Lately I've been reading 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell. I recently finished Chapter 13: The Law of Reproduction. It basically states that it takes a leader to raise a leader. John C. Maxwell recounts a seminar he did in Indonesia about leadership and how he had to demonstrate the fundamentals of the child's game follow the leader. The gist of the game is to get everyone to fail so that you remain the leader and thus the winner of the game. He asked a volunteer to come to the stage and demonstrated. He grabbed the volunteer by the shoulders and started to push him down so that he could not rise up or lead. As much as he was pushing the volunteer down, he himself started to go down with him. The further he pushed the volunteer down, the further down he himself went. He stated, "The lower I wanted him to go, the lower I had to go. That's the same way it is in leadership: to keep others down, you have to go down with them."
This reminded me of how our government has lost it's way. All the parties involved are so focused on pushing everyone else down, so that they can remain the leader, that they are not realizing they too are going down with them. Our government, the government of the United States, has lost the core of its leadership capabilities. They have forgotten that in order to lead us to prosperity and growth, they themselves have to learn to be more positive, open-minded, and community focused leaders. When you put your focus in others, everyone benefits.
The same goes for you and your business organization. There are leaders out there that refuse to empower others and refuse to uphold the leaders they do have. When they try to bring down others in their organization, they are bringing themselves down as well. Just look at the businesses who have failed recently due to greed, employee ill-treatment, and corruption. Now think of the organizations and businesses that have prospered for decades because they have a "community empowerment" focus within their business.
What can we learn from the U.S. mid-term elections? When you make the negative your focus, that is what people remember you for. When you try to bring down others, you in essence take yourself down with them.
"A key to empowering others is high belief in people."-Mark Twain
The Unemployed [but Empowered] Entrepreneur