5 Leadership Lessons During the Government Shutdown

US Government Shutdown

What do you think about the US Federal Government shut down? Is this process fair to everyone? Is this an example of true leadership, failed leadership, or perhaps something else?

Remember congress is getting paid while others are not.

And some people are actually volunteering on their job as a service to the community.

True Leadership

Personally, I think true leadership is taking responsibility for your own actions while at the same time being cognizant of others and their struggles. This is the role that a politician should play; however, it is often stifled by personal agendas.

The government shutdown has a lot to do with healthcare for all. Realistically, some people just can’t afford good healthcare. There are many reasons people don’t have good healthcare because of loss of job, limited income, made some previous mistakes in life and so on.

And many young healthy people just don’t want to spend the money for expensive insurance that they probably won’t use.

In addition, a common reason families may file for bankruptcy is because of high medical bills.

So, should we say:

  • “That’s not my problem?”
  • “I’m fine so everything is fine?”
  • “I don’t want to pay extra taxes for someone who cant help themselves?”

We are All Connected

Let’s be realistic; sometimes, for whatever reason, there may be financial burdens placed on people that are uncontrollable. Should they not be covered? I think there should be opportunities for those who may be truly struggling.

Once people realize that we are all connected, I really think the world will be a better place off. While many federal employees are not getting paid, Congress is getting paid; their pockets wont be affected like this like so many other people here in the US.

They are all going to maintain the status quo and move from this unscathed while other federal workers may experience some hardships.

5  Leadership Lessons During the Government Shutdown

As a result of this unfortunate situation, I have some suggestions I think would be helpful to the government’s leadership:

1. Community

Want for others what you want for yourself. if you are in politics or any other field, want others to succeed and prosper just as you do for yourself. Focus on opportunities that  can strengthen people and not continue to derail them.

2. Practice Empathy

All people should have affordable healthcare; the focus should be more about how can this be a fair and empowering process for all Americans? How can we implement a system that works for the greater good?

3. Listen

Practice listening and learning about the needs, struggles and strengths of all people, not just the wealthy. Listen to what people are saying and challenges that they have faced. Learn from “real people” to create better opportunities and laws.

4. Empower People

Focus on ways to uplift people, not necessarily by giving them everything, but offer suggestions and information that empowers people in the US.

5. Fairness

Set up rules and regulations for all Federal government employees that are fair to all people involved. So, if federal employees can’t get paid, why should congress get paid by American taxpayers during a government shut down?

When our “Leadership” learns what a true leader is, I think the US will move to a better place. What do you feel are some leadership lessons for the government?


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Jessica Blalock Ph.D.

Dr. Jessica Blalock is director of The Center for Discovery
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  1. bgbgbgbg on October 4, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    This is a clear example of Failed Leadership from the President, the Speaker of the House, to the Congress and Senate membership. If we could, I would recommend we fire all of them and start over with some people who are smart and DO NOT want the job for more than one term!!

  2. George Bond on October 5, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    I agree it is an example of poor leadership from all. I do agree we need universal health care but there should have been a valid discussion when proposed. Yet one side was only saying NO. It also show that one solution would be to mandate computer generated districts to remove the gerrymandered ones we have now. Both sides culpable here. CR’s should not be used as government budgets should be passed. But if needed, these plus deny ceiling legislation should be clean bills. Discuss the why’s and wherefore’s after the authorization. We also need to cut the trips home for congress so they have to spend weekends in DC and get to know each other. They also need to be impacted by bills they pass. I have no idea how we elect non-millionaires but most are out of touch with most people’s lives.