By Jeffrey A. Ziegler
Leadership! It is a quality much admired and much discussed in political and business ranks. It is also a quality quite lacking, especially within American Culture. This vacuum is dominant when addressing political, Church, business, educational or familial institutions. In training leaders, the cultivation of vision, the courage to act upon such vision, and the character to maintain the vision, are all essential elements for effective advance. This requires reading! Not just trendy periodicals, opinion polls, and pop-novels! Rather the reading of greater works of theology, philosophy, history and that most neglected of documents, The Federal Constitution. In other words some basic foundational works and not just the dust covers!
There is no easy way to obtain vision and understanding. In order to see, you must have knowledge and the ability to apply such knowledge to the world in which you live. That is the process of thinking! In a political context, a Constitutional social theory must be revived, if America, hopes to have a new generation of enlightened and dynamic leaders. Yet increased knowledge without the ability or the will to ACT is without value!
Yet, courage and action without knowledge is the realm of fools! You may have great ambition and unquenchable zeal, but without the knowledge and vision of our Founding Fathers together with the example of their applications of the same, the only long term hope in American life will be the utter defeat of the principles that gave her birth! Though with the proper amount of froth; you may look quite valiant in the fall! You see the egalitarian-socialists have a working political social theory. It is messianic statism with a full-orbed application to every part of culture. Until real Patriots develop a sound antithesis that is a bit more sophisticated than Glenn Beck, or that latest photo-shopped video, all the courage and savvy in the world will be of little use. After all, you can’t beat something with nothing! He who reads … leads! Courage and knowledge apart from character is a short-lived experiment!
Character is evidenced in the deportment and stature of the leader. A true leader is able to command the field, more by what he is, than what he says. Sentimental relationalism cannot devlop a winning character!Character development is impossible without knowledge and the self-mastery needed to act upon that same knowledge. Character is not built through declaration anymore than standing in a garage makes one an automobile. Rather; the rigor and challenge of life, the purging of the soul through trial, temptation and conflict, all these take our measure and cause our growth. Therefore: how will you answer political, theological and social challenges that demean the spirit and intent of our forebears? What will you do when your moral fiber is tested? How will you understand and react to the temptation of avarice? How will you defeat an adversary who is stronger and smarter than yourself? What reservoir will you draw upon? Perhaps your winsome smile and dynamic charm won’t be enough! “My people (God’s chosen mind you) are destroyed for lack of knowledge …” (Hosea 4:6)
He who reads … leads! Think you know it all? Whether it is theology, political science, economics, literature, philosophy, history, science, technology or for that matter personal growth, do you think there might be some room for improvement? Or do you think you can defeat the Barack Obama’s of this world with a press release? Like it or not, Barack Obama, the man bent on America’s destruction, reads on average, a book per week. Mind you I’m not talking about “Reader Digest” here. No, “Barack” has immersed himself in law, history and yes, believe it or not, theology! Bad theology yes! Anti-history yes! Harvard positive-law nonsense yes! But he reads! Have you noticed? He happens to be president of The United States!
What about you dear reader? Do you know the difference between the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes and Ludwig VonMises? Obama does. Have you read the Communist Manifesto? Obama has. Have you ever heard of the “New Deal” or “The Great Society?” Obama has. What was the “Cold War?” Obama wants to give back what we won over a period of 50 years! Do you know how to research a pending congressional bill that is pointed at the destruction of your freedoms? That takes investigative prowess that at least has a seminal knowledge of the political process. Do you know how to convince, mobilize and rally men to the “cause” even though they may have no immediate or compelling interest at stake? The study of rhetoric and history would be of great importance here.
Leadership cannot be formed in a vacuum. Unless you read of great leaders and their principlesof leadership, you will be defeated by those who have read and are implementing the same. Unless you read and understand what is real, you will remain helpless to evil’s whim both from within and without. Unless you read … someone else will lead!