Let me first start by saying that I am a proud American living north of the forty-ninth parallel. I sent in my ballot by mail, as I have for over thirty years, believe in the greatness that America can be, and realize that leadership, at all levels, will be vital to healing a nation divided.
More than one hundred and forty-five million people voted on November 3rd, each with their own set of convictions, each with their sense of right and wrong, and each with their view of what the future of the United States could be.
This is not an article about who won, who lost, who was right, and who was wrong – but rather a call to action.
Now is the time for leaders to emerge throughout the land to heal a country that is so divided.
It is not the role of one party, one man, or one woman to heal this country. Instead, it is the role of millions of us to come together and realize that what connects us is far more powerful and meaningful than what separates us ideologically.
It is time for leadership to develop a new generation of leaders who can realize the catalysts that cause such deep wounds and work with everyone to find common ground.
These leaders are not just within the realm of politics. They must be within religious organizations of all stripes, social organizations on both sides of the political spectrum, in communities, associations, and businesses themselves.
They must include both old and young from all societal demographics and beliefs, races, religions, and convictions.
Wherever you live, whether within the fifty states or beyond, people voted for both sides. Again, each with their convictions and sense of right and wrong.
Because they voted differently from you, this does not make them wrong; it just makes them different, and different is what makes this country great. It is contrary opinions, brought together, and argued for their merit that create a more perfect union.
As leaders, it is our role to realize the chasm and mistrust resulting from this election, and work within our organizations to acknowledge that mistrust and move beyond it. Leaders’ roles are to form avenues of dialogue, where people can come together, understand each other without feeling their ideas and ideals threatened, and find common ground.
This is not the sole responsibility of a few politicians, but leaders everywhere.
As leaders, we must acknowledge that there are those who voted for opposing ideals within places of worship and places of business. We must first understand this and then realize that until we can help develop an open and honest dialogue that does not attack but rather sheds light on commonalities, there will be ill-feelings and ill-will within our organizations, and that is not beneficial to anyone.
As leaders, we must create an open dialogue for wounds to heal. We must provide a safe space for people to discuss their hopes, wants, fears, and desires, and understand that we are all stronger together.
Our role is not to make everyone the same, nor is it to say that one person’s views are right or another’s are wrong, but instead to allow both sides to discuss their beliefs so that we each understand them and respect each other.
I urge every single leader, within organizations large and small, to not sweep things under the rug. To not ignore the passions displayed over the last number of months and do what you can, in your way, to allow people to better listen to each other, understand each other, and value each other.
Here is wishing everyone health, safety, and long-term success.
Connect with Ben HERE to discuss how to provide your people with the skills and mindset they need to lead teams effectively into the new normal.