Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

It could be the cry of those of us who have set up this blog, and are working on setting up a Christian Lobby Group which isn't all about abortions and gay marriage.

But in fact it isn't, it is the cry of Lee Iacocca, American industrialist and Republican supporter. He has just co-written a book of that title, which in part deals with the political messes that the neo-conservatives of the US have made for themselves and which the neo-cons of Australia have happily jumped into whole heartedly.

I'm going to quote from some of it here, because while he is talking about American political leaders, there are a lot of things he says which could well apply to the Christian right in Australia.

...So here's where we stand. We're immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country. We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our borders are like sieves. The middle class is being squeezed every which way. These are times that cry out for leadership.

But when you look around, you've got to ask: "Where have all the leaders gone?" Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, competence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo? We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.

Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane, or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm. Everyone's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn't happen again. Now, that's just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure out what you're going to do the next time.

Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when "the Big Three" referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen—and more important, what are we going to do about it?

Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debt, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.

I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn't elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bobblehead on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't you guys show some spine for a change?

Had Enough?

Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope. I believe in America. In my lifetime I've had the privilege of living through some of America's greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises—the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War, the 1970s oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11. If I've learned one thing, it's this: You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play...

So lets take Lee's alliteration and run with it,
Do the current crop of Christian Leaders in Australia have CURIOSITY?
Are they CREATIVE?
I guess they all have a healthy dose of CHARISMA, but are they COMPETENT and do they have COMMON SENSE?
To see how Lee defines these qualities he believes all leaders should have, take a look at his book. But as far as I can see, we are distinctly lacking in leaders with curiosity, who are creative and who have courage. In fact the one thing we have in good supply is charisma, but that on its own is a poor reason to follow anyone else's vision.

No comments: