Monday, March 09, 2009

Wanted: Tree-Shaking Leaders With Balanced Strength.

As our nation faces unprecedented change, and we try to navigate through uncharted waters, it's imperative that our leaders understand the need for balance. They must be able to blend the strength of their convictions and character, with enough humility, to prevent the arrogance that so often accompanies powerful positions.

Regardless what you may think of his views, Pope John Paul II, exemplified the type of balanced strength and leadership we need now. Eight months after he was elected Pope, armed only with his charismatic presence and the courage of his convictions, he took the calculated risk of visiting his homeland, Poland, in an effort to normalize church-state relations with its antagonistic communist government. One year later, in 1979, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko said he was interested in establishing diplomatic relations. Ten years later, the Berlin Wall fell.

In a nutshell, the leadership of Pope John Paul II, an amalgamation of great strength, intelligence, charisma, and paradoxically, a willingness to subjugate his ego for the good of all, succeeded in establishing a meaningful geopolitical presence for the Catholic Church, in an effort to advance social justice and human rights all over the world.

“I didn’t cause this to happen. The tree was rotten. I just gave it a good shake.” -- Pope John Paul II, in response to his role in helping to dismantle the "evil" empire
Well, starting with our own economy, rotten trees abound, and we need a "tree-shaker" leadership.

Vice-President Joe Biden has been around long enough - taking his fair share of lumps - to make most of us feel comfortable that he is - no matter what his position or status in life - who he is. He doesn't "mask" his truth or put on heirs; he's comfortable in his own skin and even more important, he is "comfortable", making mistakes. So, it's fairly safe to say that Biden is a man of balanced strength, not to mention, he also has a history of shaking, at the very least, a few branches.

President Obama, although, not quite as "seasoned" as Joe Biden - as we have already seen - does not fear failure, nor does he let it stand in his way. There is no question that President Obama possess a balanced strength, and it appears he's willing to shake a few branches.

In conclusion, both President Obama and Vice President Biden are courageous men. They can admit error with the same confidence they celebrate success because they both understand failure brings them one step closer to accomplishing the intended purpose, as it provides a learning opportunity. However, the question still remains as to whether they will not only shake a few trees, but shake them hard enough
"There’s never been an elected official I’ve worked with — a president or in my iteration as a senator for 36 years — who is as incisive and disciplined about what he focuses on. He’s clear, he’s disciplined, there’s a precision in his thinking that has surprised everyone. And it goes along with a genuine informality,” he continued. “That informality breeds you being prepared to say, ‘Well, Mr. President, I don’t think that works ... . As opposed to walking in and saying, ‘Sir ... .’ - Vice President Joe Biden on President Barack Obama


Anonymous,  13:44  

Pope John Paul II is a religious leader whose mission is defined by Jesus. You cannot compare him to secular leaders who have much more power and influence over the world than he did.

Roth's stepchild 12:06  

I think Pope John Paul II had a lot more power than you are willing to give him credit. Think of all the Catholics worldwide...that's a lot of people. Not to mention, his influence transcended religious lines because of his charisma, strength, and endless traveling.

In addition, there are certain traits and/or qualities that define leadership despite the context of that leadership. No matter what your person views of him, you have to admit he understood what it takes to lead and galvanize people.

Thanks for your comment!

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