Sunday, May 25, 2008

Leadership, Personal Drama, and Anti-Bacterial Soap

I mentioned in an email to my "fan club" about some personal drama that happened in my life recently. I'm not at liberty to go into too many details, but it did give me a perspective on American leadership right now.

It's a given that not everything we plan is going to work out for the best. Sometimes we screw up or something else happens that prevents the desired outcome from becoming a reality. When it happens to a leader, how he or she reacts will tell you quite a bit about the type of person he or she is.

Which brings me to my personal drama. I ran for an office within my Toastmasters District. However, my name was not put on an official ballot, which meant I had to run from the floor of our recent District Conference. Now, I could have easily thrown in the towel or raised a stink about not being allowed to have my name on the ballot, but I didn't. Instead, I accepted the circumstances as they were and moved on. As it turns out, I won the election, but I wouldn't have if I had quit or spent my time being angry at a situation I couldn't change.

Unfortunately, that's not how many people deal with a bump in the road. Take the situation with Hillary Clinton wanting to seat the delegates from Michigan and Florida. The rules set forth by Howard Dean were clear and it's clear the party leaders in Michigan and Florida broke those rules. Instead of dealing with the situation as it was, Clinton and her campaign have been trying to get the delegates to count towards her numbers as a means to make her look more like a viable candidate for the Democratic Party nomination.

That's a problem we're seeing more and more. When things don't go our way, we're too busy complaining, filing a lawsuit, or trying to get the rules changed just for us to recognize what we're ultimately doing. When we take the childish way out of a situation, we're hurting ourselves under the guise of righting a wrong. It's like anti-bacterial soap. At first glance, it's good for us because it kills all the bad bacteria that gets on our hands and bodies. But it also kills the good bacteria, which makes our immune system weaker, thus making us more vulnerable to illness, something the anti-bacterial soap is supposed to prevent.

It's easy to complain about a bad break. It's harder to suck it up and put it behind you. But, as hard as it might be, it's not impossible, nor is it undesirable.

1 comment:

Rachael said...

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! You have done well and I'm so thrilled for you! You make some excellent points. Thank you for ALL your excellent posts. You're amazing. :)