When leaders stay silent, society always loses.
For the first time in my life, I am involved in a real political fight. As most of you know I am a REAL libertarian and believe that the government on any level spends too much of our money and gets very little results.
I am learning that we have created a system in which leaders fear the government and fear others political beliefs. It is scary for me to live in a world in which leaders can’t truly speak their minds. What scares me most is that people believe that their side is correct and the other side is not just wrong... but evil. This mindset only produces bad and destructive communities. If you are willing to boycott or stop doing business with someone you disagree with you are simply furthering this bad behavior.
During this political fight with my local government, I have learned a great deal. I’ve learned that most citizens have dis-engaged from voicing their opinion. I have learned that even at the local level our governments have become adversarial to most community leaders. I have learned that leaders fail to lead for fear of hurting their bottom line.
My biggest fear is that leaders have become weak and timid in the face of having an opinion. When leaders fail to act or say something because they fear the economic impact will be too great to handle, I think it’s fair to say that we have a problem. In my latest experience, I have heard leaders tell me and others to stop stirring the pot and to calm down. Since when are leaders this weak? Since when did leaders not stand for principle? If you are a leader who will not stand up for what you believe because it may have consequences for your bottom line I would venture to say you are not a real leader at all.
Our founding fathers risked everything to stand for freedom. They risked their wealth and their families. They risked their lives so that you could sit back and call yourself a leader. They sacrificed everything so that you can sit in your air conditioned office building and never say or do anything uncomfortable. If you aren’t willing to stand for your principles and what you believe I would say you are no leader at all.
"If you aren’t willing to stand for your principles and what you believe I would say you are no leader at all."
Here are just a few of the ways you're hurting others when you stay silent.
1 - You are teaching future generations that money is the only thing that matters.
I love money. In fact, money is what drives me to succeed. But, making money cannot be the only thing that matters. When I die, I want my sons to remember me as someone who stood for something greater than my profit. There are things that matter more than my success. Money doesn’t make me who I am... what I stand for does. If you’re a leader who doesn’t stand up for the voiceless you are no leader in my book. This country was built on the idea that individual freedom is what makes us great. If you are afraid to approach your mayor or city council person because it could hurt your business than I don’t want to hear about your leadership principles... because when you’re tested they mean nothing. If you believe every person is responsible for their actions you should be willing to stand for that principle.
2- Your silence is your acceptance
When you remain silent about issues that matter to your local community you are in essence endorsing that policy. If you believe your city has harsh building codes that prohibit new businesses from coming to your town and you choose to remain silent, you are part of the problem. If you get mad only when the policy or change affects your business you are part of the problem. Leadership isn’t about doing good when it’s beneficial to you and your interests, it’s about doing what is right no matter who it affects. When you remain silent you endorse the subjugation of others. When you only fight because it matters to your specific industry you are in essence agreeing with policies that hurt other leaders that are not in your purview.
It's time to stand up. Will we continue to harm future generations by spending money that we don't have. Will we continue to allow government on any level to control our lives in every area, from what contractor we use to remodel our basement, to what our kids learn in school.
If you call yourself a leader, I would ask you to look long and hard at what that means. Leaders cannot be weak. Leaders have to make tough choices that don't just effect their circle of people. Instead of complaining, choose to take a stand a fight back.