No Need for ''Mentors'': Summon Your Posse! (and turn the ''in posse'' to ''in esse'')

It would be to your infinite surprise, perhaps, that I would like to talk about the second image, and not just because it is more in keeping with the current zeitgeist. Rather, it is because I want to tell you something about professional development and career goals that is better served by thinking "collaboratively," rather than "hierarchically." More about that in a minute.

Posse Comitatus
The younger generation may throw the term "posse" around, and perhaps most who do are unaware that this is Latin, not English. Regardless, the venerable OED and even Black's Law Dictionary let us know that the 19th-Century image is more correct. A "posse comitatus" (sometimes just "posse") is the population of a county over the age of 15 that a sheriff may summon to his assistance in cases of keeping the peace or in pursuing and arresting felons. (See Williams v. State, 253 Ark. 973, 490 SW2d 117, 121). Regardless, I want to focus your attention on another Latin usage of "posse"; and that is the phrase "in posse," which is not to be confused with "in esse." Something is "in posse" when it may possibly be; something is "in esse" when it actually is. I want to draw the analogy between gathering a "posse" around you and thereby turning your career plans from "the possible" to "the actual," or "in posse" to "in esse."