It has been said, “Trust no man to be your leader except he be a man of God.” Trust is the major missing element in our political discourse. When a president lacks the necessary support of Congress and responds with: “I have a pen and a phone” and I will go it alone, he damages and destroys relationships of trust. When executives have the whip hand and they use it often, relationships of trust break down, and a divisive, contentious, win/lose, power struggle ensues.
The Obama health care program can be characterized as a win/lose relationship. It was so divisive at its inception, the president didn’t get one Republican vote. He ignored their feelings and input, rejected their suggestions and steamrolled it through Congress. Those negative feelings created by a win/lose relationship have characterized the Obama administration.
Somehow America’s political discourse needs to change from a win/lose philosophy to a win/win strategy. Stephen Covey said trust and cooperation aren’t the products of a win/lose leadership style. They are the result of a win/win philosophy. If leaders don’t have trust and a common vision with their constituents, cooperation isn’t there, and leaders feel they have to manage, manipulate and control people.
Morris Bastian, Boise