For many people, the past 18 months of our election process have been exhausting, frustrating, and confusing. The end result for some, has been elating and for others, devastating.
As a person who is dedicated to coaching, training and speaking on personal and organizational change and a person who has recently made a massive personal and professional life change, the election result left me speechless, when it came to dealing with the potential changes we will encounter. And these changes applies to everyone, regardless of your voting choice, even if you didn’t vote at all.
I’ve been grappling with the dilemma of being able to acknowledge and respect individual voting choices and come to grips with a divided nation.
So I asked myself, how would I counsel, console and advise my clients if they were faced with overwhelming division, discord and intolerance throughout their organization?
And in my mind, I returned to Africa, when I met Mama Jane, a community leader in rural Kenya. You see, rural Kenya is a group society, and they make decisions based on what’s best for the community. They are more concerned about what’s for the good of the whole than for their self interests. That’s not to say that there aren’t people or groups who are self serving. But the community as a whole has a vision that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Mama Jane’s role as a community leader was to keep the community focused on the greater vision, reminding them of the long term purpose and benefits for the whole community. Decisions were made with that vision in mind.
And isn’t that the foundation of the United States?
Our Declaration of Independence says:
“We hold these truths to be self -evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
We’re not white or black; Catholic or Protestant or Jewish or Muslim; rich or poor, healthy or disabled. We are equal. Endowed by “their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” They didn’t say we all believe in the same Creator. We are created equally.
The Constitution – 13 years later
And to assure that our citizens were afforded these unalienable Rights, the Constitution was written to establish the three branches of government for checks and balances.
In addition, the First Amendment of the Constitution “prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.”
Be An American
Our Founding Fathers created a vision that is for the good of the whole. It is a long term vision that has sustained us for 230 years and has the checks and balances and the foundational concepts for a civilized, respectful society.
If we are earnest in our desire to be Americans, to protect America and our rights as citizens, then we need to abandon our positional beliefs of being a Republican or being a Democrat or a liberal or conservative. We have to stop trying to be “right” and making others wrong for not seeing our point of view. We must collectively and collaboratively find ways to fulfill and protect our democracy.
Get Out of B.E.D.
Many of you reading this blog have attended my workshops or read my books that describe the “Get Out of B.E.D.” (Blame, Excuses and Denial) model.
- We have to stop Blaming other people for our circumstances.
- We have to stop making Excuses for why things aren’t working the way we want them to.
- And we have to stop Denying that we all haven’t played a part in creating this situation that we are experiencing.
When we are in “B.E.D.,” we become Victims – leading to resentment and fear.
The flip side of being in B.E.D. is to take Ownership, Accountability and Responsibility.
- It’s time to take Ownership of our own contribution to the state of our country, the state we live in, and our municipalities and communities. Are you an active citizen, exercising your rights?
- It’s time to start being Accountable for our choices – to be involved in how our governments operate. Stop sitting by the sidelines. Are you an informed voter? If you choose not to be informed or involved, then you give up your right to complain.
- It’s time to start being Responsible for looking out for the good of the whole rather than being selfish and self serving.
Taking Ownership, Accountability and Responsibility takes COURAGE. We live in a world, especially the political world, that thrives on blaming and excuses.
It’s time to stop that cycle of dysfunction and destruction.
Be an American. Be Courageous. Be the Change.
For more information on being a Type T leader, watch this 1 minute video.
Or order the book on How to Be a Transformational Leader in a Bottom-Line World.
Marty Stanley, CSP, is a national author, speaker and consultant on personal and organizational change. In a “previous lifetime” she managed political campaigns for state representatives and has volunteered for local, state and federal campaigns. firstname.lastname@example.org 816-695-5453