On Tuesday we began a closer examination on what makes a good leader now that we as Americans, are working diligently to figure out which presidential candidate is best suited to lead the United States for the next four year term.
In his book, Finding your Leadership Style, Jeffrey Glanz (2002), disclosed that although many studies have been conducted to determine the best style of leadership, the majority of researchers agreed that the most effective leadership style was one that exhibited varying degrees of the following virtues: (a) courage, (b) impartiality, (c) empathy, (d) judgment, (e) enthusiasm, (f) humility, and (g) imagination (Glanz, 2002). In other words, these components were at the core in the development and cultivation of successful leaders.
When I was doing the research work for my publication, Ethics in the Real World (2013) I discovered that a person’s ability to distinguish and administer information from their perceptions, stimuli, and emotional cues, is what defines that individual’s emotional intelligence (EQ). Equally significant, I learned that the EQ of a person plays a key role in the development of that person’s ethical perceptions in both their personal and business relationships, particularly for those with constant social interaction (Berry, 2013). That was information I could have used earlier in my life! But, better late than never!
I also learned that a person’s cognitive ability, or beliefs and perceptions about any given situation, for example, influences the way they assess, react, and take action. I also learned that a person’s EQ plays an important role in how individuals discern satisfaction in their lives and create career experiences based on their own values in addition to what that person perceives is acceptable or unacceptable behavioral choices. These are all components to help us draw from in the evaluation process for choosing a top performing presidential candidate that all United States citizens deserve.
So far, it seems, however, that many Republican candidates (especially the front runners) are displaying a leadership style that includes rhetoric and actions which reveal a lack of integrity and accountability. Ted Cruz revealed a lack of honor and emotional intelligence recently during the Iowa Caucus, by spreading false information about his colleague and fellow candidate, Ben Carson. Many believe that in broadcasting that Carson was pulling out of the race without confirming it, resulted in Cruz as the Republican winner of that Causus.
Although he publicly apologized, the deed had been done, which for many constituents who are looking to elect a quality top performer, sent red flags of warning asking us to examine more closely, what Mr. Cruz views as ethical behavior. Although there are individuals that may feel this strategy displays a kind of strength some leaders require to achieve successful outcomes, (his tactics did after all, help him win the Iowa Caucus). The public, however, now knows he did so by rigging the game in his favor. In other words, he pulled off what Captain Kirk did when he passed the Kobiyashi Maru test in the film, The Wrath of Kahn, from the fictional Star Trek universe. However, Captain Kirk is a ficticious character whose bravado as a young Star Fleet cadet led him to engage in a tactic that outsmarted the programmer, a young Mr. Spock, who created the “no win scenerio” strategy to ensure a failed outcome. Cruz’s questionable actions, in the meantime, triggered an old political wound that reminded many American citizens like myself, of the elections from our past that also appeared “rigged,” like the outcome of the Bush VS Gore election. This is, in fact, a significant reason why many citizens are reluctant to even consider Jeb Bush as a worthy presidential contender no matter how many family members he drags out of retirement to help support his campaign. The Bush family for many, serve as a reminder of the fiasco that resulted from that election.
It is evident, that more and more citizens are awakening every day to the injustice that is being done and how a dysfunctional government is preventing this great nation from growing in a manner where everyone has a fair opportunity to prosper, not just the 1%. Citizens work long and hard to pursue the American dream and deserve Government Representatives who are dedicated to protect and support the constituents they serve, not the salaries and perks they receive. Americans deserve a leader that is not motivated by their own personal agendas or egos. Americans deserve a leader that is driven by an ethical spirit; one who is sincerely interested in serving its citizens. American citizens also deserve a leader who will enthusiastically take affirmative action and inspire others to do to so as well. The bottom line is, Americans deserve a leader who can help make a positive difference in this country and motivate others to follow suit globally. These are the rights of ALL American citizens who are making their demands clear, that change is inevitable. Last but not least, it is the duty of each citizen to remind these contenders that the power lies in the people to decide who is best suited for the job, because, it is after all, the citizens who are footing the bill!
Next week we will take a closer look at the remaining two Democratic contenders and examine which one of the two displays more effective leadership skills. Hillary Clinton, with a strategic plan that focuses on her years of “experience” and looking to women for the gender vote; or Bernie Sanders, whose tactics are focused on breaking down old systems, setting up new ones with the intent to achieve more effective outcomes, and banking on winning over everyone, experienced and inexperienced, who is eager for change.
Until then … stay vigilant and do your own research to help with the decision making process … America deserves better, but it’s up to us to make it clear what that means at the polls!
One thing is certain in business. You and everyone around you will make mistakes.
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Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.
Glanz, J. (2002). Finding your leadership style. Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision and Curriculam Development (ASCD).