For as long as history has existed, kings and queens have ruled and have been celebrated by their subjects. Not everywhere, not all the time, but widely.

Not just the kingship of nations, but also of organizations.

It should be noted that in addition to monarchs, there are monarchists, citizens, employees and supporters who prefer the certainty that comes from someone else.

Royalty offers something to some of those who are ruled. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t exist.

As Sahlins and Graeber describe in their extraordinary (and dense) book on kings, there is often a pattern in the nature of monarchs. Royalty does not have to play according to the same cultural rules and “often comes from afar”. Having someone from a different background and background allows people to pull through and create the future.

If your participation in leadership is not required, you are free to simply be a spectator.

When we industrialized the world over the last century, we defaulted to this structure. Many western industrial organizations started out as being celebrated and run by their founders. CEOs apparently couldn’t do any harm. Until the world in which their business operated changed.

In large corporations, the autocratic and well-paid leader has the attributes of a monarch. A private air force, minions and the automatic benefit of the doubt. Working in this setting requires more obedience and effort on the part of employees than agency or independence.

A well-functioning constitutional monarchy is surprisingly effective. This is not the problem. The problem is what happens when it stops working well. The problem can arise when royalty becomes selfish, short-sighted, or impatient. Or the problem could be a pattern of employees, members or citizens not participating. Resilience disappears and the system becomes fragile.

When the world changes, and it does, faster than ever, it’s community and connection that keeps us going.

Modern organizations are finding that we all know more than any of us, and that committed individuals willing not only to speak out but to eagerly take responsibility for the work they do is an effective way. resilient and fair to show off in the world.


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