A Leader who takes responsibility for the Outcome
As F3 began to spread we boiled down everything that was needed to start a new workout to only three things: the location, the men who needed F3 in their Community and a Leader who could get things started. That is also the initial order of importance that we placed upon those three three things: first the location; second the men we wanted to help; and third the Leader who could get it started.
As a result of our early view of what we thought most significant, we spent a lot of time scouting out new locations for workout Groups. We looked for hills and tracks and trails through the woods. Ideally, new locations would have a jungle gym big enough for men to do pull-ups and decent grass on which to roll around. So we looked for that as well. Sometimes we found locations that had all these things, but we soon discovered their presence was no guarantee that a Group would succeed at that spot.
We also put together lists of men to gather to the initial session of our new Groups. We experimented with social networks in an effort to reach as many men as possible. We had theories about which cities would have the most likely population of men who would benefit from F3. With all the time we spent doing that, we were surprised to find that some of our most successful Groups were started in places of which we had never heard. Little towns, glorified truck-stops, places that were hardly on the map. F3 succeeded in the most unlikely places.
With all the time we put into finding the ideal location and right kind of men, we had little time left to invest in identifying the initial Leader. It didn’t matter that much, we thought, just as long as it was a guy who was willing to show up while the Group was in its initial growth stage. If it turned out that we had the wrong guy, the right guy would come along eventually and step into the Leadership role. We were sure of that, even though we had no evidence upon which to base that hopeful notion.
In putting so much less importance on the Leader than on the location and the men, we were like someone searching under a streetlight for their lost car keys, even though they are pretty sure that they didn’t lose them at that particular spot. Why would someone do that? Because the streetlight is where the searching is the easiest, even if the finding is the least likely.
Finding the right Leader was hard, so we searched for ideal locations instead. That was easier, but it didn’t work. It’s the Leader that matters, not the location.
Now that we have Groups that meet in a Walmart parking lot we can see how true that really is. Every Community is full of men who need F3—it doesn’t matter where we go next. But the Leader, the Q, the man who will take responsibility for the Outcome? That man is like a diamond. With him, the Group cannot fail. Without him, it cannot succeed.
As F3 developed into something more than a workout Group, we noticed that the attributes that make a man a good workout Q are the same that ones that make him a Leader in his Community.
Q’s don’t roll out of a factory, they are developed, deliberately, by other Q’s who are themselves taking responsibility for the Outcome. Since F3’s purpose is the reinvigoration of male Community Leadership, the development of Q’s is our business. The purpose of the QSource is to help us be better at our business.
An F3 Core Principle is to end each Workout with a Circle Of Trust, what we call the COT. Like most things F3, the COT was not part of the original design. It evolved to fill a need. Men told us that they didn’t feel right just jumping in their cars after the Workout without some type of minor ceremonial send off. So we conjured up the COT, which is where we recognize each man individually and say a brief prayer.
Within the COT, we often find ourselves asking the Creator for help at being better husbands, fathers, friends, mentors and workers. We don’t know the source of this particular petition, it just came about and seemed to spread across F3Nation. It is a recognition that as men, we yearn to be better at the things we were created to be, and have learned the hard way that we cannot do it alone. We need help. We need truth that is hard-earned and hard-learned. We need Wisdom.
But which of us is wise? How do we know what we are hearing is Wisdom and not the song of a fool? How are we to discern the voice of the shepherd from that of the wolf?
Because the Q is a Leader who takes responsibility for the Outcome, he is also a man who seeks help answering these questions. In turn, because he is part of a Community, he is obligated to help other men find them as well. The source of the Q’s Wisdom, the QSource, is best discovered through the mutual iron-sharpening that occurs when people unite and search for answers together, the old-fashioned way.