I wrote a blog post in a past life (companies internal blog) in 2006 that was focused on the “Good ol’ Days.” I wrote it because we all have memories and perceptions of the past. Usually for the better. I bet if I stop and ask 100 people about their perceptions of the past – over 95 would have a very positive outlook on the past. Hence the good ol’ days. Is it because we like to remember only the good stuff in those memories? Were they really better times back then? Maybe it is a bit of both. I want to focus this post on leadership. When you think about leadership, think about a leader in your mind. Who is it? Do they come from a time that is part of the “good ol’ days?” I hate to write a political based post, but with the examples of past and today – it is very too easy to say the past is far better than today. I am hard pressed to really call out any one great example of our political leadership for the positive. Is that strange? Maybe today’s leaders need more time to do there stuff. Maybe it is because I am much harder on today’s leaders?
You stop and think about that for a moment. Do you have a leader that steps the forefront, one that you say – that is a leader? Anyone today? All of what I would call great leaders are in the past (John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan). Look at the mess that we are in, our economy, lack of jobs, attempted recovery that has cost billions, debt and the list goes on. Looking at a recent Gallop poll shows the lack of confidence in our so-called leaders. We elected them. Congress is running at 15% approval rating. Our President is bouncing in the 40’s for an approval rating (usually goes up after one of his well prepared and delivered speeches). Why is everything so low?
- Look at the list of issues that are going on all at the same time. Economy, lack of jobs, failed attempts at reform, debt and lack of pulling together to get the job done. Maybe this is too much? I don’t remember this much going on back in the good ol’ days. Again, maybe I can only remember the best of times. Having too much on the plate definitely causes a lack of focus. So, maybe pick a couple of issues, fix them completely (not argue about it). I do remember that whatever was going on in the past, we did what was necessary and got through it. Are we going to get through it – now? Of course, but it is going to be extremely painful. We need real leadership to make that happen. Since we elected the last group, and the confidence level is at 15% – time for some huge changes. Time for us to act.. We need folks that will act!
- Observing leaders actions are something that are very telling. When you really look at the leaders of our country, you see folks that are worried about how we perceive them. I know I stated the Gallup poll results, I bet our political leadership looks at approval ratings. Worried more about how we see them, rather than the actions that they do. Leadership is not about worrying about how your followers think about you as a leader. It is about the vision, goals and the leaders actions – that is why we follow. Stop worrying about what everything is thinking about you. Get out and get it done… Stop working against each other and get together for what is needed for this country. Enough already.
- People are just sick and tired of reading and watching the news. Today, we get instant information. That comes with good and bad. I like it, when stuff is out for public consumption. Don’t hide anything. The downside is we usually don’t get much good news. The facts sometimes are not fully disclosed until it is too late. If we are tired of what we see and hear – we show it in the confidence level that our political leaders are getting today.
- This one maybe a slap in the face, but maybe some of those folks best days are behind them. Their best work was years ago.. Time for a change!
Maybe it is me, but I see today’s political leaders as not leaders. Like I wrote earlier, I did not want this to be focused on the political aspects only. Principle’s of leadership apply and it is time for some much needed leadership in political office. So, what can you do?
- Get educated in politics. Don’t just sit back and look at the candidates when it is an election year. Stay aware of what is happening real time. Understand what is going on with the hot topics of the day (well, pick the ones that are really important, there are way too many). What actions are happening. Who is really making a difference, if any.
- Action is what is important now. So, when you hear words – wait for actions. No actions, then they failed. I don’t have any political aspirations, but if you do and action is your middle name… Go forth.
- Let your leadership know your “true” feelings. Since they are worried about how we perceive them. Write to them, tell them exactly is on your mind. They were voted in to act on your behave. Time to stop all the party positioning and let’s roll up the sleeves and get to making stuff happening.
- Rethink your past votes. Look at their performance today (not their past re Watching what some of the voters did in Arizona with recalling a failing leader. I was pretty excited to see that folks are taking control. It is costly, but probably not as costly as leaving them in.
Look when you are out in the world.. And you see a lack of leadership in the organization you are working in – you have choices. You chose to follow particular leaders. With our political system, that is hard, but not impossible. We need to step up and take control. Our future and the future of our kids, depends on it.