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Leadership Matters

Posted by Dave Griffith on April 3, 2019 at 12:25 AM

“It is hard to be accountable for history that you did not make. However, it is even harder to be accountable for the history that you will make.”

It is popular in the current political environment to look at the historical record and find an explanation for today’s ills. Poverty, Race, Economic Inequity, Climate Change, Gender differentials to name a few across the spectrum. One hears in the current call for restitution to right historical ills a call for accountability for prior generations.

I would suggest that’s interesting but flawed. Interesting in that it explains how we got here. Flawed in that it does not address the root cause and thus does not change the narrative. History is history; what matters is the future. To quote:

“You cannot change history, but you can change the future” Carolyn Correia.

No doubt that history and science teach and informs how we got here on any given issue. The energy and the debate and most importantly the actions required to drive change need to shift to the question of what do we do going forward? On so many issues we are at a legacy inflection point.

Poverty and economic inequity continue to grow. We know that prosperity is not inclusive. We know that the inevitable outcome of poverty is system failure on several levels. What if prosperity included not just shareholders, but employee stakeholders? What if valuations included social returns created by living wages and health care?

Race and Gender continue to be the third rail in America. We know that diversity is an excellent strength if we dare to have an all-encompassing tent. All be it a tent where access to opportunity is level across society in housing, wellness, education, employment, and the rule of law is equal for all.

Climate change. The evidence is compelling, and while many challenge the science as to the why of climate change, there is little fact-based debate that it is occurring. The coal that has been burned we can’t do much about, but the wind and solar power we harness going forward, well we can own that change. To quote “will we be that arrogant that we put greed ahead of grandchildren when it came to the environment?” It is not a question of is climate change human-made or a natural cycle or some combination; instead, it is that it is occurring and the world voice to drive response is failing to push the political will to drive collective behavioral change.

In American, we will soon be in a primary election cycle. The candidates we need to support are those who are willing to be accountable for our future and bold enough to challenge us to do the same, even if the solutions identified call for us to do the uncomfortable. I want specifics on these issues of Poverty and Economic Inequity, Race and Gender, and the Climate. President Lincoln in our darkest days as a nation spoke of a house divided and the consequences. Well, we are a house divided, and if we are to address the hard questions with hard answers, we need to come together, and not just in America. When will we learn that self-interest is a team sport?

Leadership matters, and not just from our leaders.


Categories: ECS Outreach, Muddy Boots, Leadership

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