Spartacus, and yes, you read that correctly
October 28, 2013
Before anything else happens, I want to relive a piece of cinematic history. The film is Spartacus, the scene, the film’s most famous. A thousand fugitive slaves have just lost their battle for freedom, their numbers decimated by the Roman army. The survivors are huddled together awaiting their fate. The Roman leader announces to the fugitives that they may be spared crucifixion and return to their lives as slaves, but only under one condition. They must turn over Spartacus, their rebellious leader, the one who inspired these same slave masses to fight for freedom. Spartacus, famously played by Kirk Douglas, rises to his feet to surrender, but before the words can leave his mouth, the man next to him stands up and shouts, “I am Spartacus.” Then, the next man rises up to declare, “I am Spartacus”. Soon every man on the hillside is standing and shouting, “I am Spartacus.”
This story represents a classic scene from the golden age of hollywood, but that’s not why I’m sharing it. I share this story because it illustrates a concept I would like to delve into deeper in the next few blog posts. The reference belongs to Peter Senge, a leader in the field of leadership and organizational learning. The concept illustrated in the Spartacus scene Mr. Senge refers to as shared vision. He would suggest that the slaves weren’t following Spartacus because he was a hero or charismatic leader. They weren’t standing up on that hill for him, they were standing up for themselves and what they believed in. They were working together towards a vision for the future they all shared. It’s a much more powerful place to be, and a much more powerful place to stand as an organization. The concept of shared vision is a core belief and passion for me as a leader.
At Long View we’re working on our shared vision. There is a sense of something far greater than IT that happens here. I felt it from the beginning, and it’s why I’ve chosen to be a part of this company. I think we all feel it. I think we all share it. But we haven’t quite been able to articulate all the elements of our shared vision yet. I’d like to start putting into words what it is that gives our work here meaning. Here’s what I’m proposing, in my next post I’ll start to outline what I believe our shared vision is, or the greater purpose of what I believe we’re doing here at Long View. Comments and feedback are more than welcome, they’re needed. My hope is that we can turn this into a dialogue. And although I expect the process of truly defining our shared vision will take a lot more than a few blog posts I think it’s a valuable start, and a great venue for discussion.