Are They Selling or Serving?

Ultimately the efficacy of a leader depends on his motivation. The intention one brings to the work they are doing directly correlates to the quality of the outcome he is producing. We have reached unprecedented unhappiness with the quality of political leadership in our country because the intention of most candidates is not to serve rather it is to sell themselves.

This year’s Presidential candidates are gearing up to unleash millions of dollars to convince us (or at least six percent of us) that they are the best person for the job. Sell, sell, sell and attack, attack, attack—carrot and stick are among the lowest common denominators in persuasion and yet it seems to be the only way our candidates believe they can communicate in their campaigns.

What gets lost in the process is the passion for service to others above all else. Real leaders are so passionate about what they do and know they possess the talents and skills to make it a reality that it doesn’t matter how they do it, they just do. Bill Gates is going to use technology to make the world a better place be it through personal computers or medical advances in the developing world. Martha Stewart is going to be cooking, decorating and organizing be it at home, in front of a camera or from a prison cell—it doesn’t matter because it is who she is.

The problem with too many political leaders is that they aspire to the position and not the spirit of leadership. People who are passionate about creating change on issues are going to work toward that change regardless if they are an elected official or private citizen, it is the mission of the work that motivates them rather than the title or perks that may come along with the job. In this election, there are far too few candidates who are going to be pursuing their passion for change irrespective of the outcome of the election.

As frustrating as it may be to feel as if we don’t have the quality choices we want in our public leaders, we still have choices. What are the things that we want to see changed in our communities? What are we doing to create that change? And why in the world are we waiting for our political “leaders” to do it for us? If we want to see real world results, it is time that “we the people” start creating it for ourselves—because if you haven’t figured it out, the change isn’t going to start from the top, it starts with right here, right now, with you.

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