The utter breakdown of Congress’s special “supercommittee,” empowered to defuse our ticking debt bomb, cannot be deemed a failure of leadership. Any who think so misconceive what leadership in Washington is all about.
I admit to being one who slips up on this from time to time. As a former facilitator of Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” I sometimes forget that “win-win” habits aren’t appropriate for all classes of people. Indeed, most of us do not know of the special habits that apply to our masterful Washington leaders. It was only by accident and tracking rumors that I uncovered them.
Covey discovered his habits studying the strong character traits exhibited by America’s founders. These other habits have a far older history with roots in dynastic traits revealed in “The Prince” and “The Art of War.” Among the knowing, they are dubbed the “7 Habits of Highly Adaptive People.” I dare to reveal them here:
Habit 1 – Be Reactive
“Whatever happens on your watch, react to it in a way that puts you in the best light. Never doubt that well-placed blame can repudiate failure.”
Habit 2 – Begin with Your Destiny in Mind
“Envision your destiny and set your mind on what it will take to advance it. Self-confidence is fundamental.”
Habit 3 – Put Yourself First
“Plan your tasks and propel yourself forward whatever the situation. In the end, you can depend upon no-one but yourself.”
Habit 4 – Think Win
“Strive for solutions and associations that allow you to win, whatever the means or consequences. Confidence attracts followers.”
Habit 5 – Seek to Be Understood
“Persuade all who can help you win and advance your destiny. Motivate followers to their highest and best use.”
Habit 6 – Strategize
“Identify and use the strengths and weaknesses of others to achieve your ends. It is no small achievement to ride to glory on the backs of others.”
Habit 7 – Seize the Saw
“Always be prepared and keep resources handy to seize opportunities to saw the legs out from under detractors and competitors.”
Some go to Washington with an inborn capacity to execute these habits. Others need coaching. But, whatever their propensities, those who diligently practice these habits free themselves from failure.
Hear their truths.
What have our Congressmen and Senators told us? Have they not clearly described their earnest efforts to resolve the debt bomb crisis? They avowed. They contended. They withstood. They blamed. They did not fail.
Citizens from other states listening to their Congressmen and Senators heard similar assertions. No failure there, either.
Bless their hearts, no-one failed.
And that, my friends, is what Washington leadership is all about.