingly but firmly make the very point I’ve just made in this post. Liberate them to begin something new and gather a fresh group of people in an unoccupied space if they are provoked like you were when you started cultivating the present community.
Don’t allow someone to dismantle the community you’ve gathered and the culture you’ve nurtured, however pure their intentions.
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