Thoughts On Leadership.

Thoughts On Leadership.

The current competition to be the president of the United States has been an excellent opportunity to reflect upon the topic of leadership. Even though I am a Canadian, my outsider status may give me an insight which could escape my American friends. Watching the debates etc., has certainly caused me to reflect on the recent Canadian Federal election campaign as well-something which I know escapes my American friends. Many have opined that governors have experience which a senator does not have. I can certainly understand this. Up until I became a supervisor I was simply a plant operator/mechanic who my supervisor might consult when making a decision or not, but in the end the responsibility was his. Not to diminish my own responsibilities in my own sphere, but it is different. Having to take responsibility, not only for my own actions, but also the actions of my crew, both reveals and changes a person, it really does. I choose to consult others, in most cases, before I make a decision. But my crew knows that I own the decisions and assume complete responsibility for them. Only if a supervisor does this will he or she get input and cooperation, and it ends up making for the best decisions.

Like it or not, senators do not carry the same responsibility as a governor. I do not have the luxury of not voicing my opinion or the requirement to back up that opinion with decisive action. I once had a woman tell me that her parents did not make a decision unless they could both agree. This reveals the naivete, in her case, of feminism. No decision is a decision. In the real world people and processes continue to roll along like a never-ending stream-either navigate your way through or be shipwrecked. It really is both that simple and that complicated, stressful, and hard. Most of us who are honest will admit to making mistakes along the way, and we need to own these as well. People will still follow a leader who admits their mistakes if they will own them, learn from them, and please please move on! Don’t dwell endlessly on your mistakes and please don’t do so with me. Having said that, it does strike me that many consider a job, any job, outside of politics as the only qualification for the office of national leader. Being a member of congress or parliament is a real job, and it is an insult to this very valuable work to state otherwise.

However, it does seem to be the case that the job of a senator can be what one makes of it. One can choose to show up for a vote or not. Whether as a member of parliament or congress one responds to the needs of their constituents will certainly affect their future, unless of course it is the Canadian senate, but that is a whole other topic. But I would certainly not consider as a power engineer operator someone who only had on their resume that he was the Prime Minister of Canada. He is not qualified for the job. Why then would the public consider the power engineer operator to be more qualified, per se, than a senator who at least has some legislative experience, as well as the duty of representing or not his or her constituents? A man who has run a business but answers to no one but himself is perhaps the least qualified to represent all the citizens of a nation. How many times has the church appointed as ruling elders those who were business men who bring their arrogance to the servant role of the church elder. Many such men consider it a weakness to suggest they are called to serve.

Jesus made clear that there are men who aspire to leadership positions for the stated reason of being then able to lord it over others. This is not to be the model of the Christian leader anywhere-in business, politics, the family, or the church (Mt. 20:25-28)! Someone who says “I am the greatest,” is probably not, at least by Christ’s standard. There are many men and women in positions of leadership in society who take greater pleasure in saying “your opinion matters,” than in saying “Your fired!” Making deals is about respecting the opinion of others, not sucking up or berating others just to get your own way. To bring this to more specifics on the presidential race, if not obvious from the above, I would suggest that Mr. Trump would be the worst candidate from among the republican crowd. It is impossible to serve with a self-important narcissitic egotistical unrepentant hypocrite. One cannot say the things he has said and not see the need to repent all the while calling out others for perceived errors. Add to this his unwillingness to state his positions should give the voters further pause-independent perhaps, conservative-no.

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