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Leaders and Politicians

A few months ago I wrote about how a leader can have a greater impact on the people than any specific political ideology.

There is an importance distinction that needs to be made when we speak of politicians.  Politicians are not necessarily leaders.  A leader is someone who leads the people – a politician is someone who follows the people and is easily influenced by any threat to his/her career.  A leader is someone who cares for the people and takes the leadership role for his/her concern for the community – a politician is someone who often takes the job because he/she isn’t doing well in their career or has no job.  A leader takes responsibility to assess the situation, make decisions and implement plans – a  politician looks to deflect, dilute and defer the issue to someone else. A leader looks to give to the community, a politician looks for the community to give to him/her.

This is not meant to bash or criticize any particular person, but to make the distinction between a leader and a politician.  Now, based on the above who do we know in recent years at any level of government that we can call a leader?  Notice that no where in my description of a leader do I require a leader to be right all the time.

Leadership is an issue that once again has my attention because of the pending Toronto municipal election.  Last week I found myself chatting with a friend who asked me if I was going to run for Mayor of Toronto.  I giggled and then I realized she was serious.  So, I thought about it for a few moments and then found myself thinking about it again during the week. 

In order for me to run for Mayor, I’d have to believe that I can make a difference to Torontonians and to the City of Toronto, which I do believe.  I also have a vision of what Toronto used to be and what it can become.  A city that guided by prudent use of resources, social engineering, business decisions and long-term planning, something this city hasn’t seen in a long time.

The reality of it is that for those of us that can and want to make a difference the price of running for Mayor and then performing the duties with full intent is too high.  This morning I asked another friend of mine what he thought about me running for Mayor and his reply was, ‘I thought you had to be unemployed to run for Mayor’.  In my laughter I was inspired to write this entry.

Will I run for Mayor….hmmmmm – what do you think?

Meanwhile, I’ll be watching the candidates as they throw their hats in the ring.  As they do that I will not only be asking if they will make a great leader, but also if they  have a job and why they are running for the position.  What will you be asking yourself?

Happy Leadership,


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