Guest Post by Larry Ackerman
I am honored to host this guest post by my friend and colleague Larry Ackerman. His provocative message on politics in America today is timely and worthy of reflection.
Ever wonder how birds get around, how they are able to fly? They use their strong breast muscles to flap their wings to give them the thrust they need to move through the air. Further, birds use a swimming-forward motion to get the lift needed to fly.
Naturally, both wings need to move in unison to achieve lift-off and sustain flight. It doesn’t take much to imagine the flight path of a bird whose wings are working against each other, pulling (or pushing) in different directions, or flapping at different speeds. The chance of actually breaking a wing (or two) becomes a distinct possibility.
Welcome to America.
Today, we have a Right Wing that is stretching as far to the right as possible. We also have a Left Wing that is stretching as far to the left as possible.
In the midst of this turmoil, I keep asking myself: But, what about the bird? What about America, the nation? The institution? Is it really all about the wings?
America “the bird” is in the throes of a full-blown identity crisis. Its wings are broken and its flight path is indeterminable and dangerously out of control. The notion that America is, in fact, in the midst of an identity crisis has been widely acknowledged for years. (Just Google America identity crisis and see what comes up.)
Politics in America today, in my view, is a desperate game. I find it ironic that politics is killing the very body that it purports to represent. If you know of a candidate, a party, that is more interested in protecting the bird than its wings, let me know. He or she will get my vote. And my prayers.
Larry Ackerman is a leading authority on organizational and personal identity, its impact on brand, leadership, and culture, and the pioneer of Identity-Based Management. A sought-after speaker, executive coach and consultant, his clients include AARP, Fidelity Investments, Lockheed Martin, Maytag, National Geographic and State Farm Insurance among others. Larry is the author of the groundbreaking books: Identity Is Destiny: Leadership and the Roots of Value Creation and The Identity Code: The 8 Essential Questions for Finding Your Purpose and Place in the World and is a guest lecturer at the Yale School of Management, Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Wharton, Pepperdine, and UCLA Anderson School. Visit Larry Ackerman Identity to learn more.
Exactly! Thank you. I have put what energy I have for politics into a Senate race where the candidate has made her reputation by working with the opposite party. I don’t agree with all of her positions, but I applaud her willingness to investigate the middle ground.
Our greatest leaders are those who find ways to work with their opposition for the common good. Thanks for weighing in, Betsy.
There are left wing, right wing; rich and poor; strong and weak; in a lot of organizations, institutions and families. The job of a leader is to make a fine balance and steer the mass, in right direction for the benefit of the most. Each one, who is willing and capable, be given the opportunity to lead, the flock just like a flock of flying geese do.
Beautiful and well-said, Bhanu. Thank you.
I totally agree that we are a very divided country. I do not see a solution with the current political system and nature of many of the politicians currently in office. I would love to say let’s focus on making our country great and forget about the left and right but everyone want’s to point fingers and not focus on solutions.