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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Monday 6 January 2014

Kathleen Wynne: Falling Like A Leader

Kathleen Wynne is not perfect.  Not only has she made mistakes - she will continue to do so.  I have as much faith in this fact as I do in her ability to learn from these mistakes.

We don't value mistakes much in Canadian politics; we tend to be risk-adverse.  Certainly, our politicians pointedly attack each and every demonstration of mistake-making as if it were a fatal virus. Which is probably why our leaders are so reticent to admit to (or learn from) mistakes of their own - to do so would be an admission of weakness, and we can't have that, can we?

Far better than risking a mistake that could be pounced on by opponents is to do nothing at all, or better yet - to offload responsibility to someone else or kick the ball down the field.  Our federal government has certainly excelled at both these ploys.

It's all well and good to stick with strong and stable, but here's the reality - the world is not a stable place.  It never has been.  Nor have successful societies ever been stagnant, willing to rest on its laurels; in fact, its when societies fail to adapt that they tend to fail beyond repair.

Name any great leader, businessman or visionary in history (take Steve Jobs, Nelson Mandela and Abraham Lincoln as three examples) and I'll show you a colossal failure of a human being - until they weren't.  That's the secret to success, which is the same secret to any evolutionary process. 

If you want to reach great heights, you have to learn how to fall.  Sometimes, the point of these falls ends up being to show others how much higher it is possible to climb, as has been the case with any pioneer.  If it weren't for these people who reached, explored, tested new ideas, we'd be back where we started.
It's easy to point out all the things that went wrong during the recent ice storm.  It's would be simple to stick to the negative, to attack, to abdicate responsibility.  To do nothing at all would certainly be less risky.

But inaction is not leadership.  After all, you don't win by sitting on the sidelines.

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