Unless you are truly off the grid, it has been nearly impossible to avoid the barrage of “campaign” ads. I put that in quotes because the majority of them weren’t about what a candidate proposed they would do, but rather how insanely horrible and incompetent the other person was. Mud-slinging at its finest. The amount of negativity hemorrhaging into our homes and cars has been absolutely staggering.

The seemingly ever increasing trend to just point out problems is a disheartening view of how many folks do leadership as well. Aren’t these politicians meant to be the leaders of our country? They are quick to point out how rotten someone else is at performing a task or the way in which they do it. It seems the solution they present is of no real substance and consists of nothing more than their astute, yet conveniently subjective, observation of the other person’s ineptitude.

We simply can’t do this in leadership. The disastrous nature of how our government functions cannot be repeated on a mass scale if we expect things to move forward as leaders. Imagine going into your next meeting, it has all the subtlety of a community bedpan and there is nothing but negativity and back-biting among the leadership. How crazy would that be? What about spinning the problem in a way that supports an agenda and then actually believing your own spin and leading from that concocted reality? Even crazier!!

We seem to find ourselves powerless as to how our government representatives act. The best we can do is shuffle them in and out of office and hope the movement mitigates the chaos. However, we are able to passively learn from their ineffective way of (clears throat) managing themselves. We can purposely lead differently and begin to exert some positive peer pressure on those who choose to act in such an embarrassing and juvenile manner.

So many people feel frustrated because they simply feel lied to, no matter which side of the aisle is talking. We have assumed a position of being a victim to our own government. We have resolved that the only way we can make a difference is through our vote. Excuse me, but I thought we were leaders. We make the difference; we don’t complain about the lack of difference being made.

Let’s create a model of leadership that will be the standard by which we want to be governed. If our government representatives won’t listen to the words which communicate that we are tired of the lies and the ideological diatribe, then let’s be the examples we wish they would be. Writing things along the political spectrum is not common nor comfortable for me, but as leaders we have an opportunity and a responsibility to set the example. We don’t have to have titles to be leaders and we don’t have to be elected to office to make a difference in how our government works. We can make a conscious decision to lead ethically from a place of character and in a way that serves those we lead based on their needs…not our agenda. What are your thoughts on how we can make this the unequivocal standard for leadership so that there isn’t a substandard alternative?

  • Another interesting aspect of this is the pressure for candidates to always have a plan when they have never been in the office, and don’t always know all it involves.

    Have you ever noticed how GRAY the presidents’ hair gets as their term/terms progress? I believe there is a reason to the pattern and it has to do with the immense responsibility & pressure they are faced with on a daily basis with briefings the public is rarely aware of- let alone understanding of.

    The oval office is an example of one in which ideas help but perhaps the best way along the lines of your leadership discussion to campaign would be to describe the character attributes the nation needs in a leader at this time, and why the candidate is that person. Leadership comes in many forms and how someone leads works out in all policies. Only problem for this is Bush #41 talked about how “character matters” but it didn’t seem to resonate with the electorate. Bad timing? Or bad idea because the press and the electorate respond more to the headlines than the finelines??

  • You’re so right Mike. I think the character thing is absolutely important, but leadership acumen, and an ability to bring opposing factions together (diplomacy) should be high on the list as well. Not to mention conflict resolution.

    The leaders within organizations and communities are in a great position to be exemplars that develop public expectations of what we need to see in politics. This is the positive peer pressure I alluded to in my post.

    There isn’t one tick box that will serve all people. It is an amalgamation of qualities that need to come into play.

    Thanks for contributing to the conversation, Mike!

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