[September 30, 2013] Tonight at 12:01 am, there exists a possibility of a government “shutdown”. For clarity, there is no complete shutdown and despite the hype we hear from the media, a complete shutdown has never happened.
What do we make of this situation from a leadership position?
I just reposted “The Purpose of Divisiveness” from a few days ago (there was a technical problem with the link). This post is timely. The underlying theme of the post was that “power” is the motivation for divisiveness.
The goal of creating and perpetuating divisiveness is a damaging form of power over people. It takes quality leadership to pull ourselves out of such a destructive cycle.
A tradition of divisiveness in Washington D.C. has been a common feature since the beginning of our republic. Unfortunately, over the past few years the rhetoric has reached heights unusual for an off election year.
Moreover, the media has been a catalyst to the vitriolic comments made by our senior civilian leaders, further alienating good people.
What can good senior leaders do? First, we should encourage our employees to understand the issues confronting our government. This is an obligation of good citizenship. Second, we should warn them against the allure of an emotional attachment to one argument over another or to one politician over another. Third, we can caution them that our politicians are not setting a good leadership example.
Responsibility is urgently needed in Washington. Of course, senior leaders can do their part by keeping our organizations away from the mudslinging … there will be lingering animosity that can damage future relations.
Let us hope that cooler heads prevail in Washington and that there are measures for our politicians to devise a way forward (that both saves face and is beneficial to the country). A good place to start is a discussion on “values” and putting a stop to the divisiveness.
What do we value? Family, country, a good job, respect of others … the list could go on for a long time. Yet we never seem to hear about a conversation on what is good for all our citizens. For example, we never hear about a model of good citizenship. It seems we hear only about special interest groups.
There is great worth in discussing this “divisiveness” topic and provides us with some interesting and useful ideas for senior leaders.