Active Citizens Have the Foundation to be Engaging Leaders

I am of the mind that the person who has experience as an active citizen will possess the unique capacity to engage others as a leader.

By the same token, I feel wary of those who wear the mantle of leader, but who, on closer inspection, show little appreciable depth as citizens. I look to see whether an individual has in their history any evidence of service and contribution to their communities, or whether instead theirs is a record of activity undertaken largely for the purposes of self-advancement or enrichment. If the evidence supports the latter, I ask myself whether their conduct as a leader would be any different.

In my experience, self-serving behavior cloaked as leadership is a sham. It is the stuff of those who have traded integrity for expedience, for egocentric satisfaction, for selfishness. But it is not the stuff of engaging leadership, and it is certainly not the stuff of citizenship.