Is anyone else having trouble focusing on work? I am doing all sorts of smaller tasks, and trying to avoid the news, longing for distraction, anxious, hopeful and scared. It’s the day we vote, and decide the fate of our country for the next four years. On this day, our vote is our leadership, but after tomorrow, we need to step up in other ways, each to our own leadership gifts.
I was lucky enough to have strong, positive feelings for one candidate, and I want that candidate to win. If you’re less lucky, you want a different candidate, someone not on the ballot. But however you feel, in a divided country, we’re flailing for a return to a foundation we can all stand on. And this election has become a flashpoint for different ways of understanding our political goals, personal rights, and capitalist values.
In all this nail-biting, I’ve been thinking hard about what kinds of leadership we need now. Along this contentious election journey, I finally realized that the better question was, what kind of leadership can I provide? I decided that setting a goal for the post-election, no matter what the results might be, would help keep me sane. (I hope this helps you as well, today and in the next few weeks.)
I decided I will open up an e-space for new leadership honeycombs, gatherings of people willing to speak honestly and personally, and to listen with a “yes-and” approach so we can have open discussions that break through the divisiveness that has hurt our country so in the past decade.
I believe this kind of problem-solving and personal leadership development will help us solve the problems that seem so impossible to us now. And it’s not leaders like Trump and Clinton that are going to solve our problems (although they might help, if they are the leaders they promise to be). It’s us, working together, starting from where we are, supporting each other in our connections and diversities.
(If you’re interested, contact me and I’ll let you know how to start your own honeycomb, or invite you to join one I’m organizing!)
In the end,WE are the leaders needed to bridge the chasm between Trump voters and Clinton voters, between Republican and Democrat, between Right and Left. Whichever “side” the majority chooses, it’s the bridges we build that will preserve democracy and make meaningful reform work possible in the future.
It’s long past time to claim our own roles as leaders and followers in the years ahead of us. The poisons in our system have come to the surface in this troubled campaign. In terms of leadership, we are the antidote to that poison. Each of us has a role to play in healing the rift that divides us.