It’s amazing to see and hear all the fallout from the 2016 presidential elections. This article is about leadership and NOT who you voted for or what candidate will or would have made the best president. The decision about who will be the next president has already been determined by a vote of the people and the Electoral College, based on a system of government our forefathers established. We are known as a “representative democracy” or a “democratic republic,” both meaning virtually the same thing. Interestingly, the word “democracy” is not used anywhere in the U.S. Constitution. While our constitution clearly establishes us as a “republic,”the word democracy is used to describe our form of government by people from all over the world. In fact, the United States of America is the oldest recognized democracy in the modern world.
Before we go any further, let’s all agree, whether we’re happy about the election results or not, the United States of America is the most free nation, offering liberty and the pursuit of happiness, on the planet. Think about it, unlike many other countries in the world, there is no need for a revolution and massive bloodshed each time we pick a new president and cabinet. We have a system that has effectively worked in excess of a couple hundred years. This country and its systems are clearly still attracting immigrants from across the globe because of freedom and our form of government. Here we continue to have this thing called the American dream and it is still VERY much alive. All that being said, it is such a great system of government, that if we don’t like it, we can change it with enough votes.
Now let’s move forward with the leadership conversation around all this. I was taught that we all voted, received the results and then supported the person who got elected. It’s really quite a simple concept and we each have the obligation to teach our children and grandchildren how all this works. It’s a lot like sports, only the winner gets the 1st place trophy and we teach the losers how to congratulate the winners and gracefully accept defeat.
I learned the idiosyncrasies of sports and elections while in high school. This is the time when sports became more serious and when running for class president required a bit more thought.
Leadership, in regard to elections, is about teaching those in our group, whether our family or our business associates and employees, that these events happen every two to four years on a local and national level. It’s the people who convince most of those voters casting ballots that they are the best candidate, who will generally win the election. And, that our system is such that once the election is over, we all agree to support and help the winning team. We also get the opportunity to help those who are disappointed about the outcome learn from the experience and try harder next time around. For those who become really, really passionate about the politics, they have the opportunity to volunteer for their team and/or even run for office if they are so inclined.
Good leadership skills will assist each of the opposing candidates in preparing their groups of supporters and strategizing the best way for their team or candidate to prevail as the winner in the election. If their team or candidate does not win, it simply means that the other side did a more effective job in convincing the voters to vote for the winning side. In some cases, the losing side may have had the needed number of votes, but were unable to motivate their people to actually go cast a vote at the ballot box. For now, we cannot point and click to vote from our home PC or Macbook. Until those changes take place, we’ll still have to get our teams out to the ballot box on election day.
From a leadership perspective, I believe that it’s unrealistic for individuals to be in total mourning over this or any other election. I work with hundreds of real estate agents each and every day and their lives and livelihoods are still up to them each and every day, week and month. If an individual allows themselves to wallow in negativity because of the actions of another or the outcome of a sports event or an election, they have, in my opinion, allowed an outside force to take responsibility for and control of their life.
Remember, only you can determine how you spend your emotional capital.
Regardless of what anyone does to you or what happens around you, how you decide to feel emotionally is entirely up to you. We should be teaching this mindset to our children, because it will give them power and confidence to take on the world, and it will assist in creating great leaders.
Now for those of us in leadership and positions of authority, let’s act like adults and leaders, whether our candidate won or lost. Let’s get on the American team and teach our people to live the American dream!