Henry Kissinger, Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy (July 5, 2022), contends,
The Vietnam War initiated an internal division of American society that has torn it to this day. The conflict introduced a style of public debate increasingly conducted less over substance than over political motives and identities. Anger has replaced dialogue as a way to carry out disputes, and disagreement has become a clash of cultures. In the process, Americans have stood in danger of forgetting that societies become great not by factional triumphs or the destruction of domestic adversaries, not by victories over each other, but by common purpose and reconciliation. (162)
How can America evolve to greatness by “common purpose and reconciliation”? A good start is to select political leaders who are aware, understand, and are committed to leadership, common good, virtue, compassion, caring about others, helping others, and putting quality in all they are and all they do.
LEADERSHIP is an attribute of an individual’s brand; and is an earned, trust based, influence relationship between the respective leader, other leaders, and followers who intend ethical and moral change that mirror common purpose. Some key qualities of leaders are as follows:
- INTEGRAL ETHICS: Integral connotes comprehensive, whole, balanced, and “best of the best;” and the concept of ethics is sincere private commitment to doing what it takes to grow into a life of full integrity: “walk the talk” in every area of life and “model the way” as individuals, in relationships, institutionally, socially, culturally, and when skillfully helping and caring about others.
- MORALS: Judgments made by an individual and concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness and badness of human character.
- VIRTUES: Behavior showing high moral standards. Examples: gratitude, compassion, hope, trust, integrity, courage, honesty, and prudence.
- VALUES: Connote the degree of importance of action. Examples: direct; open; caring; moral; health, wellness, and wellbeing; financial viability; leadership; and peace-of-mind.
- GUIDING PRINCIPLES: Core values that are articulated. Examples: Do not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do. Objective, not self-serving, and acts in the best interests of the people and organization 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 reflections manifested in the world.
- PURPOSE: Reason for existence. Examples: Exemplary student of life. In the service of global health, wellness, and wellbeing. To embody, celebrate, and study the ever-greater depth of awareness, humanity, and life. To actively participate in the evolution of consciousness and culture.
- FOLLOWERSHIP: The actions of someone in a subordinate role. The intentional practice on the part of the subordinate to enhance the synergistic interchange between the follower and the leader, team play.
- INTEGRAL VISION: Comprehensive, compelling picture of a desired future state. Leaders create and communicate a world centric vision, strategies, and direction for the organization and persons led. Articulate a worldview for the Nation and the globe and possesses an integral understanding that allows the leader to be aware and understand other persons thus opening greater mutual understanding and openness to innovative, harmonious resolution; and more intelligent and appropriate responses to conflicts faced.
- MISSION DRIVEN: Peace-of-mind with purpose and connections built on a foundation of common good and compassion. Has a bias for action, for trying new things, and for getting things done. Aggressively pursues objectives and sets high standards for self and others. Takes calculated risks and makes personal sacrifices to get things done.
- 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 and shows appreciation and expresses pride in the team’s accomplishments.
- INTEGRAL THEORY and PRACTICE: Student of integral theory and integral life practice—physical health, emotional balance, mental clarity, and spiritual awakening—that includes a pluralistic and multicultural composite map of the human territory and ways to include the important dimensions of being to enable growth, awakening, and development to fullest capacities. Integral theory does not dictate how to practice or how to live. It offers new perspectives on practice and life, new possibilities, and new horizons; and it opens minds, thus hearts, to a more inclusive and compassionate embrace of the Cosmos and all its inhabitants. Leaders who push the edges of their discipline do so by taking perspectives with more depth and more span than most others.
- INTEGRAL COMMUNICATIONS, TECHNOLOGY and ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE MASTER: Integral communications translates the way an individual speaks to others’ perspectives while still being an authentic self. 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, and associated technologies that optimize communication needs and strategies.
Artificial Intelligence: The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence-visual perception, speech recognition, decision making and translation between languages.
- 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; and makes a difference when involved.
- STAFFING and STAFF DEVELOPMENT: Attracts and selects people with 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.
- TEAM LEADERSHIP: Achieves results by motivating and inspiring a unified, winning team. Builds commitment to common goals by communicating a sense of mission and by energizing the team. Creates an environment where differences are valued, where systems work equally well for all, and wherein persons can retain uniqueness and contribute at their full potential.
- BUSINESS and FINANCIAL SAVY: Has a worldview perspective and is aware and understands the implications of changes in the globe. Has “street smarts,” sizes-up situations quickly, is practical, and knows the right things to do and when to do them. Plans, communicates, monitors, controls, establishes risks, solves problems, and makes sound decisions concerning economic and financial performance.
- 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: Open to input, change, and new ideas. Implements breakthrough and innovative ideas, programs, and processes that make a genuine difference.
- INTEGRAL POLITICS: Is aware and understands the inadequacies of political parties because of limited and partial views that do not address the complex issues facing the world today.
Individuals matter, leaders matter and leadership matters. If democracy is to prevail, we must select good leaders and hold them accountable for high quality leadership!! The evolution imperative of wholeness and inspired, growing awareness of the human condition, coupled with helping others, can change the daily headlines from an underlying sense of fear, chaos, and domination to love and freedom. Leaders can be grown who create a vibrant civil society where people continue to be free, to live as they choose, to speak their minds, to organize peacefully, and to have a say in how they are governed. It is time to evolve and move forward from the chaos of hyperpolarization being created by conflicting ideologies of traditionalists, modernists, and post modernists that is being pontificated by politicians, respective tribes, and circus ringleaders. Vote for sane leadership and leaders who are aware, understand, and are committed to common purpose and reconciliation.