Many years ago, while drinking coffee and riffing in deep disillusionment on the state of the world, or our community, or our schools, or who-knows-what, my brother and I started satirically plotting a new leadership book on how to achieve truly soul-less leadership. Perhaps this exposes a bit about both our geekiness and our intensity!
I ran across the notes from that conversation just the other day. As I read them, I didn’t laugh nearly as much as when we were talking. I didn’t laugh at all. Instead, I found them shockingly relevant, even more so than back then, perhaps tonight more than ever.
Here are a few of our snarky and seemingly outlandish thoughts that were funny back then but more grounded in leadership, and specifically political, reality today; and thus terrifying:
Attributes of Soul-less Leadership
Skills of Soul-less Leadership
Powerful communication of a powerless message
The Soul-less Leadership Loop
The soul-less leader seeks a path to the self that is self-affirming.
The soul-less leader seeks to lead to justify his own leadership.
The soul-less leader seeks only insights that confirm the correctness of his own insights
Today, I don’t want to be cynical or disillusioned. I try every day not to be. But, anyone paying attention, I assume, sees many, if not all, of these attributes on display every day in our local and national politics.
So, for tonight, for this Presidential Debate, rather than make a cynical or disillusioned assumption, I will leave it as a question for each of us to ponder and observe: as the two people vying to lead our country debate and discuss their ideas, who will have the courage to show us their soul?