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Many people cannot envision how a "Leaderless" organization can be large and successful without central control. The mind rebels at the thought of not having a leader because we have been conditioned to think of ourselves a "just a cog in the machine".

We never consider that the cogs ARE the machine. If the "cogs" take it on themselves to mesh differently, the old machine fails and a new one emerges. That kind of analogy will just draw derision from the "company man" and the"party hack" because, in their mind, the "cogs" just can't up and decide to mesh differently.

So lets move on to two examples of large, successful "leaderless" organizations, one legal and one illegal. Lets consider the legal first.

Alcoholics Anonymous started in 1936 with just two people. The AA Traditions (equivalent to by-laws in centrally controlled organization) state:

"For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern."

They mean it and practice it. When someone (or collection of someones) tries to "govern", they just get ignored until the either find the humility to serve or move on somewhere else. Over 2,000,000 members in 54 countries around the world are voluntarily bound together by this tradition. Twenty-Five million copies of the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" have been sold. In 2005, 44,000 of them met in Toronto for an international convention. More than that attend the 2010 International Conference at the San Antonio AlamoDome July 1 through 4, 2010. Your yard man, waitress or mechanic may be a featured speaker, applauded by thousands, without you even knowing he or she is a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

For the illegal example, ponder the question about how every 8th grader in your community can buy illegal drugs when the full force of international, federal, state and local law enforcement can't do a damned thing about it. This is probably a $trillion global business run and staffed by people who (largely uneducated) die sudden, early and untimely deaths and spend a significant part of their lives before that in jail. Yet the whole organization just goes on and on and on - large, growing, successful and very profitable. Your local school principal, barber or child may be a member without you even knowing it.

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