All-In Leadership—NOW!

A lack of engagement is cited as costing U.S. business over $500B annually according to Gallup. Arguably, the cost to our country of a lack of engagement could be a lot higher.

In our last presidential election, an estimated 97 million eligible voters chose not to vote. Reports indicated that some didn’t think their vote would matter while many attributed their decision not to vote to a belief that “others” were better able to decide their future.

I believe many of those who chose not to vote are now rethinking their choice. Further, I believe it’s time for those who are not satisfied with their local, state, or federal government—and are sitting on the sidelines—to rethink their choice as well.

Consider this quote from American critical thinker and author Werner Hans Erhard:

“The problems we have now in communities and societies are going to be resolved only when we are brought together by a common sense that each of us is a visionary. Each of us must come to the realization that we can function and live at the level of vision rather than following some great leader’s vision. Instead of looking for a great leader, we are in an era where each of us needs to find the great leader in ourselves.”

Erhard is sounding the same theme offered by Ralph Waldo Emerson over 175 years ago in his book Self-Reliance.

“A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of . . . sages. . . . There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better.”

I believe both Erhard and Emerson are arguing for their respective contemporaries to step up to the responsibility of individual accountability.

“All in” is a term often used to describe an individual giving 100% effort. With the challenges we face in our towns, states, countries, and in the world at large, I concur with Erhard and Emerson, and I suggest that all-in leadership must start now.

As I offered in October of 2011, all-in leadership starts with accountability. Each of us must act with discipline, creativity, and support for others consistent with the insight of who we are and with our values. We each have a responsibility to continue our education and to ensure our voice is heard, and our vote is counted.

We are all Chiefs when we are all in.