There is a difference between a revolution and a renaissance. A revolution is leadership dependent, meaning a revolution depends on individuals to lead the way. A renaissance is voice dependent, meaning ideas and a new atmosphere of dialogue from across the spectrum lead the way. Not many really understanding the distinction between revolution and renaissance.
In a revolution, we always look to new leadership, this is where a new power-shift takes place that kicks out the old oligarchs and brings in the new leadership. Sometimes this can work to the people’s benefit, however most of the time the new leadership is just as corrupt as the old leadership and has a secrete agenda to secure power to itself.
Too often we assume egalitarian leaders are greater in number than what exists in reality. In reality, there are not that many truly egalitarian leaders, perhaps less than 2% in a field of 100 leaders are egalitarian, which is a person that brings vision and great management together without leaning too heavily to either side. These leaders know how help reach consensus. It is fare to say that most leaders lean heavily to one side, they are either managers assigning work for others (these are great delegators, organizers and systems creators); or they are visionaries (these are disruptors, innovators, and outliers). When a leader leans to one side, they tend to be more controlling, as all managers and all visionaries struggle with the need to control.
Not the case with genuine leadership. Genuine leadership properly understood stands in the middle as a third eye. Their focus is bringing the two polar opposites together. It is hard for most people to be impartial (especially managers and visionaries) and yet this is what great leaders maintain.
The real distinction is that a renaissance in voice is more powerful than a revolution in leadership. A renaissance can never happen with a single leader. History does not support this idea. What history does support is an increase in voice inspiring greater consent, which is more closely tide to a renaissance than a revolution. What we are faced with is “how do we increase more voice?”
Creating better ways to organize voice is more ethical than choosing new leaders, which has its risks. Organizing voice better will prove superior to any new ideas about leadership, or how to vote or appoint new leaders. Right now we are entering a revolution, and dare I say the fight is a fierce one as the old establishment refuses to die and make room for a new leader.
People organize better when they hear each others’ voice and when they labor hard to reach consensus. A revolution in leadership is more emotion driven than cognitive engagement found in a renaissance in voice. As long as we can work to improve the process where we share voice and choose the best ideas while reaching a wider consent, a renaissance is guaranteed.
All we need is innovation in hearing voice and the same innovation in reaching consent. This is the very meaning of genuine optimism. A renaissance is coming, if you can see it.
Keith Kelsch, The Genuine Optimist