Friday, November 15, 2013

On leadership and inspiration

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."
John Quincy Adams
All this Rob Ford drama - and, to be fair, the ridiculousness surrounding London's own indicted-for-fraud Mayor Joe Fontana - has gotten me thinking about who leads, why, and why we look up to them. As I write this, Mr. Ford refuses to resign amid a growing movement to either convince him to quit or force him from office.

The rules, such as they are, do not include provisions for removing a sitting mayor, but the rules are painfully inadequate here. We're long beyond the point at which process and procedure are the only things that matter. Rather, we're well into the zone of what this says about us as a society, and what kinds of messages we want to send to our kids. They are, after all, watching and learning. And the complete absence of inspirational leadership sets a tone for the rest of us that almost begs for perpetual acceptance of mediocrity in the way we live.

Leaders must inspire. And if they don't, or won't, or can't, they should leave the stage and make room for others who will. Too many so-called leaders seem to forget this very simple fact. Pity that. Maybe that's why the planet is so mired in chaos these days.

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