I want to begin by defining leadership from a professional’s perspective using ‘ thoughts and quotes by recognized authorities.
Please remember these quotes. They are the basis of this post.
Stephen Covey: “Leadership is a choice that lies in the space between stimulus and response.”
Chris Hadfield: “Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high, and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success and then standing back and letting them shine.
Loa Tzu: “When the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say it happened naturally.” A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” Be Observant, Give Credit, Acknowledge Success in Others.
We are in the final throws (convulsions) of the 2020 Presidential election in the US. I can’t wait for this to end. Regardless of who wins, we desperately need leadership, real leadership — someone we can admire and follow.
The past several decades frame my statement. We are violent, reactionary, and intolerant. Our self-serving inhumanity is our new norm. We are not, however, wholly cold-blooded. We do have brief interludes of misdirected mercy, but our pervading tendency is remorseless selfishness. Examine the examples set by our elected leaders and tell me that they demonstrate differently.
Our leaders’ immense egos speak volumes about our approach to the world around us. What message does this convey to the world? How does their leadership style map to our goals of world peace, self-sufficiency, environmental responsibility and recovery, and our national unity? It all seems duplicitous to me.
The past Presidents saw the US Constitution and Bill of Rights as universally applicable throughout the world. This faulty assumption established our obligation as the planet’s police – whether they wanted us or not. It set a path for America to judge the world through our unique lens of rights and liberties, which are not relevant anywhere else but here.
In the proper context, our Constitution and Bill of Rights can be an example and a guide to the world. We expect even communist countries to adhere to our precepts, a dogma that we don’t follow with any consistency.
We are a country of duplicity – ‘Do as I say, not as I do.’ Which example does the world follow? We’re quick to condemn it but reluctant to mend. We pay it lip-service but do little to understanding the root cause of the issue.
The 2020 Presidential Election is a remarkable example of my point. We beat our collective chests about unfair elections and voter fraud in other counties and cannot manage to conduct a fair and conclusive election ourselves.
The 2020 election is anything but ordinary or straightforward. The combatants are diametric opposites with little in common save their lust for the oval-office.
We have some brilliant people in this country. It escapes me that we cannot create a tamper-proof and simple balloting system that services the entire country’s needs. Why is this so difficult? Could it be that our devotion to victory supersedes honesty and integrity? “Winning Is Everything” – Another marvelous example for the world to follow.
Our atrocious attitude stems from the examples laid before us. It comes primarily from our elected leaders and their message. These legislators feign public responsibility, but their allegiance is to their masters and themselves. We are the embodiment of their example.
It’s all I, me, mine, and all about how someone lied and didn’t have a plan to protect ME! Not us… ME! Sure, the pandemic hit some families, but we bitch about our loss rather than adapt. Yes, our government stepped up with additional funds to bolster the economy. Rather than thank them, we complain that the money ran out. This initial grant became a lever used in the agonizing political spectacle we suffer today. Yesterday’s gift is today’s expectation. Now, it’s our right…
I contend that we do, indeed, follow our leader’s examples, albeit unthinkingly. We lie easily and frequently. We attack anyone that disagrees. We don’t discuss; we argue. And for us, the most important thing on this planet is the individual. We are egotists — no one else exists but us. Just Like our legislators!
In fairness, I must add a few people and leaders are sympathetic and caring. These humanitarians live to serve, believing that our primary purpose on this planet is to help others. And if they can’t do that, at least they don’t hurt them. Unfortunately, they are the minority.
This country’s owners set the tone. Captivated by passionate appeals, carefully crafted partisan rhetoric, and intense innuendo, we marched into the abyss. We trust empty promises and rhetorical assurances. We follow blindly as these Svengalis weave their nets to capture our attention by playing to our passions.
We are Sheeple! The parallel I draw is that sheep are easily lead and follow without thinking, which describes what I see in this country. It has nothing to do with political leanings. It has everything to do with fanatically following the examples set by people in authority. We don’t think; we react. Our passions govern our behavior. It permeates every facet of the information avalanche’.
Now, please go back to the beginning of this post and re-read the quotes regarding leadership.
“The Government you elect is the government you deserve.” Thomas Jefferson