When one competes in anything, he generally strives to both, be the best he can be, as well as end up winning. However, there is a fine line involved when we become far too over-focused on winning, at any cost! Recently, Senator John McCain, the losing Republican candidate for President in 2008, was asked about the current election cycle, and especially the rhetoric and vitriol, which has existed. When asked why he didn't go negative when he ran, because it seems to work, he replied that leading, and especially serving as President of the United States, was more based on doing the right thing, and maintaining his personal self-respect, and honor, rather than merely doing anything merely to perhaps win an election! In reality, it is based on one's true, personal attitude, and priority-whether it is winning, or self-respect-oriented! Here are the choices one must make for himself:
1. Say anything to win: Every election cycle, we witness candidates making empty promises, that they realistically have little chance of delivering on, or making reality. How often have you thought that a candidate seems to be willing to say anything, if he feels it will enhance his chances to win? Is that type of individual, really, the type of person, we want to lead or represent us? Shouldn't service, open-mindedness, searching for a realistic path to achieve objectives, and a sort of pragmatic idealism, be the core of our elected representatives? When did winning become the priority, rather than effectively serving and representing constituents, with absolute integrity?
2. Strict/rigid leadership: While absolute integrity is essential, a great leader must be willing, and able, to be flexible enough, to get things done! One's rigidity must never interfere with his ability to achieve. It is essential that a quality leader, focus on the possibilities, listen effectively to others to enhance his empathy (and understanding of needs, priorities and concerns), and create action plans, with contingencies or back-up plans, to best achieve what is essential. True leaders are careful to be certain their agendas never become personally-oriented, but rather focus on service!
3. Middle ground: Mike Bloomberg often discusses the need for politicians who are closer to the center, and willing to be flexible enough to get things achieved, for the common good. It used to be that our Presidential candidates, for example, stood politically, within five to seven percentage points, either to the right or left, of center. When that is the case, the chance for a meeting of the minds, and prioritizing a meeting of the minds, and a degree of unity for the common group, rather than negative rhetoric, hatred and polarization. is exemplified.
It's okay to want to win, but not at any cost! Winning without ethics or integrity, is like acing an examination, merely because you cheated!