I sent the following letter to Michigan's First Gentleman, Dan Mulhern. He publishes a weekly newsletter called Reading for Leading I subscribe to. This letter was in response to his article, Can I Get an Amen?Dan, nice column today.
The problem with call and response is too often we are preaching to the choir. In politics we're often surrounded with like-minded people and categorize all the opposition's like-minded people together.
The even bigger problem for leaders is finding a voice with a unique perspective that we don't immediately dismiss as the opposition, or shout-down because they aren't towing our line. Would someone disagreeing with a minister be shouted-down by the rest of the congregation? Would the minister even be able to hear them?
How do politicians get out of their ruts to find less stereotypical ideas? What leader, in tough economic times, isn't surrounded by too many yes-men, and what does someone risk when they express dissent?
It seems reasonable to me the problem with our automotive industry in Michigan is it's a poster-child for too many yes-men. GM's Kerkorian and board member York were the first people to try pushing GM any course other than their Exxon Valdez-ish rendezvous with bankruptcy.
How do you know if you're Martin Luther King or Captain Hazelwood?