- Jenni Catron
Well, here we are friends. On the other side of a crazy election year and our emotions run the gamut. We’re conflicted, concerned, fearful, hopeful, apprehensive, excited, uncertain, confident… and a lot of things in between. I’ve remained very quiet most of this election season. I’ve actually really wrestled with this. I’ve been convicted about my silence given how much I advocate for leadership and yet reluctant to know what to say to be helpful. Fearful that my words would just add to the chaos that we’ve experienced. I still actually question this even in writing today. Throughout this election, I have wrestled a lot of my own convictions and emotions faced with choices and decisions that didn’t always accurately represent my views and values. In previous elections I have been moderately engaged, typically knowing which candidate best represented my values and voting accordingly. What this election birthed in me was a deep conviction that extraordinary leadership starts with you and it starts with me. We are a nation floundering and divided because we didn’t love either candidate. How many times have we cried, “Is this the best we’ve got?” “Are these the best leaders that our great nation could produce?” My great conviction is that in my comfortable complacency I have neglected to take responsibility for the decisions that I can impact every day. I have not adequately engaged in local government nor been aware of local legislation and how it impacts our every day. I have not taken to heart the ways as a believer I need to serve and support the people right around me in my circles of influence. More often than not I have paid attention to the top name on the ballot and given little attention to the other issues that impact my every day. Leaders, we have to lead well where we are. We must pay more attention to the circle of influence we have right here, right now. You are not powerless. You are not a victim. You have extraordinary influence right where you are. Look a loved one in the eye and share their joys and concerns. See someone in need in your community and offer help. Volunteer at your child’s school or a local non-profit agency. Participate actively in local government. Be intentional to invest in the development of your co-workers. Support a friend who is navigating a difficult season. Be kind. Do good. Don’t freak out. Be a better leader today than you were yesterday. Be a better leader tomorrow than you were today.