We need leadership, confidence

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

Leadership and confidence are two key intangibles that have a major effect on human behavior. Our nation is in desperate need of both right now.

From the beginning of time, despite how independent we may feel, we look for signs or signals before responding to situations. When the signals aren’t clear it causes confusion. When people are confused they act irrationally, and irrational activity causes misinformation and results in a serious lack of comfort or confidence. Without confidence, humans, like most species, figuratively put our collective heads into the sand and wait for an “all clear” signal.

The last few weeks we’ve seen and witnessed what happens in our society when we do not have strong, focused leadership that we can trust to guide us from a dangerous situation. Our political leaders continue to point fingers, the stock market is all over the board, we continue to get mixed signals through the media and their talking heads and the result is when in doubt we go into primal protection mode to defend against the fear of the unknown.

Consider for a minute Christopher Columbus and his quest to sail out into the ocean, believed to be flat by most people at the time, in search of better route to the east by going west. Not only did he have to convince King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain to finance his plan, he had to convince those folks sailing on the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria he knew what he was doing and where they were going. For his own purposes he shielded them from the truth regarding how far they had ventured and continued to demonstrate confidence and leadership, thereby avoiding a mutiny which would have caused not only failure but reinforced the common day belief that no such route existed. Despite the simple fact that up until his death he believed he had discovered a new route to Asia, what we know today is he had discovered the continent of America.

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