What’s missing in congress

7 May

fight-congress-sizedIt’s called Political leadership.

Study successful people and you will find 10 essentials skills of great leadership.

How many do you see in the politicians you follow?

1. Engage and represent your people

Leadership means creating a common mission and vision with people you lead. Give the people that and they will follow and do the best they can.

2. Collaborate and compromise

Leadership means working together – give and take – toward a common goal of a shared good.
When instead egos get in the way, people, rather than ideas, take center stage in distorted ways.
Case in point: the “anything but what Obama wants” Congress.
Leaders collaborate through debate of ideas, not by demonizing.
The tactic of withholding what a political leader wants simply because he or she wants it is, again, the opposite of leadership.

3. Supervise at an appropriate level of detail

Leadership means finding a healthy balance between being “informed” and “involved.”
When leaders misjudge their needed level of scrutiny or involvement, they make mistakes of omission that lead to serious problems.

4. Be decisive in a timely manner

Leadership means having the courage to take timely and appropriate corrective action on someone or something that’s not working.
Timely decision-making is basic to good leadership.

5. Be accountable

Leadership means admitting and owning the inevitable errors and failures. Too many let fear or stress tempt them to distance themselves from them.
Our political leaders are far better at blaming or stepping back from mistakes than they are at owning a failure or misstep.

6. Innovate

Leadership means innovation.
True innovation isn’t in a method, process, book, or workshop.
It’s in the mirror of our imagination and courage.
The survival instinct of politicians is one of risk-adverse – avoiding what takes courage to change.
The key to change our leadership for the better is to remind our leaders that innovation is a popular way toward a rewarding shared future.

7. Make a positive impact

Leadership means making positive impacts on individuals, communities, natural resources, and on the economic system.
A leader’s achievements and legacy are ultimately measured by their impact.
Through sequestration and denial of climate change, congress has done more harm to their fellow humans, the environment, and the economic system then our enemies could dream of doing.

8. Be honest

Leadership means candor with yourself and others – and being willing to ask for and hear such honesty from colleagues, clients, and the communities you impact.
Great honesty brings the humility needed for great leadership when things are going well, and the necessary fuel for critical change when things are in trouble.

9. Delegate effectively

Leadership means delegating the “what,” and not the “how,” to launch people into effective, independent action.
It’s honoring them as adults, and coaching and supporting them to find their own ingenuity, even when telling them would be faster.
Partisanship and party line votes are proof that delegation and independent thinking is simply not happening in congress.

10. Listen

Leadership means asking and listening, rather than doing the talking the majority of the time.
It’s trusting the people who know best what’s needed are the ones actually living with the results of your leadership.
Your job is to quiet the noise of your own preconceptions and ego in order to hear those who know best: the wisdom of the people.

So we ask again – how many of these do you honestly see in the politicians you follow?

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