Our nation made many decisions this past Tuesday – Election Day 2018. I doubt if anyone (except political junkies) is sorry the recent mid-term election cycle is over. Perhaps if I owned a television or radio network, I might be lamenting the absence of all that advertising revenue!
The tone of this campaign was nastier than many in recent memory. How do leaders respond after a slugfest that further divides our nation by ideology? What decisions will they make that might lead to healing our divisions?
The leadership I often observe in politics and business has one thing in common – it fails to inspire. Sure, some of our leaders are well-educated or experienced. Many are hardworking and seem to care about the people they lead. But inspiring leaders do more than that.
Author Lance Secretan outlines the secret to inspirational leadership in his book, “ONE: The Art and Practice of Conscious Leadership.” He shares these five ingredients: courage, authenticity, service, truthfulness, love, and effectiveness. If you pause to think of leaders you know who inspire, they all possess these characteristics.
Where was authenticity, truthfulness, and love demonstrated during the recent political campaigns? Both sides spent most of their resources on slinging mud, character assassination, and lying about each other. Every word seemed calculated, every appearance orchestrated, every gesture prescribed. Even in defeat there are strategies and behaviors underway to undermine the outcomes.
What was missing? How about real, authentic behavior.
Voters without a clear vision of inspirational leadership, made decisions to blindly follow a cult of personality or to protect an ideology. The result is a hollow victory where being right only means one side won and nothing more. To change an organization or rally a nation to greatness takes more than this “win at all costs” mentality.
The elections are behind us but the pressing problems of our nation and the world remain in the hands of politicians and business leaders who seem content with the status quo.
Who will have the courage to make principled decisions?
Which of these leaders will model authenticity in the midst of difficult conversations?
Who will adopt a servant attitude toward those they disagree with and those they serve?
When will these leaders practice truth-telling and behave in loving ways?
At what point will we notice these leaders being effective in the jobs we have asked them to perform?
The voters made their decisions. Now it is the elected leaders who will make theirs. I pray their decisions will reflect the practices of conscious leadership.
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