Sitting here today, I can not help but think about failures in leadership. With the partial shut down of the United States’ Government in progress, I found myself pondering how we got here. First off, this is not a political piece. I am looking at the ‘leaders’ in D.C. and wondering if there are any true leaders there anymore. I’m going to focus on 3 areas: The White House, The Senate, and The House of Representatives. All have failed to lead, and we find ourselves here today.
- The White House: Over the past 5 years the White House has failed in their duty to produce a budget on-time (if at all) and get it to Congress for approval. This has lead to the governing by crisis model we have had in place for far too long. Even in a divided government, the leadership from the executive must be strong to accomplish the important tasks of the people. The President has failed here; leading by dictate and fiat does not work in a divided country. About 50% of the population supports the other side (in simple terms), and the Congress is split.
- Senate: The Senate, predictably so, has followed to wants and wishes of the President. This is common of course when a division of Congress is controlled by the same party in power in the executive. Unfortunately what we have seen is they have taken the same strategy has the POTUS when it comes to negotiation. To lead, one must have empathy for those with opposing view points. Name calling doesn’t help (legislative terrorists).
- House: They are not getting off easy here either. The Speaker has tried, unsuccessfully to lead a divided party. There are the go-along-to-get-alone crowd, those who stand on ideological glaciers, and the rest somewhere in-between. He has allowed one segment to dominate, while alienating the others, at this same time drawing harsh comments from the other chamber from both parties.
Leadership requires transparency, honesty, a willingness to listen to other views, open and honest dialogue among the parties involved. The three ‘leaders” in D.C. have so far been unable to muster any of the above. From the President, to the Leader, to the Speaker, a leader amongst them there is not. Entrenched and long held opposition to anything the other side offers leads us where we are today.