Of course, the whole notion of leadership being a function of communication instead of the other way around is complicated by the fact that organic structures are highly organized. I don’t think it’s overstating it to suggest that we don’t even know how organized. Every time we make a groundbreaking discovery into one layer, that same discovery makes it apparent that we haven’t reached the bottom yet. Robert Hooke and four other colleagues discovered the cell in the late 17th century. It took almost another two hundred years to discover the nucleus. Scientists were still discovering cell organelles into the mid 20th century. Today, we know that cells are made up of molecules. Molecules are made of atoms. Atoms are built of protons and neutrons which are in turn built of quarks. Much like the universe is vast in its expanse, organic structures seem to divide down into elemental particles to an indeterminate scale. You could get lost in it. And you should, for at least 3 minutes.
There is a natural order to life, and all things living. Everything is made up of something else. The companies that we build to solve problems and create wealth are made up of people. Those people are part of complex ecosystems called families to put together through, something scientists barely understand called, relationships. Those relational bonds are unpredictable, proving to be incredibly strong at times and able to endure great hardship, while weak and fragile at other times. No one knows why. These relationships often form at work, bringing organism structures into today’s workplace.
Outside of work, humans often partake in what’s known as recreation which is largely dictated by the aforementioned relationships. Offspring and mating partners often require the presence of the primary human at social gatherings and sporting events such as Little League and Soccer Practise. A ritualistic routine often formalizes depending on the length of the mating relationship where visits are made to one or both of the mating pair’s parents; something that has become known as Visiting the In-Laws. And so, it is easy to see how instead of the intended 24 hours of human productivity per day, it dwindles significantly to an average of 8–12 hours per day.
All joking aside, humans are in and of themselves complicated organic structures that are highly organized. It should be of no surprise that bringing a group of strangers together to change the world through your product or service was going to be complicated. A global pandemic only exacerbates that fact, but it also revealed something about us that I hope we don’t lose. The façade of our work-selves was removed with the enforcement of work-from-home orders, leaving only our truer home-selves in their place, in turn showing up as our Work-Self. And I think many of us realized in that space that a) work is, or at least can and should be, a meaningful part of our true selves, and b) that changes everything about what it means for me to go to work.