Isn't it true that as we achieve greatness, people get uncomfortable and leave?
I'm no authority on greatness, but of the people that I would consider great, I feel the opposite. Great people aren't the people who have loads of insight or the most talent or the profound ability to make others feel small. They are people who inspire others.
I like how one guy I've had the pleasure of working with was willing to do the dirty work, but gave me the vote of confidence to jump in a new machine and perform useful tasks. Great people have a can do attitude, and it's contagious. When they come around, it feels like the sun is coming out. When they are not around, their presence is missed. Cliff is one of those guys. He doesn't try for attention. He doesn't have to. The guy is a magnet. Cliff is a scruffy Tristan of a pipeliner (if you remember Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall). He's a team player who inspires people to give 100% and love every minute. People follow him, not because he has profound insight or the ability to do everything better than everyone else. No, people follow him because he's a cowboy. He will make a hard job look easy and break a few rules in the process, but he does the little jobs too, modelling the attitude that doing less prestigious jobs won't take away greatness. Sure greatness is a subjective thing and everyone has greatness in them, but I like Cliff's style. I wish I knew about it sooner. I don't think it's greatness that drives people away, but maybe the craving that one might have for greatness. That craving can make people with genuine greatness loathsome to be around because they go to work trying to generate more prestige than they've earned. They might boss people around or play the Know-it-all. That style doesn't sit right with me or the other guys in my camp. If you want to be great, mix bold with wise and a smack of humility, and I'm sure you will be doing things in circles you wouldn't have dreamed of a year ago. Wiping bums or dressing wounds maybe. (Not the circles you had in mind?) If you make a few enemies along the way, that could mean a few things, not necessarily a sign you are on the right track, or the wrong one. People who are confident are willing to tell people off when lines are crossed.
I wish I had a little more of that.
Great people make a difference right? Pushing for change in something can conflict with preservation or other interests.
What I know now is that feeling scared is part and parcel with walking the line that Jesus talked about with his circle of dudes, and a little inner tremor has been no stranger to me in the last year where great things have happened. Where I've met some of the Great. They come along and breed volition. It's not a call for human idolatry, but a service for the little warriors in the rest of us that need vision and a little faith to bust out. God Speed you crazies.