Evolution reveals that political party waves ebb and flow; and literature offers that political institutions, systems and organizations show up as tribal. Concerning tribal, Ken Wilber contends “…safety and security are sought by bonding together and identifying (fusing) with a tribe in order to persevere and protect against outsiders. Allegiance and admiration are given to the chief…for the well-being of the tribe.” Webster suggests tribal is “…following a particular path of policies more associated with a political party dogma rather than the general good of the country and all the people…the tribe you belong to is your party group. This especially is demonstrated by voting against the government just because they are not your party, however beneficial that policy might be for others.”
The recent mid-term election process saw whites without a college degree vote right and white college diploma folks were propelled to the left; 18-29 year olds supported the left; women voted for the left and the most significant swing to the left was among college-educated suburban women; and ousted left candidates came from more rural states while the left flipped seats in suburbs and in some of the most right states. As we move forward, tribal divisions are likely to remain on display and become deeper with some attributes as follows: leadership incompetence; absence of vision, ethics, morals, values and principles; self-enhancing, opportunist and not objective; power at all cost; lack of courage and consistency; a dearth of leaders who unify, transcend and include; experience of discrimination, harassment and violence by women and people of color; and a President who exhibits no respect for the Office of the President of the United States, the most powerful position in the world. How can sane, American democracy-life, liberty and pursuit of happiness-be restored?
We have a great deal of “waking up” and “growing up” to do to realize the unalienable rights of all Americans to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The best defense is a good offense; and a good offense demands leaders who have a track record of success closing with, unifying, transcending and including tribal institutions, businesses, organizations and systems. A good leader’s brand: leadership is a trust based relationship between the respective leader and among leaders and followers who intend ethical and moral changes and transitions that mirror common purposes. Attributes of these leaders are as follows:
- ETHICS, MORALS, VALUES and PRINCIPLES: The art of being a good person, practicing goodness in everyday life, making good moral judgments; and it includes all ways of being truthful, authentic, caring and courageous that constitutes integrity: coupling intentions, promises and commitments with actions and behavior. Ethical persons “walk the talk” and model the way through individual interior (psychology, intentions, thoughts and feelings) and exterior (body and behaviors); and collective interior (relationships, culture and shared meaning) and exterior (environment, social structures and systems) persons. Good leaders provide clarity about institutional values and beliefs and behave consistently with values and beliefs.
Values: Trust and trusted; integrity; direct; open; honest; caring; compassionate; moral; joy; hope; and peace-of-mind.
Principles: Does not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do. Objective, not self-serving and acts in the best interests of the people and institution being served. Committed to the concept of 100% responsibility: life happens because of me and not to me. Does not blame others, learns from one’s own experiences in an intentional and self-directed manner and applies that learning to new challenges. Sets a good example for physical health, emotional balance, mental clarity, spiritual awakening, ethical behavior and integration of hidden, denied and repressed subconscious aspects of the finite Self reflected or projected in the world.
- STRATEGIC VISION: Creates and communicates strategic objectives, values, strategies and direction for the institution, business, systems, organization and individuals led. Articulates a worldview for the Nation and the globe.
- MISSION-PURPOSE-RESULTS DRIVEN: Peace-of-mind with purpose and connections built on a foundation of compassion. Has a bias for action, for trying new things and for getting things done. Is focused and aggressively pursues objectives and sets high standards for self and others. Takes calculated risks and makes personal sacrifices in order to get things done.
- FINANCIAL SAVY: Plans, communicates, monitors and controls, establishes risks, solves problems and makes sound decisions concerning economic and financial performance.
- STAFFING and STAFF DEVELOPMENT: Attracts and selects people with required and specified innate talents and learned skills. Assesses the short and long-term needs of the institution and develops plans to improve the overall structure and talent and skills strength of the institution.
- QUALITY RELATIONSHIPS and INFLUENCE: Develops, uses and sustains strong, cooperative relationships with persons. Uses effective listening and interpersonal skills to achieve mutual trust and respect. Accomplishes tasks and objectives by resolving conflicts and influencing the actions of others. Is seen as a change agent; earns respect and position power; and makes a difference when involved.
- COMMUNICATIONS, TECHNOLOGY, CYBER OPERATIONS, INFORMATION and MEDIA MASTER: Simply keeps persons informed and creates communication forums and diverse coalitions to give and receive information and ethically manage perceptions. The spectrum of communication expertise: intrapersonal, interpersonal, person-to-persons, mass media, social media, cyber operations and associated technologies that exploit communication needs and strategies.
- BUSINESS and POLITICAL SAVY: Has a worldview perspective, is aware and understands the implications of changes in the globe. Has “street smarts,” sizes-up situations quickly, is practical, knows the right things to do and when to do them.
- COALITION and TEAM LEADERSHIP: Achieves results by motivating and inspiring winning organizations and teams. Builds commitment to common goals by communicating a sense of mission and by energizing and inspiring the teams. Creates an environment where differences are valued, where systems work equally well for all and wherein persons can retain uniqueness and contribute at full potential.
- EXECUTIVE MATURITY: Acts appropriately in business, social and political situations. Displays control in complex, ambiguous or stressful situations. Identifies with persons, shares their values and beliefs and is comfortable with them. Works toward mutually carved-out, worldview goals.
- HUMAN NEEDS SATISFACTION: Is “in-tune” with mental and emotional needs of others, cares about people and puts action plans in-place to create an environment to improve the quality of life and personal productivity that is beneficial for persons. Links recognition to accomplishment, shows appreciation and expresses pride in accomplishments.
- HANDLING COMPLEXITY: Analyzes and solves complex problems. Deals effectively with large amounts of data, changing conditions, incomplete data or uncertainty. Understands how seemingly unrelated issues interact and affect one another. Gets to the essence of complex issues quickly, generates a variety of alternative courses of action and makes effective decisions.
- IDEA LEADERSHIP: Implements breakthrough and innovative ideas, programs and processes that make a genuine difference.
Individuals, culture, shared values, relationships, leaders and leadership matter. If democracy is to prevail, good leaders must be selected and held accountable for high quality leadership!! The evolution imperative of unity and wholeness and an inspired, growing awareness of the human condition, coupled with helping others, can change the daily headlines from an underlying sense of fear, anger, sadness and domination to love and freedom. Yes! Leaders can be selected and held accountable to create a vibrant civil society where people are free, live as they choose, speak their minds, organize peacefully and have a say in how they are governed.
 Boot, M. (2018). The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right. NY, NY: Liveright.
 Wilber, K. (2008). Integral Life Practice. Boston, MA: Integral.