Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Freemason Wisdom: Stormin' Norman On Leadership

Here's one from a few years ago that I wrote that generated some conversation.  I made a few changes from the original.  This isn't intended to be political, as the problems in leadership in the country today rests on the shoulders of both parties. 
"Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy."

~Norman Schwarzkopf

We have a common misconception these days that INTELLECT = LEADERSHIP.  As we all-to-often learn, there is a big difference between intelligence and effectiveness.  In fact, they have little to do with each other as we've seen demonstrated so effectively over the last few years.  Never have we had as a nation, so many academics in so many high places in government, including the White House.  Yet the vast majority of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, and most of them, according to almost every poll, believe that the government has never been more incompetent.   

Believe it or not, many of our nations greatest leaders throughout history were not particularly brilliant, but they had a quality that instilled confidence and faith in their ability to lead.  They were able to gain the trust of the people through the strength of their character.  People were able to put their trust in them.

Honesty and integrity are two of the most important qualities in a leader, and something we see very little of in those who represent us today.  We have very low expectations that those we put into office are going to actually do what they say they will do--in fact, we expect them to do few of the things they promise.  It's a given these days that politicians are going to tell us what they think we want to hear instead of what they really believe in and intend to accomplish.

And there is another part of leadership we don't see much these days either--action.  Actually doing something.  Taking a position.  Charting a course of action.  In order to lead, you have to be able to win the minds and hearts of those who put their trust in you, and convince them to follow you.

America has never needed leadership more than it does today. Perhaps we should start valuing character again.  Start looking for leaders that don't talk about what they are going to do, but those that actually accomplish the things they set out to do because they actually believe in the things they say. The country has never needed men of character and action so desperately.


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