We seemed to have lost our compass these days. We have far too many people looking for ways to divide or differentiate, and are far too few who are having success in breaking down barriers. Or, maybe it is our so-called leaders or “wanna-be leaders,” who are not showing much leadership. While we should value diversity, in many respects, the more we learn about one another, the more we seem to be the same.
At the end of the day, people want opportunity. They want their families to be safe, secure and nourished. They want to find a loved one or a group that can become their family or kinship. They want to be dealt with fairly and want to do the same with others. They expect our leaders to promote social welfare and security, not be the reason it does not exist.
Poor leaders sell fear. They demonize and differentiate. They fall short of the aspirations of their religious texts. Poor leaders take too much credit, patting themselves on the back too much “saying look how great I am.” Better leaders do the opposite or less of the former. They are inclusive and want people to prosper. In the words of FDR, “we do well, when we all do well.”
Yet, this cannot fall to our leaders alone. We need to celebrate our dot connectors. These are the folks who connect people in a variety of ways. These are the folks who seek common ground, not looking to divide. These are the folks who see first hand how similar we are. These informal leaders are as or even more important than our formal ones. They are more trusted and advocate for people. They are our compasses.
As we interact in our daily lives, I want you to recognize the dot connectors you know. They may be someone in your religious group. They may be an ardent volunteer who helps people in need. They may be a colleague who is always creating employee interactions. They may be someone online, who people gravitate toward, as the dot connector can find some good in others or some form of connection. Emulate these compasses. They break down barriers.
As for the fear sellers and mongers, reduce your exposure to these folks. Do not vote for them either, as they are the exact opposite of good leadership. Just because someone has success, does not necessarily make them a good leader. Businesses make this mistake all the time, promoting a successful seller to a leadership role only to see them fail.
Let’s find our compasses and appreciate what they do. And, let’s be like them and not the fear sellers.