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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.

Thursday 30 January 2014

The Responsibility of Leadership

I like this, a lot.  If you choose to pursue a career in the spotlight, it's like choosing to be a police officer.  Yes, you are a human being and are allowed to be a human being, but at the same time as soon as you put on a uniform, assume a mantle or become an icon, the essence of what you are is infused with the emotional investment made by your constituents or fans, both of whom, ultimately, are the people you serve.

Particularly in the dopamanic, intrusive age in which we live, it's very hard to draw the line between what's acceptable and what's not from people in positions of power and influence.  If it's strictly a peer-competition thing, you end up with a gradual weakening of the concept as people seek new ways to undermine others or raise their own start just that little bit further.

Like driving a car or a bus, the greater the power you wield and the more people are impacted by it, the greater becomes your responsibility to be mindful of the consequence of your actions.  I would be more forgiving of the digressions of a depressed, unemployed 20 year old than I would those of an elected Chief Magistrate. 

So how do you put a floor underneath responsibility of leaders and icons to the people?

Ask yourself if you could, in good conscience, look a seven year old in the face and say "when you're my age you should feel comfortable living your life just as I do."  

Then surround yourself not with people who will have your back and clean up your messes, but remind you of your responsibility and support your ability to fulfil it.

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