Leadership behavior always trickles down through organizations and constituencies. The behavior is reflected in our businesses, religious organizations, schools, families, and communities. Good or bad, behavior usually reflects leadership.
Today is Election Day and after I stood in line and cast my vote I was brought to tears. Some of our choices were no-win situations. The level of ongoing acrimony, and the predictions of that behavior continuing, saddens me. Research shows that this acrimony trickles down through society and is even reflected in school-aged youngsters and toddlers. Further, as we go down the socio-economic and educational ladder, the acrimony that is modeled is carried out in an increasingly rude and rough manner . . . sometimes even through violent behavior. The sad part is it is all reflective of leadership.
TV news networks can’t even put members of the opposing parties in the same room. The result is not news, but childish banter and talking over each other. They even call each other names! The networks should be ashamed for perpetuating an environment where this behavior fosters.
We all deserve better. Our children deserve better. Our future deserves better. Unfortunately, it appears that our political acrimony will continue. Until we all demand better it is bound to continue.
Decency and respect are timeless principles. In today’s world it is refreshing when we stumble across environments that reflect these values. Although trickle-down is usually more influential and powerful than trickle-up, perhaps the only way we can influence and change our political structure is if each of us, one at a time, business by business, school by school, religious organization by religious organization, and so on, adopt, instill, and demand environments of decency and respect.
My sadness with the realization of the poor choices for leadership in our election process was lifted by the optimism of the young people I encountered throughout the morning, including my own children. They understand and value decency and respect. They can, will, and must change the world; and they need our support and leadership.
Let’s join together and begin a movement of trickle-up decency and respect. Together we can make that voice louder and stronger than the acrimonious lies, name calling, and bashing of this past political season. We deserve better.