Virtue in Leadership

I have always taken pleasure in debates and good discussion. For the rational mind, sharing different ideas and viewpoints with others, especially those directly opposing your own, is often incredibly beneficial to personal growth. Even if an exchange did nothing to sway someone towards a different view, which it certainly shouldn’t have to, wisdom is still found in your ability to understand where others are coming from logically. Whether their conclusions are incredibly insightful or tragically shortsighted, at the very least you witnessed and shared in their thought process.

And it is this aforementioned sharing of thought that broke my heart while witnessing last week’s Republican primary debate. I watched, thoroughly invested alongside several hallmates, as too many of the contenders for the office of POTUS tore at each other with insults and reasoning that I thought should have been left on the playground. I was reminded of why I personally struggle with politics as I immediately grew weary of these power-hungry actors clambering for their perceived seat of power. I wondered why it was them that had to occupy this stage, rather than the many gifted and thoughtful men and women not participating.

It was distressing, nearly as much as I had imagined it would be. The self-inflicted pain of watching renowned and honored leaders aimlessly batter each other whilst avoiding the very questions they were there to answer is no new struggle. It so deeply saddens me to think that a part of our wonderful blessing of being able to elect our own leaders is having to sift through such self-absorbed con artists. And far worse than even that is the gut-wrenching knowledge that individuals with such a want for a hero will give credence to these grand pretenders. I follow politics that I may examine the possibilities of a bright decision on behalf of our future; and yet, despite my search for the greatest opportunity, I cannot but feel quite drained after hearing the feeble words of our contenders.

However, this was not the entirety of the situation during the debate. There were several calming minds heard amidst the unfocused storm of possible election, one in particular which will make voting in the primary election for myself quite easy. This is the rational one who I had been looking for, the representation of a fundamental desire for the truth. When placed between so many sweating brows eagerly anticipating their ascension towards recognition, it makes any carefully grounded and stated thoughts effortless to observe. I would speak of who this person is in particular, but I’d better continue writing this article. After all, it’s not brain surgery.

Post-debate gave me a relief from the stress, and offered clarity towards my recent convictions. Everyone’s true character had been visible, bright blonde toupées as a whole shown to be far more solid than their owners. As I strove deeper into reflection upon the debate, I remembered a conversation I had recently with a very dear friend of mine, where we found ourselves disagreeing upon the nature of an ideal leader. In relation to my discussed candidate, I discovered that my identification of logically thinking individuals is heavily dependent on their consequential actions being held up as ideal themselves. As a person’s mindset is frequently declared through their lifestyle and resulting treatment of others, this prompted me to take time to consider what virtues the lifestyle of an ideal leader would demonstrate.

What makes the quest to understand perfect leadership so dire is, in truth, the place of a leader within society. They often serve as guides and role models of both youth and the grown individual on a smaller level, and on an even greater note, may either indirectly impact or directly assist in the direction of global relations and socioeconomic systems. You may deduce that if the mind of a leader takes part in the molding of those they influence, then whatever virtues in turn mold the mind of a leader effectively shape the population. Thus, this is a magnificently hefty topic, and upon personal scrutiny, I realize that it is, for myself, too much for one article to cover. Following my considerations, I plan to focus primarily on the introduction of these virtues, and my reasoning behind their necessity for healthy leadership.