This week, in America, we celebrate 4th of July. It probably comes as no surprise that 4th of July—Independence Day—is one of my favorite days of the year.
I feel like I've cheated life, like I hit the genetic lottery just because I was born in America.
And as Jason Levin, my guest on episode 032 of my leadership podcast always says, "If you're born in the USA, you start at a 10!"
There is so much to celebrate and the celebration is not just about this hunk of dirt we call America.
We need to celebrate the ideas that inspired the nation—the principle ideas of individual rights, human liberty, and personal responsibility.
These ideas are worth celebrating for the ages!
Our nation, and more often government, isn't always perfect in the application of these ideas.
And here is the exciting news, that deficiency is our time to shine as leaders. As leaders, we can cut through the divisive malaise.
You and I have a golden leadership opportunity to create our own shining city on a hill in the way we treat others in our individual lives. No government, political party, or political figure will forge this path.
You lead the way . . .
In your own corner of the universe . . .
In your own sphere of influence . . .
In your own real, everyday life . . .
Today, I challenge YOU to lead our nation in 4 ways. I challenge you to celebrate Independence Day with:
1. Gratitude - Leadership is not demanding or demeaning. Leadership is about empowering, inspiring, and appreciating. Today, thank someone you wouldn't normally thank. Maybe you think that person is your political arch-nemesis. Thank them for representing something that is different than you and celebrate that you live in a place where you can disagree.
2. Humor - We can all stand to ratchet it down a few notches and not take ourselves or others too seriously. Instead of feeding a perpetual state of offendedness in your own life, laugh more.
3. Optimism - You and I can usher in morning again in America with the words and attitude we choose for ourselves. We can create an optimistic trajectory for the future. We can say in so many words: It’s morning again. It’s a new dawn. There is a shining family, a shining community, a shining business, a shining team on the hill. And we are it.
4. Grace - We all make mistakes. You don't want someone to hold your mistakes over your head forever. Just offer a healthy dose of grace. Choose to believe the best in others.
As leaders, we can change the landscape of a nation as we give gratitude, humor, optimism, and grace to people in our every day lives—most especially to the people with whom we disagree. We can disagree without being disagreeable.
Celebrate your fellow Americans. Celebrate your neighbors. Offer a kind word to someone with whom you might disagree
If we all take on the mantle of leadership, we can reform, refine, and continue to form a more perfect union.