Leadership Today – Can You Find Any?

Why are we having such trouble finding good leadership today?

Because of us all.

The Groundwork

With time, everything changes – everything – not even a rock stays the same forever.  Our mindsets have changed.  Where once we were happy to have a job, earn enough money to support our families comfortably and have a good life filled with what humans can offer each other, we began to demand Hollywood lifestyles – designer clothes, 4 cars in the driveway, 4,000 square foot houses, and annual vacations far away in exotic locations.  Companies raced to fill the desires of excess and even stoked the fires.

Today – A Model of What is Lacking

Today, we take a day to remember the people who died on the battlefields defending our most precious gift:  freedom.

How many people will actually attend the services around the world? Very few – most can’t be bothered – they’re busy or it’s raining or it’s too far or a multitude of other lame excuses.  Think of a soldiers in the trenches in WWII – what excuse could they have?  Where could they go – rain, shine or gun fire directed at their hearts?

It’s that laziness and lack of appreciation for contribution that demonstrates how little we value our own lives. If we cannot take three hours per year to honor those whose lives were taken in conflict protecting the lifestyles we have become accustomed to, then why do we expect leadership.

Every day in every way, our own day-to-day leadership is testament to what we believe and what we value.

Where does Leadership Begin?

Next time you’re complaining about the leadership in our society, look in the mirror, look at your neighbors, go to a thrift shop, visit a shopping mall, and walk down your version of Rodeo Drive, visit an old bridge or travel an old road – all these are visual indicators of what we have come to value or not in our lives as a society.  We accept decay of our towns and cities as though it’s normal and we accept the destruction of trees and animals as necessary to progress.  What progress are we talking about here?

The lack of respect for ourselves and what exists in our surroundings is testament to our mindset.  We don’t even care for the stuff we have because we’re too busy – the real reason is that we have too much!

Leadership is a Reflection of What We Value

Next time you’re pointing the finger at your greedy and ineffective government officials, executives and others in what we call leadership positions, look a little closer to home – how are you leading your life?  What values are you teaching your children, neighbors, schools, friends and family through your words and actions?  Look at the stuff in your closet, garage, storage locker, drawers, etc. that you are not using.

If we begin to demand better of ourselves then and only then can we demand better of others.

Can You Find Leadership Today?

Yes, you can find leadership today – in yourself.

What do you believe leadership is and how is leadership reflected through actions and results?  Are you practicing the kind of leadership you expect of others? It’s not difficult to understand what you value – just look around your home, think about how you behave in your community, think of your involvement in the human race and think about how you can live in harmony with nature rather than plunder its gifts to manufacture the next bobble or iPhone.

When we control our own greed, our own abuses, behaviors towards others and show a little leadership ourselves every day, only then can we demand the same of those we elect to office and those chosen to run our enterprises.

If, we the people, begin to demand more of ourselves then, eventually, all people in all positions will be required to do the same.

Where Do You Start?

Decide to be a leader today in your own life – lead a life through your values.

What are your values?  Do you even know?

Is it nature?  When was the last time you planted a tree or took a walk in the park?  Do you even know where the parks are?  Do you pick up trash?  Do you help animals in distress? Do you  donate to animal care groups.  How are you involved in assuring nature conservancy?

Is it family?  When was the last time you called your cousin?  Do you organize family gatherings regularly?  Do you even know who your relatives are?  How will you connect?

Is it community?  Do you pick up trash on the streets, beautify your neighborhood, help neighbors, have neighborhood gatherings, resolve interpersonal issues with dignity and respect? Do you even know what’s going on in your community?

Is it politics?  Do you vote?  Are you involved in the political process?  Are you writing letters and demanding better laws, better behavior of your elected officials?  Do you protest?

Is it honesty?  Practice it – how many times do you lie in a week?  Do you call in sick when you’re not but expect to get paid for a day’s work you haven’t earned?  When a clerk makes a mistake giving you change, do you notice the error and put the money in your pocket?

Is it caring?  When was the last time you visited a home for the aged and took a resident out for a walk?  Do you volunteer for your animal shelter?  Do you help someone in a wheelchair up an incline?  Do you help your neighbors with tasks?  Do you help the homeless in your community?  If your work colleague got laid off, do you call and ask how they are?  Do you help your colleague with job leads or opportunities?

Design a set of behaviors which will demonstrate what you, in your heart, feel is  important.

Pay attention to the world you live in.  Pay attention to your life.   Put your time and money, not in designer clothes and shoes, but in living a full life – become connected to yourself and others.

Decide on your leadership and do it – every day. When you are practicing it yourself, you will recognize it in others.  When that happens, you can be a co-leader in our world no matter the position you hold in society and no matter the position others hold – you’ll be in it together – in the trenches – living values!

Lorraine Arams

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