Leading By Example- Presidential Candidates
A friend of mine wrote a wonderful article recently about the 2016 election. It was essentially a study on leadership, and a comparison of the many contrasting styles found amongst all of the Democrat and Republican candidates. In the end, he was able to come up with a list of attributes he DID NOT want in a leader. And that seems to be what this campaign season has become. Perhaps more than ever before it’s being waged as a referendum on who we don’t want vs. who we do.
When it comes to the subject of leadership, I’ve been viewing this election cycle through a decidedly different lens than at any time before in my life. My children are 6 and 7 years old, and I’m intensely aware that my feelings concerning this election are as much about them as anything. In the past, I’ve voted for Democrats. And I’ve voted for Republicans. I’m admittedly all over the place in terms of my party affiliation. But thanks to my kids, this election and the subject of leadership is very much on my mind.
A few years back, as my 7 year old was getting ready to go to pre-K school, I sent her off with one piece of advice. “Be nice to everyone” I told her. You see, I knew my daughter was a smart and outgoing girl with a big personality. I wasn’t worried in the least about her making friends. She was a natural leader. So I wanted her to be the one to set an example. I figured if she was nice to everyone, others would behave similarly. I wanted NICE to be her calling card.
As time has gone on, “be nice to everyone” is still the same thing I say to her every morning before school or camp. Not surprisingly, it’s also the same thing I began saying to her little brother when he started school. “Be nice to everyone.” At various times, I’ve gone into more detail with them as to just what I mean by being nice. This usually includes things like:
- Everyone means everyone
- I don't care if they're not nice to you
- Friends who are not nice to others are not really friends
- Treat everyone with respect, be nicer than necessary to those who have challenges
Now, I could probably list 25 different important life lessons I hope and pray my daughter and son are learning from my wife and I as they grow. But I’ve decided that if my kids remember just this one thing from me, to be nice, I’d be more than satisfied.
THEREFORE, if “be nice to everyone” is the one piece of advice I give my children every day of their life, and I mean every day, I have to lead by example. My wife has to lead by example. And anybody I vote for as the President of the United States has to be someone who also leads by this example.
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