Monday, April 15, 2013

Community Leadership: Fighter or Partner?

You hear and see it everywhere. " If you elect me, I'll fight for you." "I'll fight special interests." I'll fight those who seek to destroy our way of life." "I'll fight increases in costs." "I'll fight decreases in services." "I'll fight for what's right!"

How much good is all this fighting doing for us?

You elect someone that will fight only for your point of view, and then, so does the other guy.  How is that working out in Washington?

How does it work out in Columbia?

Candidates who see themselves and portray themselves as fighters must paint the entire process as a war.  There must be enemies, traitors, battles. The conflict must be endless. The end justifies the means.

And residents?  Where do residents fit in?

We must be afraid, very afraid.  There is evil hiding behind every tree and only the Valiant Candidate can protect us. Without him or her, we are nothing.

I have news for you:  this is Columbia, where everyone on the People Tree has power.  We are not helpless, we are not powerless, and we are not at war.

Anyone who has tried or observed the Fighter scenario in the workplace or in daily life knows exactly how that plays out.  Oh, it may work for awhile. Loud, angry voices, whisper campaigns, alliances based on fear. But eventually it all just collapses in on itself.

The simple truth is this: no one wants to work with the Fighters.  In fact, no one can work with the fighters. They make it completely impossible for anyone to work well together.

If you live in Columbia, you are being asked to make a big decision on April 20th. Whether or not your Village has a contested election, you are being asked to learn more and get involved in the process. And communication, knowledge, and self-empowerment are the antithesis of fear and warfare.

What does Columbia need today, and in the future? Fighters, or partners who can work together successfully and who will listen and share information?

The future of Columbia must not be decided by bullies. Or by fighters.  The future of Columbia must be decided by us.

What will you choose?


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