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Defining Leadership

Leadership is not about Power

It IS about Empowering

In the movie Star Trek, The Wrath of Khan, Mr. Spock chooses to die in order to prevent the crew from perishing. He says, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one, or the few.”

Our leaders are focusing too much on their own need to stay in power. And too many people are perishing. At what point do we, as citizens and leaders, demand more from our leaders? If they were our boss we could quit our job. If they led our place of worship we could move to another congregation. If they led our schools we could transfer ourselves or our children.

That they “lead” our country should not handcuff us to their whims. Maybe we’ve all forgotten that they work for us; not the other way around. Regardless, when we allow our “leaders” to circumvent the will of the overwhelming majority so they can feed their own ambitions we end up complicate. We are all responsible for allowing these selfish, uncaring, lazy people to hijack our needs for their own purposes.

There is no other industrialized society where so many are senselessly murdered. But, our leaders have learned that we aren’t going to protest harder, or more impactfully. We could hold them accountable. We could vote them out. We could vote with our pocketbook. We could stop supporting the companies that donate to our political leaders. We could demand common sense legislation.

To stop at – ‘this one law won’t end gun violence’ is to abdicate your responsibility. Change doesn’t happen in one big move. It happens piece by piece. You have to start somewhere. And when 90% of the population agrees on something, our “leaders” should make it happen. THAT is what representative government is all about. It isn’t about playing to the loudest, or most generous to your campaign. It’s about serving all of the people you were elected to serve. Anything less is malpractice.

Leadership is about making the tough decisions. It’s about integrity. It’s about doing what is right even when you know you might get blowback. It’s about standing on a hill and putting the needs of the many before your own goals and aspirations.

Which would make you prouder – advancing your own self interest or advancing the interests of the country?

Leadership takes strength. Strength of conviction. Strength to stand for what is right. Strength to make those right decisions. Strength to potentially sacrifice your own self-interest. Strength to do your job. Strength to listen.

Leadership is not for the weak or selfish or power hungry. As Thomas Paine, one of our founding fathers so eloquently said, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.”

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