There has been plenty of second-guessing, ridicule, and cynicism from political critics and media show hosts about Barack Obama's "results achieved" in Europe last week. It has been interesting to see so many (a large number of them men) wearing the "mask of envy" as they work to minimize and insult an achievement that is not one they personally carry in their portfolios. (Photo: Associated Press - JC Hong)
It's hard, regardless of your political preference, to overlook the facts that Barack Obama gave us images and diplomacy that reached around the world that we've not seen in many years. He took a risk and he delivered. The pictures brought hope and promise to the future when our minds and hearts have only been filled with hate, greed, war, violence, death, destruction, poor leadership, and the demolition of the United States reputation in every region of the world. Smiling hopeful faces. Waving of American flags (not burning flags). People showing up in the tens of thousands to take a look at one of our potential leaders of the free world, showing interest and respect for the new and different.
My question is... Shouldn't we all be so proud as Americans that one of our American family took a bold leadership step successfully --- a risky move perhaps --- but demonstrated his capacity for positive influence, on behalf of all of us, that America wants to regain our friends in the world?
His performance didn't even need to be perfect in every way to trump contemporary examples of leadership we've all seen in the last near decade. The talk of Obama being "presumptuous" is absurd. Why should we be afraid to watch one of our potential presidential candidates doing his best in this way-too-long job interview? Why should he shrink to the level of the norm in politics when he is putting his heart into being our best choice? When have you landed a job by acting like your competition?
It was even more shameful to see a senior statesman like John McCain, with a laughing smirk, thrash Obama every day with half-truths, put-downs, negative ads, and out-right lies from the "straight-talk express" in a concerted effort to diminish Obama's results...all for his political gain. I admit it, the United States of America deserves a leader with more generosity and self-assurance than we witnessed in John McCain's actions and behavior. Can you imagine McCain using these same techniques as a President, when we desperately need a leader of our nation who can get along with others, has a respectful manner not in words, but in his actions to skillfully negotiate and positively influence strategic outcomes that will impact all our lives?
What seems in short supply are BIG LEADERS --- ones that can find joy in other's achievements. The only one I witnessed was George H.W. Bush, Sr. (Reuters) who in a moment of BIG LEADERSHIP, spoke the truth in words about Obama European trip --- the truth that was written on many other faces of those too small to admit it.
When George H.W. Bush, Sr. was asked by the media whether, as a former head of state who has a sensitivity about protocol, had any thoughts about the appropriateness of Obama's events in Europe, the former 41st President replied with a genuine smiling face, "A little jealous, is all."
"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crises. The great point is to bring them the real facts."
--- Abraham Lincoln
This is what I want to belief is possible...there is magic in believing we can create a better world than we know today...together. What do you think?
author and founder, President and CEO
Global Dialogue Center and Leadership Solutions Companies