As a speaker who blends motivation and humor it is rare for me to begin a blog, or a Monday morning, like this, but I’m going to say it anyway.
I am royally pissed off right now.
I am disgusted, once again, by the confirmed news reports regarding the behavior that our government employees and military personnel, representing AMERICA (that’s us, folks) are involved in.
According to leadership expert John C. Maxwell (whom I admire greatly): “Leadership starts right where you are, from the inside out. Leadership isn’t a position, it’s a process.”
Judging by the frat-party antics of this small group of secret service team members, some of them should have been missionaries. To twist a phrase, they SHOULD have put the Cartegena before the whores.
In a time when the American public is struggling, when we need our government to help us more than ever before (in my 44 years, anyway), why is there still a percentage of our government employees who cannot understand that THEY are ALL leaders?! Here is a test to see if you are a leader: is there ANYONE on this planet who could be directly affected by the words you say, or the actions you take?
If you answer yes to that question: CONGRATULATIONS, you are a leader!
If you answered no, then you may be, as my high school teacher Mr. Ahern used to say: “Paralyzed from the ass up.”
While I am not always happy with their dirt-scrounging methods, I must admit I am relieved to see the paparazzi-media bringing so many scandals to light each week to rock the news reports.
The days of sweeping everything under the rug with regard to our government’s indiscretions are waning, and for that I am relieved. That rug is getting too big to lift, and the sweepers are on steroids.
But there will be many more, I am sure, as long as certain people in leadership feel their Teflon power-positions allow them to skate under the radar and do whatever they please.
Now, please do not think I wish for everyone to have their birth certificate stamped by a Notary Public in Bethlehem.
We are human. We have faults. I do. You do. We ALL do.
However, the INTENTIONAL DECISION to commit such acts of wrongdoing, which
continually embarrass us (can you hear the laughter from around the world, America?) and weaken the confidence in our leadership (local, state AND national) sickens me.
I own two small businesses. I have, and continue to, struggle to stay afloat. My family members have been life-savers over the years. I pay extreme prices for gas (as I drive close to 32,000 miles per year). I work extra-hard to walk my talk and not do or say things which erode my message. I have a responsibility to do so.
My mission is to help others, to inspire others, to make others aware of what we ALL can do to make our communities better, to make our companies stronger and to make our world a better place to live.
There are many people out there who do the same, day in and day out.
And every time a small cluster of morons (in this case, a handful of secret service and military personnel) does something like this, it makes it even more difficult for the rest of us, because the glare of the media coverage relegates us to the shadows.
I do wish to recognize one bright spot in leadership from last week, however.
Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker rescued a neighbor from her burning home. He did a good thing, and the media splashed it across the news. Am I canonizing Cory Booker? No. He is a human being, with all his own faults and frailties, as are ALL of our leaders, including you and me.
What he did, though, was make a decision to do the right thing in a critical situation.
That is what leaders do.
How can YOU be a leader this week?