Thursday, September 15, 2011

Leadership not Likership

When is the last time you have seen a national elected leader take the initiative by going out on a limb to do something vastly unpopular for the betterment of the people they serve? Do you remember the last time a democratically voted leader commit political suicide because they knew progress depended upon establishing a difficult choice? Our judicial, legislative, and administrative officials within the past decades have lacked one of the most critical elements of leadership, to make critical decisions in the face of opposition that benefits the people they represent.

Both leaders and those who elect them have a terrible misunderstanding of the leader’s role in our society. Most of us believe that a leader is chosen to represent our voices by doing whatever it is we tell them to do. Trying to serve hundreds, thousands, and even millions of constituent simultaneously is an utterly distractive leadership paradigm. A leader does not do whatever the people tell them to do, that limits the potential for any country, organization or church.

A good leader is expected to make the best decision for a people not matter the popular vote. A good presidential leader makes the decision to free slaves not because it is popular, but because it is best for all people. A good leader makes the decision to invest their time with the poor and hungry vagrants of society. A good leader lays down their life to make the right decisions not the popular ones. A good leader knows what’s best for the people they represent even when the people do not know what is best for themselves.

Part of this is listening to the people, but only part. We have made our leaders into nothing more than political jukeboxes, we put in a quarter and expect them to play the song we pick. The public changes their mind quicker than Lady Gaga changes bizarre outfits. Our leaders have destructively followed suite catering to the public’s every whim.

The leaders running for office only tell us what they think we want to hear. They no longer have hard fast issues that they will stick with; they are wishy-washy, flip-floppy parrots echoing what they hear. I want a leader who does not do what I ask, but does what is best. I want someone I disagree with doing what it takes to make a beneficial difference; I want someone who makes society mad, so that we can finally be made sane.

Of course we will not get this type of leader in our elections. These types of leaders are rarely elected because they are too controversial. MLK would never have been elected because he wasn’t afraid to tell people they were wrong. Jesus Christ would never have been elected because he wasn’t afraid to change the social, economic, and political world upside down by loving enemies.

Study your politics and follow the election closely, but don’t look for true leadership to come up from elected officials whose color schemes and hair styles are based of approval ratings. Look in the churches, look in the schools, and look for those who push to do what is right even in the face of public criticism, those are the leaders we need. We need those who look to please God and not the masses, those who look to follow the Spirit and not the trends, those who look to the Son and not approval ratings. We need men and women of God willing to be dirty, to be criticized, and to do what is right.

No comments:

Post a Comment