Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Two Categories of Leaders

As we further delve into Oliver DeMille's Freedom Matters!, we discover that he contends that the seven kinds of leaders can be divided into two main types, officials and entrepreneurs.  According to DeMille, "Officials lead in the government sector, and entrepreneurs are the leaders of all the other six sectors." (p. 21)  One has to assume from this that DeMille is defining an official who leads as a government leader as one who holds an official position, either elected or appointed, and is a leader by virtue of their position.

I am going to start with a discussion of government officials and their leadership role in maintaining freedom for society.  It is well documented that this type of leadership comes with a significant amount of position power.  Position power is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as "The authority/influence that is given to the individual who possessed an office or is given a position."  In other words, these individuals acquire power by virtue of their office.  The classic example is that the President of the United States is arguably the most powerful man in the world, as was his predecessor, as will be his successor.  It is occupying the office that creates the power, not the individual.  This is true for any governmental official.  That is not to say that the occupant of the office has ONLY the office going for them, but is is definitely a spring board.  One has only to look back in history to confirm this.  There are offices that grant influence, authority, and power to the current occupant, regardless of whom that may be. 

So, the question is, "Does occupying an office that carries authority and influence automatically make an effective leader?"  While this may seem a "Well Duh! NO!!" question, it is not quite that simple.  Sadly, our system has devolved to the point where many of the individuals who aspire and gain these offices seem to have ulterior motives.  The trappings of prestige, authority, and power have overshadowed service to people and society, sacrifice, and working for the preservation of freedom.  Now don't get me wrong!  I firmly believe that there are good and decent elected officials who have the right heart and are in it to serve and work for the betterment of their constituents.  On the other hand, it concerns me that they seem to be in a shrinking minority.  Also understand, this is not a right/left or blue/red issue.  There is plenty of concern to go around.  Gone are the days where Members of Congress were practicing professionals who took a 2 year leave from their profession to serve in Congress only to return to their professional world when their term was up.  Serving was a sacrifice and community leaders took their turn for the public good.  Today these positions are generally filled with career politicians who have never really known anything else, or are so far removed from it that they really have lost touch with that reality.  Even in states that have passed term limits, we see career politicians simple get elected to different positions when the time limit of their current job expires. I would argue that all of this has created a threat to the very freedom that allowed them to ascend to these positions.

DeMille argues that "...when government leaders control any (or all) of the other six, through lots of regulation or any other kind of government power, freedom quickly deteriorates." (p. 22)   I would add the these government leaders become trapped in the allusion of their own self importance that they truly believe that they, and only they, know what is good for the society as a whole and for people individually.  History is full of examples where this type to thinking leads to the complete collapse of freedom.  Only when government leaders have an equal, and not superior, seat at the leadership table will freedom be advanced once again.  I believe it is long past time for each of us to take a good long look at each and every government leader and ask if they are in their position to do their part to preserve and advance our freedom or are they in their position to further their own personal agenda.

John C. Maxwell says it best when discussing the Law of Sacrifice in his landmark work The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, "There is a common misconception among people who aren't leaders that leadership is all about the position, perks, and power that comes from rising in an organization.  Many people today want to climb up the corporate ladder because they believe that freedom, power, and wealth are the prizes waiting at the top.  The life of a leader looks glamorous to people on the outside.  But the reality is that leadership requires sacrifice.  A leader must give up to go up.  In recent years, we've observed more than our share of leaders who used and abused their organizations for personal benefit --- and the resulting corporate [and governmental] scandals that came because of their greed and selfishness.  The heart of good leadership is sacrifice." (p. 222)

We need good governmental leaders who will set their own needs aside and be willing to sacrifice for the preservation of our freedom!  Then, and only then, will the balance be restored to the seven types of leaders necessary to preserve our freedom!

References

DeMille, O. (2015). Freedom matters: The connection between career, business, and freedom.  Cary, NC: Obstacl├ęs Press.

Maxwell, J. C. (2007). The 21 indispensable qualities of a leader: Becoming the person others will want to follow.  Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

The Law Dictionary retrieved from http://thelawdictionary.org/position-power/


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Freedom Matters

New York Times Best Selling Author (Leader Shift and A Thomas Jefferson Education) and Freedom Scholar Oliver DeMille recently published Freedom Matters: The Connection Between Career, Business, and Freedom.  In it, among other things, he posits that there are seven types of leaders that are necessary for freedom to flourish in a society.  According to DeMille, "The Future of freedom depends on leadership." (DeMille, p. 15)  DeMille's seven kinds of leaders are family leaders, religious/ethical leaders, business leaders, education leaders, media/artistic leaders, community leaders, and government leaders.

DeMille contends that freedom will thrive when all seven types of leaders are equally strong in the society.  Conversely, according to DeMille, if the types of leaders get out of balance, that is two or three become stronger and more influential than the others, freedom is weakened and becomes at risk of  being diminished or disappearing altogether.

The idea that freedom is dependent upon leadership for its very survival is not shocking.  After all, Maxwell contends that "Everything rises and falls on leadership." (Maxwell, p. xxx).  Freedom is no exception.  What DeMille does is break it down and into smaller subsets of leadership and defines an intricate symbiotic relationship between the seven.  The whole idea is intriguing!

I will spend the next several weeks drilling down into the seven kinds of leaders described by DeMille and explore the roles and relationships that each has to the others as they contribute to the preservation of freedom.  Stay tuned, it should be an exciting journey!


References

DeMille, O. (2015). Freedom matters: The connection between career, business, and freedom.  Cary, NC: Obstacl├ęs Press.

Maxwell, J. C. (2007). The 21 indispensable qualities of a leader: Becoming the person others will want to follow.  Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.