Character character character… one major reason I will not be voting for either major party candidate.

Bottom line: I don’t trust either one of them any farther than I can throw them…

While I don’t care for either candidate and honestly I haven’t landed on who I’m voting for-of course as a matter of privilege and freedom-I will be voting, the following is my personal litmus test for any candidate of any elected office: pure leadership character.

And I will go on to site many examples from the Bible-yes, the Bible, on matters of character. Because regardless of whether you believe in it or not, it is one heck of a good truth, standard, measuring rod for all people-not just pastors and Christians.

And I would highlight just a couple of the following principles as a judge of leadership character. Not ultimate judgement. Not salvation. But leadership character-the heart and integrity of a man or woman.

  • Matthew 12:36, “And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgement day for every idle word you speak.”-from the mouth of Jesus. Bottom line is this: crazy stuff flies out of both of their mouths. Stuff that is far from becoming of a leader with high levels of character.

And both candidates fall short in the above just like I fall short in the above!

So that’s why it’s not the biggest reason…

Here is the reason: recently Trump was quoted in this Bloomberg article, “I had to put up with the anchor and fight the anchor all the time on everything I said,”  Trump said at a campaign rally in New Hampshire on Thursday. “What a rigged deal.”

Here are two principles:
 

1.You can either make excuses or you can make progress but you can’t make both 

This is ultimately an issue of taking ownership and responsibility. Great leaders, at any level of the organizational structure, say: “I am the throat to choke or the back to pat.”

And with how many businesses that trump has had a stake or partial stake in, I’m amazed that he’s gotten as far as he has with this type of mentality. But Hillary is no different. Take, for example, when things have gone real bad under her leadership within the State Department-I’m sure she wasn’t always the first to say, “yep, that was me, I take full responsibility.”

Great leaders don’t make excuses or post blame. They own.

They don’t even make excuses about things they can’t control, circumstantial or “atmospheric” conditions like tough economic times, change in consumer demand or even government regulations!

Great leaders find a way to win and a way to improve… day over day, week over week and quarter over quarter.

Whether it’s the current woes of a Wells Fargo, the next car manufacturing flub or really any group or organization led by some person, great leaders take it on the chin and get to work on progress, not excuses.

This leads us to point number 2…

2. Great leaders are repulsed by a victim mentality.
 
Here is the deal: all “politicians” or “businessmen” running for large offices of power seem to enjoy invoking and indeed preying on a sense of fear in people.
 
It’s a classic ploy… make people afraid or make people victims and suggest that you are the answer to their problems or their woes.
 
At the top level of any organization-government, private sector, church or non profit-ultimately the personality, character and make-up of the leader will spread to the rest of the organization.
 
It’s leadership contagion. (And it’s basic influence, by the way.)

 

Having said that, the way both of these candidates have pushed the agenda of the “victim” and appealed to this great sense in all of us is frightening to me.

Because that’s “very bad for the spirit of our country” within us all.

And how have they done this you may ask…

Well I tend to think anyone who says (or appeals to the sentiment in others), “we’ve been screwed… or we got a bad deal… or we deserve… or it’s someone else’s job to…”

All of the above represent someone to me who is A) falling prey to victim or fear mentality B) posting blame for their circumstance or general lot in life and/or C) focusing so much on the problem they forgot about what it means to be a part of the solution-not waiting or begging or yelling at someone to do it for them.

Perhaps the most profound issue I take with these folks-again who are running for the absolute highest level leadership position in the country-remember that’s what it is… its not the “best politician” or the “most successful businessman” its the absolute best leader.

The issue I have was said best by Don Miller-author, leader and marketing expert of Story Brand. He contends that all people are busy living a story. And, using the common movie narrative as a metaphor for life, he posed the challenging question: who would you rather be: the victim or the hero?

It begs the question: in our daily personal lives and at a national level: how have we settled for being the victims or the heroes of our very own stories?

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