Where do you draw the line? Where is the line which should not be crossed- and what is the level of righteousness that a leader should have? Leadership as ever is a fascinating thing for me- and as much as anyone tries to convince me, I have always believed that leadership isn't for everyone. Yes, you can couch it in different phrases - the fact of the matter is phrases such as "we are all leaders" perpetuates the belief that following isn't something ok to do. To be honest, following takes a considerable amount of skill and making it out to be something "not quite sexy" is all a bit odd. It maybe good for the coffers of some organisations but beyond that, for the wider population out there, maybe not so. Don't like what I say- have a look around you- every report, every view will opine about the lack of leaders, lack of someone who can inspire.
There is however a flip side to it too. One one side, the cry is for more leaders, the cry is for people to step up- and on the other hand, there is the instant judgements, the morality verdicts and the seemingly desperate urge for our leaders to be…perfect. I suppose one sees public figures as role models- and they need to have a certain standard but when it descends into a mob like vitriol, the question will come for many- why bother?
Look through history- folks we have looked upon leaders, about whom books, movies have been made, folks who we quote at the drop of a hat- whether it be Gandhi, Churchill, Kennedy, Florence Nightingale…flawed individuals yet wth something special in them to make change, inspire and make following sexy too. Without the microscopic scrutiny of the media, the coruscating focus of social media, the click bait blogs or the instant judgements of twitter…they existed- they led, they changed and they had their flaws- which todays society may have deigned unacceptable, uncouth or even immoral. So how does one square that circle? How does one have a balance when judging our leaders- how does one give them the belief that they can lead, change without their every word, tweet, picture being poured over, interpreted and dissected?
We live in a Big Brother culture- where the sordid, the macabre and the saucy bits attract us. We love the conspiracy theories, we love the conjectures, we love the story of fall from grace…or maybe we just love a story. Full stop. Recently I have seen some posts about folks I have got to know and it has made me wonder why actually bother putting oneself out there. The conspiracy theory angles would make one wonder which supermarket some get their tin foils from- but the tone is accusatory, its pointing, its damaging- and in turn, it sends out a message to those who do it…maybe don't bother.
We ALL live imperfect lives, look deeply, we are all- to a degree, flawed. Maybe we should sometimes remember that when we judge our leaders, perhaps mock them less, perhaps judge them with a degree of care- they too are after all human beings- with the same hurt we would suffer if someone said something derogatory about us. I do have a lot of respect for folks who do stand up to be counted- yes, of course there are some who do it more for power, more for money- but there are also many who do it because they care, because they do believe they can help.
A bit more time for the "leader", a bit less of the self righteousness , a bit less of the moral outrage…and maybe, just maybe, we would give hope to the next generation that leadership isn't just one for the CV but much more…Accountability is important - and leaders need to stand up to be counted on that- but that must not allow for personal slurs.
And if you cant do that, step up to the plate yourself,step under the spotlight and lets see whether the glare is a bit much beyond the comfort of the keyboard.
Do it- and be..perfect.