Leadership

Statue of LibertyReading time – 2:21; Viewing time – 3:22  .  .  .

We have suffered decades of partisan demonizing, this coming mostly from Republicans following the creation of their “50-State Strategy”, a cruel, scorched earth program to deny any Democrat any legislative or PR victory regardless of the consequences to the American people – that’s you and me. If that rankles your Republican sensitivities, show me the list of Democratic efforts designed solely to block any Republican victories. Pick any decade you like.

We have suffered years of mean-spirited bloviating and name calling, essentially 10-year-old brat on the playground behavior, now perfected by Donald Trump. But don’t forget Congressman (R-Hell) Joe Wilson calling President Obama a liar during a State of the Union address. We are at one another’s throats, with destructive words as common as dandelions. As Joe Scarborough said the morning after the shootings of Dallas police, “We are a nation on edge.” A guest responded by saying that we have to identify why that is so. A significant driver of our being on edge is our insistence on creating a “we-they” culture through demonizing one another and the concomitant lack of leadership to bring us together..

I hate to say it, but President Obama is not a great leader. He’s not even a good leader, this at a time when we need greatness. He’s smart, I believe his heart is in the right place, but leadership is called for and if he has it, he doesn’t show it to us.

I do this for my day job, so trust me on this: A fundamental of leadership is standing up and saying in strong and clear terms, “THAT way.” It’s about who we are and what is most important. Some call it a vision statement. For more clarity on this, watch Simon Sinek’s TED talk, Start With Why. He points out that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t tell us that he had a plan. He did have a plan, but that wasn’t his message. His message was that he had a dream and that message of his dream moved a nation.

All of our strategies are what we do in order to go “THAT way”. Our tactics are how we do the strategic things – that’s the problem solving stuff. In the absence of “THAT way” clarity, we spin our wheels and go nowhere. And that is where we find ourselves right now.

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders garnered a great deal of support for the simple reason that they consistently put their “THAT way” message in front of people desperate for a vision.

We are hungry – starving – for a vision and a leader to declare it. In our fear and frustration we are killing one another and cannot manage to extricate ourselves from never-ending war. Our people are being fed poisoned water and one in six of our children is living in poverty. We continue to stuff carbon dioxide into an already overheated atmosphere and deny anything is happening that will harm our children and grandchildren. And we are killing young black men.

Which way is “THAT way”? And who is the leader who will stand up and declare a vision we embrace and then lead us there? We need that leader right now.

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

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Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
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