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September 13, 2007

Optimism versus Anger

Posted in: Leadership, Politics, Speaking and Communication

I’ve decided that I’m not going to blog much about the stuff that makes me angry and frustrated, especially at it relates to culture. That means I’m going to bypass the familiar critique of train wrecks like Brittney, Lindsey and Paris. I’m not going to point out the blatant stupidity of those who seem to think that Hugo Chavez is some kind of modern day hero as he seizes private assets and works to entrench himself and his cronies as a the ruling “dictatorship of choice.” Stuff like that is lost on those who don’t want to honestly think about it, and redundant to those who do think.

I find it easy to fall into the same trap that derailed Howard Dean (remember him?) in his ill-fated bid for the presidency. Republicans and Democrats and the rest are equally guilty of the same thing: ranting about what’s wrong with the world instead of offering hope about how to make it better.

Anger is easy, and in many cases even fun. Ranting and raving about what’s broke and who broke it doesn’t take any special insight or skill. Setting aside partisan differences to focus on what needs to be done to fix things, regardless of who broke them–that takes skill.

I haven’t seen much of that particular skill lately in recent political monologues (to call most of what happens in debates dialogue is exaggeration). The primary focus is the other party or the other party’s candidate and why he or she is unfit to lead. And while that may be partially or totally true, it doesn’t answer the obvious question: who is fit to lead?

Leaders offer remedies and solutions, not anger and blame. They create a realistic sense of optimism based on what is possible by offering ideas and actions with the power to make a difference.

Since Brittney and Hugo haven’t asked me for any suggestions for improvement, I’m not going to waste my time, nor your time as a reader, to do so.


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