Leading by Running AwayMost of us have read and followed the Wisconsin story and debates on how they should or should not handle their budget challenges. Embedded in this story was the fact that the Democratic legislators left the state in order to try to prevent certain actions from taking place.

Today, in the papers, I read about how the Indiana Democrats had “come home” now, too. I guess they ran away as well.  Several years ago, Texas legislators took a similar action – leaving to avoid making or fighting a decision.

It seems odd. Elected officials are leaders. They are elected to make decisions, solve problems, and work with various people.

This isn’t just a Democrat thing; Republicans did a different type of running away, leaving their fiscal responsibilities behind when controlling both the U.S. Senate and the House.

I cannot think of any business or non-profit scenario where it would make sense for a leader to leave and abdicate their responsibility of leading.

Can you imagine a president or vice president of an organization go into hiding because they did not want to deal with an HR issue or an inter-departmental challenge?

Can you imagine a team member just not showing up for work, because they did not want to face working through a budget issue?

If it happened, they would no longer be with that organization, probably.

Is it just about #winning? We can take the Charlie Sheen leadership style, but we can see where that train wreck is heading.

Is it just about making a point? Debates are where points are made. Voting is where points are made. Leaving? Not so much.

Is it about creating a stir? Ever watch Mr. Smith Goes to Washington? He created a stir, but it was within the Senate chamber, not in some secluded, unknown location.

What example are our leaders setting? Is it:

  • You should run and hide from your responsibility
  • You should pull media stunts and be cool
  • You don’t have to participate, even if that is what you were (s)elected to do
  • You should run away if you don’t get your way

There are fiscal challenges just about everywhere you look today. Not facing up to them as leaders seems to be shirking responsibilities and demonstrating the wrong type of leadership skills to our citizens and, more importantly, to our youth.

Let’s face our challenges head-on, in-person.

Let’s be real leaders, tackling our problems and challenges with all our effort and integrity.

Let’s lead with distinction, to make a real difference

Let’s solve problems by working through them intelligently, practically, and civilly.

Agree? Or, is running away the new leadership style?