When You Are The Leader It’s Always on You

Sam Silverstein Blog

The President of the United States has traditionally been a leader, a leader of our government and a leader of the free world. It is a different time and place now. Several events have happened recently that illustrate that the president has become a title and a position and that he is not a leader.

I study, research and write about accountability, building accountable organizations and becoming accountable leaders. We can all learn about what a leader is and what a leader is not from the actions of the president.

He and his party wanted to change the healthcare system. Thirteen men met behind closed doors, in secrecy. There were only men at the table, no women. They did not include people who represented the entire populous, they only included Republicans. In effect, less than half of the country was represented at the table.

What they created didn’t work. They would have had 32 million people who currently have healthcare end up without it. Leadership is about the people you lead. Leaving 32 million people without insurance, in a worse situation then they are currently, cannot be construed as about the people.

They tried again to pass a bill. They still eliminated representation of over half the country and again they failed.

Then the president said that he would just let the current system fail and that “would not be on him.” Last I checked, the buck stops with the president. Again, this is not about the people he is supposed to lead. Letting something fail is not leadership. That is abdication. Acts of ego and domination are not acts of leadership.

The Senate tried again to pass a bill but three women Republican senators opposed the bill. It had nothing to do with sex but rather they opposed the bill because of what it contained and the effect on the people that the bill would have. The three women who stood and and were not afraid – that’s leadership.

Then the president has a secret meeting with the president of Russia, a country who has always opposed everything we stand for. Leadership does not exist behind closed doors. Transparency is a key part of great leadership. A leader never creates a situation where you have to wonder what he/she is up to. They never for a minute would want you thinking that they have a personal agenda and they are putting themselves before the people the are supposed to lead.

Just because you are the President of the United States does not make you a leader. President is a title, a position. Leadership is a responsibility. What is it you are responsible for? People!

And then the president publicly says he would not have appointed Jeff Sessions as the Attorney General had he know that Sessions would recuse himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. In other words, if the attorney general wasn’t going to just be a yes man and do what the president wanted, illegal or not, he shouldn’t be the attorney general. On the one hand a supposed “leader” is publicly undressing someone who reports to him. And, on the other hand the supposed “leader” doesn’t want the people who work for him to do the right thing, he wants them to do what best serves him. Both hands are wrong.

While many people are not willing to admit it or come to grips with it, what we’re talking about is beyond politics and political positions. This is a total lack of leadership.

Want further proof that we do not have a leader at the helm? Simply think about this. We have a republican president, a republican controlled house and a republican controlled senate and no meaningful legislation has been passed. None of the campaign promises have been fulfilled. There has been no accountability to the people that elected those in power.

Why? Because we do not have a leader. While you may have someone who has assumed the “position” of president, without a true leader we lack direction, we have drifted into chaos and ultimately we have accomplished nothing on behalf of the people. That’s right, the people. Which, by the way, is what leadership is always all about, the people you are supposed to be leading.