Gentlemen, Where Are You?

I recently heard the following verbally spoken in public:

“A nasty guy”

“Lies like a dog over and over again”

“Failed. He’s so awkward and goofy”

“Looks like a little boy. A perfect puppet”

“Lazy. All talk and no action”

“He’s a loser”

You might imagine these words spoken by children on a playground, or by an immature, angry teenager who has deep, personal insecurities.

Sadly, all the above put downs, name calling, and insults were spoken by a well-known figure; a father of five; a man who is wealthy and wants for nothing; a man who should recognize his blessings; a man who should have the mindset of uplifting others because he has achieved so much.

All the words above were said by a candidate for the most powerful office in the world – The President of the United States. They were spoken by Donald Trump.

Donald Trump

Surprisingly, many people support Trump despite his negative rhetoric. However, Donald Trump is certainly not the only candidate who has resorted to such abrasive language.

At a recent political rally another presidential candidate, Marco Rubio, stated this about rival, Donald Trump: “he doesn’t sweat because his pores are clogged from the spray tan. Donald Trump isn’t gonna make America great, he’s gonna make America orange.”

As if personal attacks are not bad enough, other candidates say things by way of speculation knowing they may be reported as truth. For instance, another candidate, Ted Cruz suggested that Trump’s tax returns may show his connection to the mafia.

What in the world has happened to respectful competition? Where have all the gentlemen gone? Where can we find courtesy and civility  in conversation, and especially in positions of leadership?

There is a CRISIS of LEADERSHIP in our country and throughout our society!

In his last State of the Union address, President Obama commented, “The language, the spirit has become meaner than when I came in.”

I believe President Obama is right. I also believe he has a role to play in that meanness.

Barak Obama

Marco Rubio, a sitting Senator (part of the president’s team) remarked, “This president has been the single most divisive political figure this country has had over the last decade.”

Another congressman (team member) said, “There probably has not been a more racially-divisive, economic-divisive president in the White House since we had presidents who supported slavery.”

These are a few members of the president’s legislative team who see him as a non-collaborative leader. I recognize that the United States has become a two-party political system, but it seems to me this has come to mean that a line has been drawn in the sand, and whatever side you call yours is the only one with good ideas, and no possible work can happen together for the COMMON good of both sides.

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True leaders are those who inspire their team to achieve noble results by bringing all ideas to the table and finding common ground to build on. President Obama appears to have done the opposite.

During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama was heard to say, “After we win this election, it’s our turn. Payback time. Everyone not with us is against us, and they better be ready because we don’t forget. The ones who helped us will be rewarded; the ones who opposed us will get what they deserve. There is going to be hell to pay.”

Does that kind of language build trust and rapport with people who have a different view than you do? Does that inspire people to WANT to work with you? Is that what an exceptional LEADER would say?
Before he took office in 2009, knowing half his “team” (Republicans) had a different view from his own, he said of them, “…it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

 

LEADERSHIP is in decline in America! Kindness and courtesy have been forgotten. Respect and friendship are characteristics that no longer seem important. We are in big trouble, America!

Is it any wonder then, that candidates running for office are immature and unkind to each other? I’m not blaming the president; I’m blaming the ideas of “tolerance” and “equality” that have been buzz words for so many years.

We are expected to be tolerant of the viewpoints and diversity of others, yet it seems that those who preach tolerance the loudest are those who practice it the least.

I’m all for acceptance, love, and respect for ALL PEOPLE, and I sincerely apply these characteristics in all I do. However, I feel forced to tolerate ideas that bring people down instead of lift them up, and when I disagree with certain policies or ideas, I am labeled a hater.

I can’t possibly support ANY of the candidates for president because NONE of them have actually shown proof they can lead with civility and collaboration. Does that mean I hate them? Of course not.

Anyone who would accuse another of hate is most definitely more hateful than the one being accused.

The democratic side of the aisle has offered Hilary Clinton, who has most surely put herself above the law, and who has been dishonest; and Bernie Sanders, who has never governed anything, and who claims he will undo the US Constitution – the ONLY reason we are the exceptional nation we are.

These are the choices we have to make in this current election: individuals who are immature, disrespectful, dishonest, inexperienced, uncivil, and divisive. Great, huh?

A more courteous, kind, and loving society will only happen when we personally are more courteous, kind, and loving. It starts with you. It starts with me. It deepens its roots in our homes. It blossoms as we lead in an exceptional way. It comes to fruition when we see each other as children of God – valued and important, albeit different.

LEADERSHIP IS IN CRISIS! WHAT WILL YOU DO?

What are YOU going to do to decrease hurtful words, meanness and disrespect?

What are YOU going to do to increase your ability to be more courteous, kind and loving?

Our country needs more gentlemen and gentlewomen. We need YOU!

My book. SELF Centered Leadership: Becoming Influential, Intentional and Exceptional offers some ideas to become exceptional. I hope you’ll read it and tell me what you think.

Sally read my book and said:

This was a wonderful read that held my interest, from beginning to end. I loved how Jackie used her personal and family experiences, throughout her life, to make it *real* and motivational as well. From this book, I actually learned that I have been somewhat of a leader for most of my life. I now know how to do it more effectively and with “full engagement”. By saying “Yes”, I will open my life to more experience and value. I will now strive for exceptional leadership, using the tools that I have learned in this book. I am excited and inspired! Thank you, Jackie. I am very grateful.