“I’m In Charge”: The Battery and the Wire
WHO’S GOT THE POWER?
“The value in each human is the gift they were born to deliver to humanity.”
Which one of these is the most important part of a car: the battery or the terminal wire? You’ve probably never heard of the little red wire that connects the battery to the rest of the engine in the car. If you’re like most people you will say, “The battery. It has the power.”
Your car has about 60,000 parts. The battery says, “I’m in charge of all of them. Nothing starts without me. I’m the battery. I have the power. Power! Power! Power! I’m the one who starts everything. Nothing starts until I arrive. I’m the power. I’ve got the power to start the engine.”
Does that sound like some people you know?
Well, if the battery is the most important part of the car, let’s disconnect the wire. The battery costs about $150. The little red wire missing from the car costs about $10. You have 59,999 working parts and only a $10 wire missing. Without it, the car will not start. Your car may be worth $40,000, $50,000 or $100,000, but it can be immobilized by this $10 wire. You want to go somewhere. You have something to do! The car says, “I’m ready, but there’s a little $10 wire missing.”
The battery says, “I’ve got the power.” A spark plug says, “I’ve got the fire.” The engine says, “I run the car!”
That little wire is very quiet. He does not have to say, “You need me. You can’t start without me.” All the other parts soon realize it, and they say, “Go find the wire.” The terminal wire was created to transmit electrical current from the battery to the generator and to the engine to ignite the spark plugs that provide the fire to turn the pistons and turn the engine over. In essence, the little terminal wire was designed to be the “leader” in the area of electrical transmission. In the domain of the terminal wire, the terminal wire is in charge. It might be just a little wire, but it could shut down the engine.
If that spot is empty, the car shuts down.
Each one of the car’s parts is a leader. A spark plug can never be a battery. A battery can never be a manifold. A manifold can never be a generator. Therefore, in the domain of the battery, the battery is in charge. It is unique because only it can be the battery— no matter how jealous the battery or the spark plug gets, no matter how much the steering wheel wishes to be a battery.
Each part is important. Every component of the car was designed to lead in a specific area and to serve a purpose or function in the context of the whole. Each one is a leader!
This concept of leadership contradicts the philosophy that leadership is reserved for a small, elite group of individuals “chosen by providence” and entitled to lead the masses of incapable subordinates in need of guidance by those of superior status. It is a direct challenge to what I was taught in the colonial experience of my childhood.
My view of leadership is this: each of us has an inherent gift and must serve that gift to the world. You are a leader. You have power. Your gift is your power. You are in charge in your area of gifting, your domain. You have a leadership spot to fill and a function to carry out. Your gift determines that spot and that function. Just as the value of the terminal wire is determined not by size or cost but by function, your value is not determined by anything but your gift. Someone needs your gift, and you must serve it to the world. You also need the gifts others bear to live.
So who’s in charge? You are! Who’s got the power? Every one of us.