Liv­ing in North­east Ohio (and par­tic­u­lar­ly Cleve­land) pro­vides a lot of chances to think about lead­er­ship. There’s a dearth of good ones here & they almost always oper­ate into a head­wind. The lack of qual­i­ty is such that even mediocre lead­ers appear as rel­a­tive­ly shin­ing exam­ples. Most­ly you get man­age­ment & main­te­nance of the sta­tus quo. That’s slow decline defined. Then you look at sov­er­eign gov­ern­ments around the world, and so many elect­ed folks just seem asleep at the wheel. I can’t tell if it’s ennui or endem­ic nar­cis­sism — the idea machines just don’t seem to work any­more & the peo­ple who are sup­posed to make ’em work are all dogs who won’t hunt. Hand to god, I’m glad I work at a place full of great lead­ers. It’s exceptional.

Yeah, I live in the USA, & that’s been a clear exam­ple of brain-dead gov­er­nance for a decade at least. Dem­a­goguery is an ugly word to say, read, or spell, but it’s the clos­est thing we have to shit get­ting done. So noth­ing ever gets done. The British exit from the Euro­pean Union has brought self-inflict­ed foot wound dither­ing to its apoth­e­o­sis. The proxy wars in the Mid­dle East are appro­pri­ate­ly byzan­tine. This feels like coke-addled cold war 80s retro lais­sez faire boomer last gasps. Except boomers can afford health­care and will prob­a­bly still be in charge for anoth­er 15 years.

Jeff Bezos is prob­a­bly the best leader in the world, whether or not you agree with his meth­ods. He bare­ly has to deal with the Nation­al Enquir­er black­mail­ing him over dick pics, but he’s got no chal­lengers in busi­ness lead­er­ship. I’m not sure how he stays sharp since he’s so far out front. I’m not sure how any leader stays sharp when they’re the only game in town.

For me try­ing to be a leader has become habit­u­al because I’m imme­di­ate­ly exas­per­at­ed if no one takes charge. Yeah, I’ll do it. Some­one has to make sure the job is done right, the issue is resolved. It’s called respon­si­bil­i­ty & it sure would be nice if the world’s osten­si­ble lead­ers saw the val­ue in tak­ing it seriously.