Leadership in our business is everything.First, it was a farmer. Then it was accountants and engineers. Then it was doctors and teachers. And for a while, it was the MBA. Now it is lawyers. (There are more lawyers in law school in the United States than there are lawyers in the rest of the world.) Throughout the short history of our country, certain professions have been held in the highest regard and pursued as the Holy Grail of careers. Each had its own contribution to moving our society forward. The contribution of farming and engineering in crafting this great country is clear. And certainly, accountants, doctors, and MBAs have created their own breakthroughs in modern-day living. And yet as we look at the state of business, politics, and education – even sports and religion – there is one huge missing thing.
That missing thing is the source of the parts of our society for which we are ashamed.
BusinessIt used to be that the biggest failure of business was its disregard for the environment or its workers. Today, it has expanded to the public at large, and especially the investors. There seems to be no bounds over which business will cross for profits – especially personal profits for the top executives
EducationCertainly, we have the best system for the elite. Yet something is missing if most high school graduates are not able to read or write at an acceptable enough level to be employed by a responsible business. I know this from the hundreds of people we have interviewed for our businesses who lack the most basic skills.
ReligionSome of our biggest scandals continue to come from organized religion.
SportsOur national pastime … where we have made winning so important that we will tolerate cheating, drugging, and all-out riots.
PoliticsSuffice to ask: In the last presidential election, how did you feelabout the two candidate choices we had to lead the most important country in the world? Did you feel like we had our best feet forward, or were they in someone's mouth? Enough cynicism. What is missing? Leadership is missing. A new paradigm that is born in service, contribution, courage, independence, authenticity, listening, compassion, stewardship, and love. One that is based in high self-esteem, not arrogance; that practices integrity, not popularity; that just plain does the right thing for all involved. We need leadership that goes beyond being just an academic concept and, instead, becomes the next Great Profession. Imagine your children pursuing a career in it. A career where they learn to embody the values, arts of listening, empowerment of others, stewardship, service, integrity (walking their talk), truth telling, and being a card-carrying visionary.
Leadership is the most important profession. It is the only profession that can lead society to change.
- Change our values.
- Change our priorities.
- Change our tolerance.
- Change our minds.
- Change our hearts.