Annabel Beerel

REFLECTIONS ON LEADERSHIP: ELECTION DAY

Well, the run up to the election has for many seemed rather protracted and arduous. Thankfully the event itself will soon be history. We will just have to live with the consequences. Over the last two weeks all I have heard from colleagues and friends is: “Lets get it over with. I am done. Enough!” I can certainly empathize with that view. We have had commentary, debates, hand shaking and head shaking for many a month. Now it is time to place our cards on the table and to decide; to vote; to select that person who we believe will promote a good society: a society that reflects justice; benevolence; compassion; honor and individual freedom and respect. Am I correct that we are all on the same page regarding the desire for a good society? (Gosh – I hope so!) A good society is one concerned with creating virtuous citizens. A good society is one that promotes life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. A good society is one where today is not mortgaged against tomorrow nor where some people are more equal than others. A good society is one concerned with equity and individual well-being. A good society wants all of its citizens to live a good and wholesome life. A good society promotes character ethics rather than utilitarian ethics where the end justifies the means, as all ends are simply means to further ends. A good society eschews discrimination of any kind. A good society is a caring and conscientious global citizen. And more…

The big challenge about November 6th is that election day is not so much about the people being elected as it is about us. The defining moments are not really theirs; they are ours. The people who should be having sleepless nights are you and me. For our choice is not about them – Obama and Romney – but about you and me. Who we choose is a direct reflection of who we are; what we stand for; the guiding principles that we uphold in our society. Whatever we are expecting our President to achieve is our responsibility. We seem to forget that leaders and their effectiveness serve as a barometer of the group who appointed them, and not vice versa. If we appoint an effective leader it is because we are an effective group. If we appoint a leader who is ineffective or who fails to deliver the goods it is because we are ineffective and we fail to deliver. If we appoint a leader intent on short-term fixes; it is because we are. If we appoint a leader who has different strokes for different folks – it is because we do. If we appoint a leader who has no vision about what it means to create a good society, it means because we have no idea. It is all about us! The leader we choose is the mirror of who we are. Let us not forget the enormous responsibility of that reality. Tomorrow is not about next year’s budget item or employment statistic; it is about who we are.

So – tomorrow – November 6th, 2012 – is all about us, NOT about them. Let us all beware! This is another defining moment in our history – and the reflection, whatever happens, is on us! Each and every one of us is a microcosm of the macrocosm – there is no escape. As we march to the voting polls let us ground ourselves in the knowledge that it is our day – our collective spirit will leave its imprint on another defining moment in history. Tomorrow is our personal responsibility. It is a day where we reveal our own personal leadership philosophy and our own vision regarding our society. It is one big day!

Who are the American people? November 6th will tell.

Annabel Beerel – November 5, 2012