Dear Political Leaders, I'm sick of your crap.
I'm sorry if that doesn't sound Christ-like or isn't politically correct, but that's how I feel. If I have to read one more headline stating, "Dems Blame GOP Amid Bleak Report," or "Republicans Direct Fault at White House" I think I might throw up.
As a "little" leader of a "little" church let me share 5 simple leadership principles that might do you some good to remember:
LEADERSHIP IS ABOUT DOING WHAT IS BEST, NOT WHAT IS POPULAR.
Your role as a leader is not to please, it is so lead. Your decisions are supposed to be geared toward the best benefit, the best outcome, and the best future for our country. Most often, the biggest decisions you make will have a negative response by some, if not many. This doesn't mean the decision was bad or wrong, it just means that people didn't like it. Deal with it. Pull up your "big boy" pants or hike up your "big girl dress" and be a leader, not an appeaser.
LEADERSHIP IS ABOUT DOING WHAT IS RIGHT, NOT WHAT IS EASY.
You can't shortcut leadership. Period. Most of your influence will be earned by leading through the hard. As a leader, who would you rather follow, someone who has walked around the hard, or someone who has learned to push through it? Our country needs you to be willing to role up your sleeves and get to work no matter how hard it is. Remember, you wanted this leadership; you signed up for it! No one forced you into the election or on the ballot, so stop screwing around and trying to screw each other. Grab a hammer and get to work fixing and/or building our nation.
LEADERSHIP IS ABOUT INFLUENCE, NOT POWER.
I know this may be tough for you to remember, but your leadership is determined by your followers, not the other way around. What makes a great leader is not his charisma, his knowledge, or even the decisions he makes. A great leader is empowered by dedicated followers. Many of the world's most effective leaders saw their influence realized through the impact of their followers. Granted, leadership is proven in your decision and actions, but your influence ... that depends on whether the people you are trying to lead are willing to follow you. Your leadership is measured by influence, and right now ... your influence sucks. Perhaps that's because you are so out of touch with the people who you are supposed to be leading that they have no desire to follow you.
LEADERSHIP IS ABOUT ACCEPTING WHAT YOU DID WRONG, NOT CELEBRATING WHAT YOU DID RIGHT.
I'm tired of hearing about what everyone else is doing wrong. I'm tired of hearing about how your agenda or plan is right. Aren't you tired of trying to make everyone else look so bad in order to make yourself look so good? Leadership is all about integrity, and that starts with honesty and humility. Honesty is the ability to look at yourself and see what everyone else sees. It's taking a step back from the campaigns and the press and seeing what we all see. Throw out the good stuff and the bad stuff and find the honest truth in the middle. As for humility, I'm not talking about false humility that says, "Look everyone, I'm such a servant, look at what I'm doing." I'm talking about seeing others as more important than you are, even though you have a title and a place in U.S. history. As followers, we're tired of hearing how everyone else is to blame. Suck it up, accept culpability, and then see thoughts #1 & #2 above.
LEADERSHIP IS A PRIVILEGE.
If you don't hear anything else, please lodge this one deep in your heart. All leadership is a privilege. That big cushy chair you sit in and the responsibility that comes with it is neither an entitlement that you earned or a right that you deserved. It is a privilege that few people in this country's great history get to experience. Use this privilege wisely. Use it to advance our nation. Use it to serve the people. Cherish it while you have it, because every term has a limit!
In closing, I know I don't understand the pressure you're under. I know I couldn't possibly fathom the stress you must feel with the situations and decisions facing you. I have never walked in your shoes. That being said, and I know this isn't fair: I don't have to have walked in your shoes to expect you to lead me well.
As a U.S. leader, you have been given a responsibility to lead, and to lead well. I know, not because I'm a leader too, but because I'm a citizen. Whether I voted for you or not, I fall under your authority, which makes me a follower. So, as a citizen/follower ... be a leader worth following.
"When someone has been given much, much will be required in return;and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required."- Luke 12:48