There are times in congregational life when a program or project seem to take on a life of its own. People are energized and engaged, and the creative synergy propels the original plan far beyond the leaders’ plans or expectations.
This can be a little overwhelming, especially for people or congregational cultures that are comfortable with a high level of order and control. And yet, once the dust settles, we are reminded that there is much that is beyond our control, and that’s not always a bad thing.
The notion of Starfish Leadership acknowledges the “magic” that can happen when people are in the kind of “flow” described above. You set and articulate clear organizational values, purpose and direction, then let people loose to bring their own creativity. (This has become much easier with the interactive tools of social networking and other aspects of Web 2.0.)
Once recent example is the response by Unitarian Universalists all over the country to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy on the Mid Atlantic States. Here is a video telling the story: