So I have been contemplating what to share for a first blog, and really didn’t want to get into the same topic that the rest of the world is focused on – Washington DC politics – but I have to go there.
I had a nice conversation with my good friend Gina Nappi late last week. Gina is a colleague in the world of leadership development, but what makes this even more relevant is that her day job is for the Environmental Protection Agency. You guessed it, Gina is on furlough because she has been deemed “non-essential”.
Without getting into the issue of who determines essential (like here at home where after just one week without them Luke Air Force Base recalled all of their civilian workforce – guess they were more essential than originally thought?), I am more concerned with our current state of national leadership. Or should I say the lack thereof. When did we ever think we would see the minority party so determined to undo legislation they don’t like that they are willing to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of people in a futile effort. And worse yet, when did the majority party, or even worse the President, decide that it is okay to bully the minority party to get their way just because they can, equally responsible for the damage to those hundreds of thousands of people.
Don’t misunderstand me, this is not a political post. The point here is, where is the leadership? Who in Washington DC has the courage to step up and say “this is the right thing to do for our country, even if my party hates me for it.” Who in Washington DC has a vision bigger than their next election campaign. Who in Washington DC cares for their constituents more than for their poll number or their political agenda.
Apparently none of them. What a sad statement. Leadership expert John C. Maxwell says “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Unfortunately for Washington DC and its bevy of non-leaders, most of us just don’t care anymore. All we want to know is, where have all our leaders gone.
So my advice for all 536 is call Gina, take her off furlough, let her teach you a thing or two about real leadership, and plug into the John Maxwell Team and its amazing group of trainers and coaches who would love to share with you how real leaders lead. Have courage, communicate effectively, make good decisions, care about your people, exhibit some humility and appreciation, and choose collaboration over conflict. Then maybe, just maybe, we will have real leaders again.