A good leader deals with doubting voices, excuses, and criticism as part of the natural terrain. He listens well. He doesn’t whine. He doesn’t bully. A leader’s private frustrations and preferences are understandable; they’re part of being human. But his public words and actions have consequences, and any blowback from his imprudence is deserved. Thin skin is a sign of immaturity and weakness. It suggests an unhealthy focus on the self. And worse, it encourages resistance, not cooperation.
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A Good Leader
I’m a bad leader. Especially in politics … and religion. The thought above drove the reality home in my soul.
I’ve developed over my 62 years on earth an “unhealthy focus on the self.” I know as I survey my life from this blessed vantage point — beginning my sixth decade — that my biggest mistakes throughout my life are attributable to being self absorbed.
Ironically, this awareness makes me more determined than ever to write and speak my mind, and welcome any opportunities that God presents in politics or religion to serve as a leader. As the column writer observed, “A good leader deals with doubting voices, excuses, and criticism as part of the natural terrain.”
I experienced this leading the Christian Civic League of Maine for twenty years. But God wants me to go deeper in understanding the “natural terrain” of criticism, doubt and excuses. He doesn’t want me to hide to keep my job, or anything else that I think I’ve earned or that I own. God wants me to live, not die. Every day He wants me to choose integrity over maneuver, love rather than hate and life … never death.
The columnist begins the above published thought about leadership, “He doesn’t bully … his public words and actions have consequences, and any blowback from his imprudence is deserved.”
The most popular condemnation of Donald Trump concerns his “bullying.” I’ve always written it off as New York tycoon bravado, but it is bullying. When the ship of state known as the West slipped the millenium old anchor that was hooked to the solid rock of religious unity in the person, law, philosophy and theology of Jesus Christ many centuries ago the ship sailed into this apocalyptic psychological maelstrom.
The bully is king because we need one — a king (not a bully). America elevated the constitutionally limited and defined office of president to king. The West cannot have a GOOD king because the West doesn’t acknowledge religion anymore. The global dissonance is palpable, and may be on the verge of going nuclear — literally.
I just finished taking a fresh look at my heathforgovernor.com website. The bravado and bullying jumps off the screen.
It’s there intentionally. I knew what I was doing. I was taking my cues from Trump, and the right wing of American politics during my lifetime — especially the so-called religious right. Is there really all that much either “religious” or “right” about that movement? I’m not sure anymore.
I know this.
Everything we attempted politically.
And the religious right here in Maine has mastered the monetization of the most dramatic political and religious failures. Just take a look at the recent fight over baby killing. It’s pathetic beyond words.
So the religious right is a matter for historians now. It offers little to nothing in this moment of extreme danger to global humanity’s existence.
The best thing sincere American Christians can do is stop their donations to any institution aligned with the religious right. You aren’t going to be able to afford those donations shortly anyway.
It is long past time to take your eyes off the screen. Connect and build locally. Start with yourself. That’s what I’ve been doing now for decades. I think that’s why God is keeping me alive. He has something He wants to say and do through me.
And since my background is in Maine politics and religion He wants me to keep my focus there.
In summary, while I’m not going to apologize for the insults “Jezebel Janet Kills,” “Paul Turn LePage” and “faggots are maggots” I do pledge to inject a more consequential and thoughtful tone into my communications.
I am eager to hear what you think, especially if it is critical. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my cellphone at 207-620-4371.