Real leaders get involved

The majority of US citizens didn't not vote on November 2. Executive leadership coach John McKee believes that real leaders don't act like the majority--they find the time to make sure they get it done, just like they do on the job.

In talking to clients, and others I've been in contact with recently, it seems a lot of individuals are simply "turned off" by the whole voting process — particularly those under the age of 40. Women didn't seem to be any more likely to vote than men this time around.

Regardless of their political bent, gender, or age, these individuals are taking the easy way out. They are behaving in a herd mentality with comments like, "most of the people I know are not voting either," to justify not getting involved.

I think this trait is telling. For many, this attitude shows that they don't feel like they can make a difference. They often feel they have no "power" to influence the outcome whether it's for a local, statewide, or national election.

A lot of people are like that in organizations as well. You know who I mean — they're the ones who sit back and talk about what bad decisions are being made by the bosses, or they scorecard an individual's bad results and often whine about what's going wrong at the office. They have, to a large extent, disempowered themselves with their attitude. Rather than making concrete suggestions (even anonymously), they sit back, wait for failure, and then tell everyone "they knew that would happen."

Others — the minority — get involved. As a result, these individuals often end up in a leadership position, because the people in charge can see that they've got stuff that others don't; they get the nod. These are the players who cause change internally. They figure out how to get a budget approved even when money is tight. They have new approaches about getting things done in a tough environment and usually deliver on time while others are busy complaining about how hard things are nowadays.

They are real leaders.

Real leaders do what's needed to fix things. They don't sit idle and keep score; they get in the game and contribute what they can to make life better. And because of who they are, they know it's important to vote.  They don't accept the concept that, "One vote won't make any difference." because they know that the power of one individual really can improve things — in a major way. So they clear enough time to get out and make a difference.

Real leaders vote. And they help others find the time to do the same.

Here's to your future.


Leadership Coach


John M. McKee is the founder and CEO of, an international consulting and coaching practice with subscribers in 43 countries. One of the founding senior executives of DIRECTV, his hands-on experience includes leading billion d...

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