Is leadership cross-tolerant?
As America plunges farther and farther into the greatest societal divide since Sen. Sumner took that cane to the head, one must separate the wheat of optimism from the chaff of tirade. This leaves the proverbial "one" with the question: is a good leader a good leader?
If it can be agreed that President Donald J. Trump is being attacked with never before seen fury, in part, because he is not in the "old boys' club" (wealth alone is not the password for entrance), then what is left to ponder? What is left to promote? I suggest that leadership, on the adult level, is cross-tolerant, and that is exactly why people, particularly on the establishment right, are screaming for the end of his tenure. (I make the previous statement with full acknowledgment that the left screams for the same reason, other reasons, no reason.)
Leadership is in vogue. Why? Because it has been far too long since the idea was seen as a virtue and not cast in the light of sociopathic behavior. Some people lead. Most people follow. Take for example the New York Times bestseller Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. (Also take any and all episodes of Mr. Willink's "The Jocko Podcast.") America craves leadership, craving a strong hand at the helm. But we do not crave a strongman, a tyrant, or an iron fist. You see, we just had eight years of that. Sure, it was an iron fist in a velvet glove, but it was an iron fist all the same. But you'd never know it. (You'd also never know that President Obama smoked – and you have the mainstream media to thank for both of those ignorances.)
Leadership. Does building a real estate empire naturally put one in the pole position for leading the free world? No. But being an actual leader does. Taking ownership does. And holding others to their own ownership is a large part of that. Saying, "Yeah, I've failed. I've declared bankruptcy before. That's why the law is there: so you can lose and then to try to win again" is part of it. Another part of it is saying, "And now you admit to your failures" to whoever has cast the first stone in your direction.
What is that old adage? "Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan." (Actually, it isn't that old. I think Mussolini's son-in-law said that. Either way...) Owning up to a failure is a metric for leadership, much more than taking praise. But taking praise is also a metric. Accepting praise humbly is essential to leadership. "But wait!" you rush to say: "Trump is always patting himself on the back!" That is true. But is it really patting yourself on the back if nearly every story released on every media platform is there to undermine you? Is setting the record straight the new hubris? CNN would say it is. If you can say you've failed, you can say you've won when no one else will.
It doesn't matter who you are – if you are middle management in an office park or if you are president of the United States. If you lead – if you truly lead and take on all that burden – you will find success anywhere you go. Because most people are cowards. Most people build their homes in the peanut gallery. Most people dare not. Give me someone who will drive on, and I will give you someone who will get you there. Give me someone who actually believes in America, and I will give you a Renaissance. Give him eight years, and I will give you time to apologize.