Thoughts on the poem “Drawing one voice out of two separate strings” by Rilke, and how it relates to changing paradigms of leadership.
Today’s post comes from one of my usual wide-ranging conversations with my brilliant friend Bruce Peters. Our general theme was, as it often is, about how to support organisations and leaders to play to their strengths in a way that is, in Bruce’s words, “Beyond Teal” or in mine, about #OpenLeadership. As my home page puts it:
“Command-and-control leadership is losing its grip. A new way of thinking is emerging: leadership that embraces change as constant, encourages individual thought, relies on intuition more than data, fluidity more than hierarchy, trust more than fear, and the common good more than profit.”
Today, an inspiring poem that inspires and gives food for thought on how any leader, any organisation, can inspire and draw the most from every person within it.
I took the title for this post, “Drawing one voice from two separate strings” from a poem by Rilke.
The poem is about an aspiration for what a love relationship can be, of two people living and growing together in interdependence, supporting each other on life’s journey for each other as individuals while at the same time creating their own harmony together.
At the same time, the thoughts within it also inspire me to thoughts around how we can change paradigms of leadership in the way I look to support leaders with as noted above from my home page.
I felt similarly inspired around leadership, teal and more by a similar piece by Gibran, as I wrote about in more depth in “And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow”.
The theme in all of this is about interdependence, about being ourselves and living to our own potential while also being understanding and supportive of another or others and embracing and respecting our differences.
These are the types of relationships and organisations I love to be part of and to support.
How can I keep my soul in me, so that
it doesn’t touch your soul? How can I raise
it high enough, past you, to other things?
I would like to shelter it, among remote
lost objects, in some dark and silent place
that doesn’t resonate when your depths resound.
Yet everything that touches us, me and you,
takes us together like a violin’s bow,
which draws *one* voice out of two separate strings.
Upon what instrument are we two spanned?
And what musician holds us in his hand?
Oh sweetest song.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Originally published at Tom McCallum.