Americans want to trust leaders
Americans so want to believe their leaders. They want leadership that is conscientious, dependable, trustworthy and honest.
Americans desperately want leaders in whom they can have a believing trust. And trust is a verb, not a noun. It is active; for trust is a feeling of certainty. And Americans are hungry for that genuine certainty!
In all aspects of American life, leaders must be able to set visions and priorities, build relationships, and move in a strategic and positive manner. But most of all, what people want is to be able to trust their leadership. Uncompromising integrity is essential. People are not willing to recognize someone as their leader unless they can believe in that person … intellectually, ethically, honestly and within their heart.
Reliability, credibility, believability … these three qualities are what the electorate is looking for in their leaders. Uncertainty, lack of transparency and waffling in the truth will not stand. The state of the economy, policies that promote job creation, security of the homeland, and confidence in government officials … these are upper most in the minds of the public. Further, it just is not good public policy on the part of public officials to make decisions before those ideas have been principled. In short, actions should pass the test based upon principles of ethics, virtue, honesty, and truthfulness.
I believe that a leader and candidates for leadership must possess a mental construct based upon stoic fundamental principles of virtue and dependability. Presenting and voicing only a litany of problems and pointing to the flaws of others is not sufficient and will not stand. A campaign of “personal destruction” is abhorrent to the American voters. Common ordinary folks recognize the ineptness and emptiness of leadership when those leaders lack honesty and human decency.
The people want an optimistic, experienced leader who speaks from the heart. They are hungry for the truth. Arrogance, self-centeredness and conceitedness are abhorrent to those of us who are just plain folks.
People do not want organizational leaders, political candidates or government officials who are all words and no substance. They do not want leaders who are pretenders… pretending to be economists, when they are not; pretending to be health care experts, when they are not; pretending to be for the “little guy” when they could care less. Americans are fed up with elitist pretenders. They want leaders who are authentic and who stand for the “kitchen-table” values of ordinary folks.
Americans are eager for leaders … in all walks of life … who will be up front with us who are just plain hard-working men and women. We have had enough of eloquent but vacuous rhetoric. The people are asking for our leaders to be honest, forthright, genuine, and proactive with plans to deal with the critical issues of the day based upon cherished family values. Most folks are optimistic, and they want optimistic, statesmanlike decisiveness in leadership. Americans want to have the confidence and a believing trust in their leaders. Americans so want to believe again! And you know, that desire is so strong in the minds of the American public, that genuine trustworthiness will be the prevailing quality for anyone who seeks pubic office. And I believe that thoughtful Americans will not be hesitant to see to it that THAT is precisely what will happen.
Dr. Robert L. Heichberger is professor emeritus at the State University of New York at Fredonia and distinguished professor at Capella University. He is an award winning author. His newest book “The Land of Nature” has just been released and is available at Barnes and Noble.com and Amazon.com. All past columns can be viewed on www.fromourperspective.net/ Send comments to: Rheich@aol.com