11/22/08

Leading like a monarchy or democracy

I know from experience that as soon as we are in a position of leadership, we want to do right and change the world for the better. I’m not sure that I know of any leader that wakes up every morning and desires to ruin the world. Obama has even started making plans on every change that he intends on making as president. But as a word of advice to you as a leader and to all future leaders, make sure that you see yourself not as a monarch but as an elected official. Those that know their history know the difference, but sometimes we forget our history and always need that friendly reminder. Many have forgotten why America and France have such a close relationship. It’s been rocky at times, but we both still carry a mutual respect for one another. Both countries rose up to fight against tyrannical monarch rule. Why do we value democracy over monarchy? I think that one of the reasons why is because monarchies tend to become self-involved and narcissistic. They are so wrapped up in their own world and out of touch with those that they are responsible to lead. They become focused on themselves and because they see themselves as the ultimate authority, they tend to believe that they are honored, adored, and no matter what, always right. I love reading about everything that Prince Harry and Prince William are doing because they seem to prove me wrong. As opposed to monarchical rule, democracy on the other hand causes the leader to constantly question their decisions and to carefully consider and weigh each opportunity and more importantly to listen and trust those beneath them. Their leadership is not about them, but about those that have the power to remove them or keep them in their leadership position. This is why the first four years of an American president is so crucial. They have to produce results and be very careful and strategic about the decisions that they make. If they get re-elected for a second term they then feel a tremendous amount of freedom to do whatever they desire to or not to do, a somewhat monarchical rule. Would you elect your leader? In writing this blog, I thought about everyone that has had a position of authority over me and I carefully thought about each of them. Would I have elected all of them? In answer to that question, I would say yes. No matter the leader, I always learned something, whether good or bad, as well as something about myself. What I decided is that we aren’t perfect and because I know that no leader is my savior, no leader is perfect. I would ultimately vote for every leader that I’ve ever had, because we all make mistakes and leading isn’t necessarily always easy.
Don’t get me wrong, there were times when I couldn’t believe the immaturity or reaction to a situation from a leader in authority. Some have acted like royalty, humble servants, divas, wise judges, and everything else in between. In the end though, it was those that knew their role and that their leadership position was a privilege and not a right. Let us hope that we never find ourselves like the French monarch Marie Antoinette on the eve of the French Revolution with our head in a guillotine.

2 comments:

radical royalist said...

You presumption is wrong, when you ask: "Why do we value democracy over monarchy?"

Democracy is a form of government. Monarchy is a form of state. Monarchies like Britain, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Norway, denmark etc. are Constitutional Monarchies and VERY democratic countries, I can assure you. The opposite of a Monarchy is a republic. And there you have countries like China, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Pakistan, Iran that are hardly democracies.

In Constitutional Monarchies the people elect their leaders, but they are called prime ministers. The Queen of the United Kingdom or the King of the Belgians inherit their crowns, but their duties lie beyond daily political life.
A Monarch represents the country as a whole and is above party politics.
A Monarch symbolizes the nation, its traditions, its history and its future.

Justin Steinhart said...

Hi radical royalist. Thanks so much for the commment. The main question posed was not about valuing democracy over a monarchy...the initial question was whether someone is leading with total control or with an understanding that at any moment they can be kicked to the curb.

In this blog, I was strictly trying to capture the hearts and the spirit of why both France and America revolted over 200 years ago. Which is why the blog ended with the comment on Marie. I know that today things are run much differently in the U.K. and Denmark in every way that you pointed out and that there is a huge and big difference between the two. Thanks though for clarifying.