Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Leadership Lessons from the Elections

"The world belongs to the enthusiast who keeps his cool" (Sign outside a United Methodist Church in Jenks, Oklahoma).

As a husband, father, and Bible teacher, I have some leadership responsibilities. As such, I look for ways to improve as a leader. As I have paid attention to the elections this year, I have noticed an interesting contrast in a couple of the candidates that could help me as I seek to lead my family and others in a better manner.

President-elect Barack Obama never lost his cool during the campaign. He never became flustered. He never appeared irritable. He may have been surprised, but he never panicked. As a result, when crises came, he instilled confidence in his supporters. He infected them with his sense of confidence. They felt prepared to handle anything, because he seemed to be so strong.

On the other hand, Governor Sarah Palin appeared defensive and insecure, especially when questioned by the media. When Katie Couric asked her a simple question about the magazines she reads, Governor Palin seemed strangely evasive and defensive. Even her staunchest supporters were at a loss to explain her behavior. As a result, they became defensive and insecure. As they sensed her weakness, they became weak and unstable.

This observation has tremendous implications for anyone in any position of leadership, but I want to apply it to the family. In order to have a strong family, I need to be stable and self-controlled. If I give in to irritability, anxiety, and a defensive mindset, I become an unhealthy influence on those who depend on me. We, as a family, will be positioned for failure. If I approach challenges with a sense of confidence and self-control, I become a healthy influence,
and my family is positioned to succeed.

The same could be said for an employer, manager, elder, deacon, minister, coach, teacher, or a leader in another field.

Good leaders remain calm and self-controlled as they confront problems and issues. When they do, they inspire the confidence others need to tackle those problems and issues together with them.


Bob, Sarah, and Miriam Logsdon said...

Well said, Terry! I will take these words with me into the daily work/blessing of being a husband and father. Thank you for taking those roles so seriously.

preacherman said...

Thank you for sharing this great topic brother. I debated should I vote or not? Then I had a strong conviction that I should make my voice known. So I obeyed God and voted. I felt so good and felt like I had played a part in history. When my wife came home from univsity she took my oldest son with her to show him what it was like. He came back home with her and told me that he couldn't wait until he was 18. I told him to cherish and enjoy his childhood. There would be many times when he is older to vote. The baby in our family said, "I want a boat!" He thought that mom mentioned that she was taking for a boat ride. Children can be so precious. I know I cherish those cute moments. Well brother I hope you and your family have a great week!

Terry said...

Thanks for the comment! I think you live these words everyday already.

Thanks for the story about your children! I also voted a couple of days ago. Since my pro-life convictions are so strong, I voted for John McCain and Sarah Palin. But I still admire Barack Obama's leadership qualities. I would love to see him change his position and become an advocate for pre-born children.