The Crossroads of our Democracy

Jim Roberts, CEO/Founder
October, 29, 2020 -

November 3rd marks the culmination of the 2020 election cycle – without a doubt the most significant election in the past century. This election clearly presents us with a bright line of choice between Democracy or demagoguery, choosing a government “of the people, by the people and for the people,” or authoritarian rule. It is a choice for decency, the rule of law and respect of all Americans, or continued desecration of the Office of the President, the corruption of American values and loss of our respect on the world stage.

Please understand, this is not a partisan discussion! I personally disdain party politics. For decades, I have chosen to exercise my right to vote based on moral values, my faith and personal convictions, and what I believe is the best for our country, especially those who are disenfranchised and the most vulnerable. It is the same values base that has driven me to serve others for over five decades, including starting Family Care Network! But, we are now at a crossroads with the future of our country at state – I am compelled to speak out!

I have chosen to frame my comments outside of the fray of political punditry, sparring and hyperbole. By contrast, I will use the principles of Effective Leadership to state my case.

Let us start with the concept of Effective Leadership. Leaders lead people. Albeit a small group, a large conglomerate or country, it is directing people to a place, state or condition which is better than the starting point. After four years of our current president, we are not in a better place by any stretch of the imagination. Uncertainty, unrest, polarization, fear and anxiety, coupled with economic, social wellbeing and health uncertainty, are at paramount levels. 

Effective Leaders establish a clear vision of a better future, effectively share that vision to co-opt others, and provide information, knowledge and clear plans to accomplish said vision. They are also able to coordinate and balance conflicting and diverse interests. Our current president has no clear visions, plans, or an agenda for our future, or strategies to make the lives of Americans better!

Effective leaders step up in times of crisis with decisive and creative thinking, and have the ability to rapidly mobilize solutions. We need look no further than Covid-19 and “Black Lives Matter” to see the ineptitude of our current president. He does not unify people, but instead creates division and conflict which only exacerbates the crisis at hand.

The state of an organization, or its culture, is always a reflection of its Leadership. The USA today is a mess. It is characterized by dishevel, distrust, polarization, social unrest, fear and anxiety. Racial discrimination has reared its ugly head like in the days of the Jim Crow laws. And we have become the laughing stock of the world – no longer viewed as a beacon of hope and prosperity. This is a clear, distinct reflection of our current leadership!

There are four vital Attributes of Effective Leadership which serve as an excellent lens for evaluating the efficacy of our current president.

First, Effective Leaders are deeply knowledgeable in their area of work and are driven to keep learning and improving their understanding and command of issues. They value and trust the expertise, skills and knowledge of others and know how to incorporate them into the decision-making process. They understand complexity and interdependent systems, and possess the ability to approach problems by keeping a relationship to the overall system in mind. Our current president is void of this capacity. His arrogance and narcissism make him feel omniscient which creates great risk for our country; he doesn’t even participate in ongoing, regular intelligence briefings designed to preserve our national security. He has discounted and minimized the input of astute medical experts during the Covid-19 crisis because they are in opposition to his fabricated, self-serving narrative.

Second, Effective Leaders have clear values and a very high level of integrity, they have Soul. I’ve always liked to teach that Effective Leaders “lead with a compass and not by radar.” Their values, integrity and sense of right and wrong serve as the compass that guides their actions and decision-making process. They are anchored to truth and a sense of mission. By contrast, a leader who makes decisions by “radar” is constantly changing in response to external stimuli and perceptions. Our current president is the latter. He has no moral compass, he is a sociopathic liar, a philanderer, a misogynist, racist, and he bases all of his decision-making on what is in his best interest, not in the interest of the country.

Third, Effective Leaders have heart, they are driven by compassion, empathy and a sense of mission. Their feelings are essential motivators, helping to drive them towards their goals and decisions out of a sincere concern for others! Our current president has no empathy or ability to relate to the feelings of others. He continually derides people, bullies, name-calls and dehumanizes. He views empathy and compassion as weakness and treats others as expendable pawns in his pursuit of self gratification.

Fourth, Effective Leaders are Broad Visionaries, they are able to see opportunities where others only see obstacles. They are skilled at integrative thinking – the ability to hold two opposing ideas in their minds at once, and then reach a synthesis that improves each one. They are comfortable navigating ambiguity and seeing possibilities in the fragmented, complex nature of our society, as they envision a better future for everyone. Our current president has no ability to vision beyond himself. Every action and every thought is predicated on how it will best serve him, not on serving the best interest of America!

Our current president is the world’s most powerful bully, a gutter-dwelling man allergic to decency. He has ridiculed the disabled, fat-shamed women, dismissed those who are sick and insulted war heroes; he speaks unkindly of the dead. Of even greater concern, he is an authoritarian that wants to rule over people without being subject to the rule of law.

We are at a critical crossroads in the history of America. Four more years of our current administration would mark the beginning of the end of democracy as we know it. This president needs to be replaced by someone who is an Effective Leader, concerned for the wellbeing of all of us, and has the skills to lead us to a better place!

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