OK, its the “day after”. And the meaning of yesterday’s elections have been and will continue to be reflected upon over and over. However as we think about social change in the world. Its important to consider how that change will happen and the role of leadership.
Its been quite some time since we’ve seen examples of real leadership. Mostly we’ve seen ‘the guys at the top’ looking for post-fraud scapegoats or excusing themselves out of straight-up bad or arrogant decision-making. These were never individuals fighting for change, they were looking for power and/or money. However, in the post-election glow that most of us are feeling, we are finding profound hope in a single individual who demonstrates the true qualities of a leader. Integrity. Character. Humility. Calm assurance. The ability to listen and respond with sound, articulate reasoning. Stamina. Focus. A champion for his followers. A passion for truth. This is where change starts and this is why change becomes inevitable when true leadership exists.
With leadership, not only do we expect follow-through but we expect excellence. Leaders build excellence, they don’t command it. Barack Obama comes to us with cross-cultural beginnings and a foundation in community building. He knows that change is not possible without the commitment of every individual he leads, which means he knows how to communicate and engage. These are qualities we can all learn from in our own efforts to impact change. Real leadership requires discipline and an unprecedented commitment to see things through.
We can all be inspired by the story of Barack Obama and the impact he will have on our lives – from what is personally possible to the real impact he will have on the change we all believe is necessary.