2012 – Referendum on What It Means to Be a Leader

What do all of the world events we are witnessing have in common? What are they pointing to? Let’s take a step back and observe the events, the issues and their meaning. They clearly show us the context made up of our beliefs and value systems and the result.

What nations are governed by the power of a few that is based in wealth and relies on public servitude to exist and those in power seek to purge ideas, people and systems they believe cause “degeneration”? Syria? Yes. Libya? Yes. Iran? Yes. The United States? Yes.

The U.S. and a number of other countries seem to be democracies in name only. In practice, it appears we have allowed ourselves to evolve and be governed by what is more like a fascist plutarchy with power held by a few people based in wealth and polarized ideologies. This seems to have become the underlying system and framework in many of our social structures – business, government/politics, education and religion. It is not a judgment, just an observation.

All true democracies share two characteristics: freedom and equality. We really have neither because we have  chosen by our apathy to be in servitude to a few. We have been conditioned to a fundamental belief that we are more like objects to be used, controlled and “fixed” by those in positional power rather than being human, full of life that yearns to grow and realize its potential. By denying our humanity and acting as if we are objects gives permission for the violence we witness and experience – be it in war or in power plays that force us to submit to someone else’s ideology. We have allowed ourselves to become oppressed.

Only when we reclaim our humanity and refuse to be in exploited will we truly become acting democracies with a new birth of freedom and social structures that are of the people, by the people and for the people (adapted from Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address).

We can try to deny it, but it was the perception of human oppression and inequality that was the catalyst for September 11. Ten years later, the Arab Spring of 2011 said: No more servitude! What will we choose to do to avert the potential for more violent uprisings? How will we restore our value and dignity as humans?

Our social structures, business, government, education and religion are mirrors of their leadership. If leaders do not value us individually and collectively as humans, their decisions and actions will be direct reflections of their beliefs.

We are not victims without power. We can choose to no longer be oppressed. With awareness we can support leaders, companies and organizations and elect individuals based on their demonstration to put aside personal gain and ideologies to do what is best for all and our mutual desire for well-being and to realize our potential.

We are at a choice point. With cooperation and collaboration there is no need or room for competition and compromise. With true leadership, all actions become win-win; not win-lose. Wherever we are in the world, we can make the upcoming elections of 2012 referendums on what it means to be a leader and chose only those who demonstrate true leadership – those who visibly and actively seek to create unity from diversity and ensure well-being for all.

What else do you see that can be done? What are you willing to stand for? What do you commit to do?


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