“I had a chance to watch the Republican debate last Thursday night and saw a wide variety of people who would be characterized as leaders. Let’s put it this way—one of them might be the leader of the free world in 12 months.
If you watched you saw a wide variety of personalities. The same holds true on the Democratic side.
The week’s story does not support any candidate. But I want to share what happened when I had a chance to meet one of the candidates and his wife in Waco, Texas.
Dr. Carson, and his wife Candy, were in Waco for a fundraiser at the Hippodrome theater—a theater that was built more 100 years ago. It was empty for several years until a local businessman and his brother purchased it, restored it and turned into a favorite place for many by serving lunch and dinner, along with a full bar. It even has two stories with the ability to show two movies simultaneously.
Several Waco business people sponsored Dr. Carson’s visit. My wife, Mary Kay, and I had a chance to have lunch with the doctor and his wife—eating at their table. Mary Kay was telling our dentist about this the next day. Our dentist told MK a story about going to a conference more than a decade ago where Dr. Carson was the speaker. He urged the attendees to get into politics when they retire.
He reasoned that many politicians had a career as a lawyer. He said lawyers are taught to fight and win while doctors are taught to listen, analyze, research if necessary, and then make a diagnosis to solve the problem.
While watching the debate, I became acutely aware of the humility of someone like Carson while, just a few people away, was the frontrunner, Trump, whose persona is anything but humble. The voters, however, will decide which they want … or maybe someone in between.
We all have examples of people we are drawn to and would like to emulate. As leaders we need to determine the type of persona we want to portray and how we want people to view and remember us. If you saw the movie “Gifted Hands” with Cuba Gooding Jr. portraying Dr. Carson you’ll have a better idea why Dr. Carson has the temperament that he does.
On the converse, Trump has survived a few marriages, a few business bankruptcies, has a net worth of more $4 billion and enjoys a top rated TV show. If you say, “You’re fired” to most people in America, they can tell you who says it! He thrives on controversy and conflict—as evidenced in the debate last Thursday.
Leaders? They come in all sizes and all personalities. Your challenge it to be the type of leader you want to be and create the reputation you choose. Both Trump and Carson have done just that.