Hancock Lumber was recently selected as a “BEST PLACE TO WORK IN MAINE” for the second year in a row! This is an extremely difficult award to achieve. The criteria is based on confidential employee surveys in which the vast majority of respondents describe themselves as being “Highly Engaged” in their workplace. Since I lost the partial use of my voice to Spasmodic Dysphonia in 2010, I have found myself listening more, talking less, and seeking to strengthen the voices of others. An organization where EVERYONE leads is stronger than one in which just a few lead. Pine Ridge is an example of this. In the old days, when the Lakota were strong, the role of central government was very small. All the power went to the individual. The vision-quest rite of the Lakota is an example of the traditional values of their society. Each young man coming of age ventured out on his own to “seek a vision” of his true calling. Then, that individual was expected to come back to the tribe and live their personal truth and pursue that which called to him. It was believed that if each individual was strong than the tribe would be strong. Today, thanks to generations of excessive central control, the government (Federal and tribal) holds most of the power (land, money, jobs) and very little space is left for the individual. The ‘old ways’ of the Lakota show the path forward for modern organizations in the Aquarian Age…the path to strength lives in each individual LOOKING INWARD and seeking their own truth, speaking their own voice, and making themselves strong. Modern leadership structures need to support and encourage this individual strength, not squash it! As Rudyard Kipling wrote, The strength of the pack is the wolf.