Which comes first the leader or the vision? We need a leader with a vision so to that end let us discuss leadership first.
Prospective voters are asking about leadership in terms of policy, vision, direction, management skills, diplomacy skills, well the list of questions is endless. The real question should not be – Where are we going? The real question for now is, Where are we as Canadians?
At the moment we are a restless lot due to a perceived lack of leadership. So what do we need?
First a leader has to have a grasp on where the Canadian mindset is. He or she has to incorporate that mindset into an inspirational vision, of not only the immediate priorities, but how we can go beyond our mindset into the realm of what else we can be.
A leader is like the quarterback of a football team. They must concentrate on what is in front of them while looking down field for open receivers of new ideas and opportunities. At the same time a leader has to be aware of incoming setbacks and impediments to the progress trying to be achieved.
A leader must also be aware of the impact of the decisions they make. I often hear. “Government should be run like a business.” There are serious problems with that approach. A society is made up of many components. We have to balance the health of the economy true. But at the same time there are any number of social interests that are seriously impacted when that happens. I speak of seniors, those with personal challenges, the poor, the environment and the need of key components of government.
A leader has to have the diplomatic and personal skills to convince people they either want to change their attitudes, behaviors or open their minds to how much better we can be or what we can achieve. It is called the charisma and inspiration factor.
These attributes are not developed in a lab or a classroom. These skills come from leading by example and believing in the power of the positive realm. This does not mean wearing rose colored glasses or never having been subjected to failure or the odds stacked against them. It does not mean they have to come from the political right or left.
People who have experienced setbacks and failures are those who dared to take the risk. They also know how a failed action effected themselves and others, giving them a sense of empathy while understanding failure has consequences.
A good leader is someone not entrenched in political right or left. A good idea that is tested to be a sound idea, should not be praised or condemned by where it came from.
There is one test that is paramount. A real leader thinks about how a decision impacts others first, before their own. Even though power rests in the hands of the leader it ultimately is judged by the hand that marks the X in the polling booth.
I have always believed in the core principal. The quality and goodness of a country is measured by the level of respect we have for the most vulnerable people in the society.
Today people want us to vote for a leader because he is not the other guy. Or we are right or left of the spectrum. These are no longer sufficient to base our decisions on. The world is changing and we have to start thinking about what is good for Canada in some cases, even if it might have an adverse effect on us personally.
The two most important ingredients for a real leader? Integrity and honesty. Now ask yourself this question.
Do you honestly believe there is a leader at the moment that can inspire us collectively to think in these terms? If you said NO. we have a serious lack of leadership without a vision or a clear mission statement. Unfortunately true leadership skills don’t jump off the page of a resume either.