This is part 4 of 4 in our Homebrew Leadership series.
Most of us view leaders as the tip of the spear, the lone visionary, or the apex of the pyramid of power – separating those who lead from those who follow and pitting leaders against each other in a battle for influence.
That vision is kinda BS.
It’s dangerous to adventure alone - which is why we often travel with friends.
Finding the right partner is an underestimated aspect of leadership. We often find ourselves in a position of co-leadership, where we partner up with those aligned to our goals for a non-transactional, mutually beneficial relationship.
This goes beyond structures of power and hierarchy. A true partnership is one where each participant is both teacher AND student, willing to share power with each other to accomplish their mission. In a world where everyone is a leader, embracing co-leadership is necessary.
And let’s face it, there is a lot of pop culture evidence to support the power of dynamic duos. Within the realm of tabletop roleplaying games alone, there are countless archetypes and tropes to explore: frontline + backline, big + small, good interrogator + bad interrogator, brawn + brains, the light + the shadow, the high & mighty + the low & sneaky, sword + shield, mundane + arcane, bruiser + likely to bruise.
Even the DM and the player are in partnership - they both need each other AND benefit tremendously from that partnership. (Unless you’re a solo TTRPG player - shout out to you for being exception-al!)
Each combination has its own synergies to explore and benefits from the complement of the skillsets. The points of overlap become the bond and the points of difference become the source of newfound potential.
These leadership partnerships are peer-to-peer, even if there are formal titles or power dynamics at play. This is not about partnering out of pity or desire to help someone, but rather to be willing to also be changed and assisted through the partnership.
No individual has dominance over the other, nor do they divide and conquer by delegating tasks to their strengths. Instead they engage in co-creation, finding the places where they can build with and from each other’s strengths to go further than either could alone.
After all, that’s what being a member of a party is all about.
We all have the capability to be leaders in our own right and alone we can have an impact on the world around us. Yet, there is more potential lying in wait when we find the right partner who can show us that we might be more powerful than the sum of our parts.
So, who are you looking to invite to your team?
Giddy up, partner!
Autumn & Jerod