“Lead, follow, or get out of the way.”– Thomas Paine
We’ve discussed him before, but the bottomless pit that is Matt Gaetz managed to reach another low this week when he brought his performance art to another sad level. For those that really don’t want to go down the rabbit hole, Gaetz cancelled his membership to conservative hot spot “The Capital Hill Club.” Seems they got under the Congressman’s skin when they started requiring patrons to be vaccinated.
Like just about anyone else, I was enjoying Twitter just for the comments. Dozens retorted back with some making mention of the fact that Gaetz could be enjoying three meals a day at Club Fed in the near future. That of course was a veiled reference to his possible sex trafficking charges that could come some time this year.
This story isn’t really about Gaetz. He just happens to be the latest example of our own national epidemic. We could go off the deep end as it pertains to leadership. We can talk about moving cheese, personality profiling, communication models and other such nonsense and really talk about nothing at the end of the day.
True leadership is nearly as much about sacrifice and service as it is about any of those other buzz words or phrases. Gaetz happens to be hitting upon pandemic issues and like any crisis, the pandemic has revealed who the leaders are and who the pretenders are. From the get go there have been two effective strategies that have helped deal with the pandemic: vaccines and masks. While not perfect, they have allowed business to continue while keeping the hospitals from being clogged with COVID patients.
Our beloved governor in Texas has barred us from requiring masks. He’s barred public places and private places from such a requirement. A political philosophy that prides itself in allowing businesses and private entities to run themselves as they see fit is not allowing them to do it. They’ve essentially reduced themselves to governing by temper tantrum.
So, in our schools we are left to simply highly encourage that administrators, teachers, and students wear masks. In a world where you cannot require compliance, you are left to hope that adults will act like leaders and students will be inclined to follow their example. Except on my campus the administrators can’t be bothered to wear masks. Some of the teachers can’t either. You can’t make them do it and suggesting it would trample on their precious rights.
It’s all a failure of leadership. Really it’s a foundational failure of adulting. Most parents understand that they have to do things they don’t want to do. Most adults understand that we have to do things we don’t want to do. We may think it’s stupid or that it doesn’t really apply to us. We may think it’s a waste of time. Somewhere deep in the recesses of our psyche we know it really isn’t meant for us. Leaders understand this. Those who like to play leader do not.
Those who like to play leader will go to any lengths to avoid the simplest of things. They avoid the simplest of things because they are afraid it will make them look weak. So, they’ll drink their own urine. They’ll take medicine meant for barnyard animals. They may even resort to bleach or shooting sunlight up their butt. They’ll try all of these mind-numbingly stupid remedies and more just to avoid a simple shot and a simple mask. Good leaders lead by example. Good leaders subjugate their wants and needs for the good of the group. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough good leaders.