Tag Archives: circles of equals

Moving Towards a World with No Bosses

I keep attempting to bear witness to and advocate for our society’s continuing transformation from “hierarchies of control to circles of equals”, but I got feedback from my partner Sally on our morning walk today that that is too academic of a framing… Damn! So how can I call this out in a more clear, un-geeky, and compelling way? What captures the essence of (along with the argument for) this transformation? I thought about it, feeling some frustration that I was not yet effective in really communicating what I’m trying to say.

So I suggested a new framing that my comrade thought might be more compelling. In the simplest and broadest sense of it, isn’t it about moving towards a “world without bosses”?

The word “boss” is such a loaded one in our culture, evoking (at least in my mind) an old-school sense of a person who gives you orders, monitors your conduct, and does a high-stakes evaluation of your performance in your work. Someone who is higher than you on the org chart that you may strive to replace or just to mollify. Someone who “bosses you around”, which from my sense of that usage, is never intended to mean something positive. As a parent, I still have in my mind one kid challenging another kid’s bullying by saying, “You’re not the boss of me!”

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Moving Towards Circles of Equals

In my previous piece, “Defining the Circle of Equals”, I laid out what I see as the basic principles that define this more progressive and highly-evolved (at least in my opinion) than the hierarchical model for organizing institutions in our society. A model based on the the respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person (which also happens to be a key foundational principle of Unitarian-Universalism). As a follow-up I feel it is important to call out some of the ways we can work to support and facilitate our historic transition from a more hierarchical society to one based on egalitarianism and partnership between people.

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