Integrity Matters Broadcasts
March 23, 2007
How to give an "Integrity" test to the candidates
Over the next few days millions of basketball fans, from across the United States and around the world, will cheer for their "Final Four" team, hoping to have chosen the winner. Many fans will wager their "dollars" in hopes of making a buck or two. Then, in less than a week, the frenzy will be over, and the masses will have turned to other interests.
On a more serious level, another contest is being waged for the American Presidency. The difference between March Madness and a presidential election is that voters will be living with the results for a long time, not just for a month. The "winner-take-all" election impacts our lives in far more serious ways than pleasure-providing sporting contests. Each of us needs to be alert to what is required of the individual who intends to guide a nation and influence the world – for decades to come. What is an effective way to assess talent, motivation and values?
Certainly, these are critical times in the history of democracy. For that reason, please take seriously the challenge and "handicap" the candidates, using my recent, March 21, 2007, and Integrity Matters newspaper column.
published in Jim Bracher's Integrity Matters newspaper column on March 21, 2007.
Give character test to candidates
Your columns are about integrity and leadership. So what are your thoughts about the 2008 presidential campaign?
"March Madness" refers to the annual NCAA basketball championship series that leads to the crowning of a No. 1 team. National championship basketball programs generate increased revenues for their respective institutions and attract the next crop of talented players. Even though the basketball season begins the previous autumn, for many non-diehard fans, the games do not capture real attention until 65 teams are selected to participate in the "Road to the Final Four."
Presidential politics seem to have a similar period of preparation and qualification - thankfully only every four years - on the road to the nomination from respective political parties. Getting too excited by early polls reminds me of a track-and-field term, "rabbit," that refers to the sprinter who jumps out early but seldom finishes first in longer races. With many months of campaigning still ahead, today's presidential "rabbits" may not win the nomination.
This early in the "race for the White House," who knows who'll survive the campaign stresses and emerge from the grueling, noisy and sometimes upsetting shake-out that is the American political process? When individuals do not know where they want to go, any road will suffice. The same is true about leadership, including the presidency, suggesting that if voters do not know what they want and need, then the cleverest strategy with the most money will capture the presidency. Such an approach is fraught with danger, at home and abroad. So, here are seven questions designed for thoughtful voters:
- What credentials will convince you the candidates will improve your life, personally, professionally, domestically and internationally?
- What behaviors do you expect from a president?
- Which candidates exhibit appropriate values in their respective campaigns?
- With hundreds of millions of dollars invested in getting nominated and elected, what will assure you the candidate will be able to govern?
- Who lights a fire of hope for the next generation, inspiring younger individuals to engage in the political process?
- Who instills confidence in what has been good about America and could be good again?
- Who will replace politics-as-usual that leverages partisanship and personal attacks with courageous cooperation and wisdom in the management of public affairs?
For the President of the United States to re-establish national enthusiasm, international impact and global legitimacy, a new generation - in age or attitude - or both - must assume leadership, ending arrogance, greed and gridlock. The Eight Attributes of an Integrity-Centered Organization should be evident in the next president: character, honesty, openness, authority, partnership, performance, charity and graciousness.
In closing, one more question, are you a potential Bracher Center client?
- Is your enterprise anticipating growth and organizational transition?
- Does your culture value people and superior leadership?
- Will you participate, directly, in improving team dynamics?
- If you answered "yes" to these questions, then let's talk.
Please stay in touch!