Obama, leadership, and Englewood’s mayor

9781604131253[2]It’s interesting that I’ve had my Being a Leader and Making Decisions galleys due this week just when the Englewood mayoral election was going on. The cover is finally up at Chelsea House’s Web site and it features our new President with the Lincoln Memorial in the background. Mind you, I didn’t originally write anything about best-President-ever Barack Obama, until asked to do so a few weeks ago, and I was asked to do it specifically because they wanted to put him on the cover. But I’m glad they did and here’s why:

Obama is ushering in a new kind of leadership that encourages real participation by everyone. Success, in  any form, is a group endeavor. No one gets there alone. If you don’t believe me, you can pick up Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers. Our new president has shown by example that it’s necessary to get everyone on board if you want to move forward. He reached out to citizens to get elected, and since his Inauguration, I’ve gotten several messages from the White House letting me know how I, as a regular citizen, can participate in making my country a better place. It feels good to be a part of the process, and not just someone on the sidelines. I’ve been happy to see that he put aside ego by not kicking Joe Lieberman out on his tush after he spoke at the RNC, and that he has reached out to Republicans in trying to get things accomplished. Granted, I’ve been disappointed that Democrats don’t seem to be stepping up to the plate to support the President, or echoing the kind of leadership he’s showing, but perhaps that is still to come.

Which brings me back to the Englewood elections. I was surprised that the results between Huttle and Reddin were so close. I didn’t imagine there was such a split in the town over who the better mayor would be, and I’m really happy about it. It means that people are really taking their leaders to task. And they should be. I think in the age of Obama, people are looking for leadership they can really get behind, leaders who lead by example, and who are there to really serve their communities. I hope that politicians learn this soon, because a lot of things need to be fixed right now, and there are plenty of people willing to fall behind the right kind of leader. And if the right kind of leader doesn’t emerge, then whoever is at the top, is going to be taking a lot of hits.

Obama has raised expectations. And we the people want better than we’ve ever had. We’re willing to put in the work to get it. And you know what else? We deserve it. And more importantly, we’ll be watching.