Leadership, Teamwork, Communication and Accountability – Now More than Ever

White supremacists. Anti-fascists (Antifa). Deaths of innocents. Lincoln Memorial vandalized with red spray paint and profanity. Everybody tweets what they think. News and opinion from the ‘bun zits’ (pundits) mire the facts every day. Honest reporting gets lost in the mix.

What’s happened to solid, foundational leadership? Where are our good leaders who have good people skills and are effective and unbiased, respectful communicators? Where’s the teamwork in our nation’s capital? Who’s on what team and for whom? The American people, right?

Since when do we as Americans hold ourselves accountable only to ourselves and not our fellow citizens? It’s all about me first. I’m a winner, you’re a loser. Second place is the first loser.

Stop the madness! This is America, the greatest country in the world!

“We hold these truths to be self-evident…that all are created equal…that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These words are the Preamble to our Declaration of Independence, which Abraham Lincoln called “a rebuke and a stumbling-block to tyranny and oppression.”

Tyranny is a cruel, unreasonable, or arbitrary use of power and control. Oppression is the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control.

Glimpses of both are available to the multimodal, information seeking citizen in America daily. Shameful!

Time to get back to the basics, America!

Love our country. Lead and follow with purpose. Build your teams and work together. Communicate respectfully and with integrity. Take time to listen to others before speaking. Say what you mean without being mean-spirited. Hold yourself accountable, first to yourself, and then to others. Be personable without taking things personally when others are unkind or vindictive. Be your best, every day, no matter what.

A fairly recent posting of our greatest leaders today – set aside your biases please – includes Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Sir Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Jeff Bezos, Mohammed Nasheed, Sonia Sotomayor, Bill Clinton, and Warren Buffet. Sure, there are many others, from various backgrounds. Some of our best came from humble, American or other beginnings…an important part of what makes America great.

Great leaders are also highly effective communicators. They’re consistently thoughtful. They have values and appreciate culture and diversity. They give credit and recognition to others and celebrate their successes and accomplishments. They share, coach, inspire and motivate. They seek others’ opinions and request their input. They look, listen and feel. They appreciate and inquire. They do all of this in their daily communications, whether in private or public.

Teams that work together – thank you Cogent Solutions – stick to the basics because they work. They trust and are open with one another. They engage in healthy debate and conflict, including on touchy subjects, to resolve issues that can’t be ignored. They’re committed to making decisions and getting things done, instead of ‘kicking the can…’ They hold themselves and each other accountable to make things happen. And, their main agenda is to produce viable results, to make things happen that make a difference in peoples’ lives.

Just imagine the legislative branch of our federal government working like that – like it once did.

“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation…”

Our founders created the Declaration of Independence to create one nation, and here we are, the greatest nation in the world, despite our innumerable foibles today.

Hey America, wake up! We’ve been an independent nation for well over 200 years now. Let’s re-focus on our interdependence! Lead purposefully. Follow good leaders willingly. Communicate respectfully, and truly listen to what others are saying. Consider reserving judgment. If you have an agenda, is it of value to others and not just you? Be a team player, even if you’re an independent thinker. Always be accountable to yourself first. Come to your team that way, and be accountable to them as well. Be impeccable with your word, and never settle for less than your best every minute of every waking hour.

Be great. Be a great American. Declare your interdependence with your fellow Americans. THANK YOU for being a great American!

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