The events of January 6th, 2021 in our nation’s capital starkly illustrate the results of self-serving leadership.
As I tweeted last night, there aren’t enough adjectives to describe the despicable acts that took place yesterday. I’m embarrassed and ashamed for our country, and totally disheartened that those who accepted the mantle of leadership for our nation have failed us so miserably.
Self-serving leadership looks like a president blatantly telling lies and perpetuating debunked conspiracy theories.
Self-serving leadership looks like a president shamelessly pandering to the base instincts of his followers in order to feed his ego and promote his own self-interests.
Self-serving leadership looks like a president publicly humiliating and denigrating his own team members.
Self-serving leadership looks like senators and congressmen and women vocally supporting their leader’s lies or remaining silent in the face of his atrocious behavior in order to protect their own political future.
Self-serving leadership looks like average citizens, people like you and me, who have grown complacent and accepting of the political circus we’ve allowed our government to become.
Self-serving leadership looks like citizens placing a higher priority on their own special interests—I’ve got rights!—ahead of the common good of our country.
Although self-serving leadership may seem successful in the short-term, it can never sustain itself in the long run. Ultimately, it will collapse upon itself because it’s built on a foundation of sand. As history has shown, at some point in time, people will band together to demand leaders who lead at a higher level.
Leading at a higher level looks like a leader being trustworthy.
Leading at a higher level looks like a leader putting the needs of their followers ahead of their own.
Leading at a higher level looks like a leader acting in a moral and ethical manner.
Leading at a higher level looks like a leader fostering unity, collaboration, and teamwork.
Leading at a higher level looks like a leader who displays humility and treats others with kindness and respect.
Leading at a higher level looks like a leader who calls their followers to a higher purpose and appeals to the better angels of their nature.
Leading at a higher level means viewing leadership as a calling, not just a job, title, or position of power. As a calling, leaders answer to a higher power and are held to a higher standard. It’s time for all of us to treat our leadership responsibility with the reverence and respect it deserves.