Americans so want to believe again. They want leadership that is conscientious and genuine. In short, Americans desperately want leaders in whom they can trust. And trust is a verb, not a noun. It is active, for trust is a feeling of certainty. And Americans are hungry for that genuine certainty! To be sure, we are thankful for the excellent leadership we have locally and, in some cases, regionally and nationally. But, if only honesty were true in all leadership situations, however, unfortunately, in too many situations, honesty and excellence is not the case.
In all aspects of American life, in any organization, enterprise or government, leaders must be able to plan effectively, set visions and priorities, build relationships and move in a strategic and positive manner. But most of all, what people want is to be able to trust their leadership. Uncompromising integrity is essential. People are not willing to recognize someone as their leader, at all levels of government, unless they can trust that person: intellectually, ethically, honestly and within their heart.
Reliability, credibility, believability – these three qualities are what the electorate is looking for in their leaders. People want someone in whom they can trust implicitly. Uncertainty, lack of transparency, and waffling in the truth will not stand. The state of the economy, policies that promote job creation, security of the homeland and confidence in their leaders, these are uppermost in the minds of the public. Further, it just is not good public policy on the part of public officials to make decisions before those ideas have been principled. In short, actions should pass the test based upon principles of ethics, virtue, honesty and truthfulness.
I believe that a leader and candidates for leadership, at all levels: locally, regionally or nationally, must possess a mental construct based upon stoic fundamental principles of virtue and respect of and for their "neighbors." Presenting and voicing only a litany of problems and pointing to the flaws of others is not sufficient and will not do. A campaign of "personal destruction" is abhorrent to the American voters. Common ordinary folks recognize the ineptness and emptiness of leadership when those leaders lack dynamic problem solving approaches and human decency. The people want an optimistic experienced leader who speaks from the heart. They are hungry for the truth. Arrogance and conceitedness are abhorrent to those of us who are just plain folks.
People do not want organizational leaders, political candidates or government officials who are all words and no substance. They do not want leaders who are pretenders – pretending to be economists, when they are not; pretending to be health care experts, when they are not; pretending to be for the "little guy" when they could care less. Americans are fed up with elitist pretenders. They want leaders who are authentic and who stand for the "kitchen table" values of the American public.
Americans are eager for leaders, in all walks of life, who will be upfront with us who are just plain hard working folks. We have had enough of eloquent but vacuous rhetoric. The people are asking for our leaders to be honest, forthright, genuine and proactive with plans to deal with the critical issues of the day based upon cherished family values. Most folks are optimistic, and they want optimistic statesmanlike decisiveness in leadership. Americans want to have confidence and a believing trust in their leaders. Americans so want to believe again. And you know, that desire is so strong today in the minds of the American public, that genuine trustworthiness will be the prevailing quality for anyone who seeks public office. You know, I have faith that a thoughtful American public will see to that.