Statesmanship…leadership we need more than ever!

A statesman or stateswoman is usually a politician, diplomat or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career at the national or international level. A person who is experienced in the art of government or versed in the administration of government affairs. a person who exhibits great wisdom and ability in directing the affairs of a government or in dealing with important public issues. (dictionary.com)

I have long been a proponent of leadership skill development starting at the age of five. As I watch and experience the current level of leadership in our world, I keep thinking about one word – statesmanship – and how there seems to be a shocking lack of it. Of course, I want to make sure everyone understands that statesmanship is not about ‘man’ but about all of us, hence the quoted definition above including men and women. The words most powerful in this definition are ‘long and respected’. This implies wisdom. This implies experience. This implies learning from mistakes, moving forward and rely on the wisdom and support of others.

I would guess any statesman or stateswoman would immediately recount how they reached this status because of the support they received throughout their lives. You don’t become a ‘statesperson’ by disassociating yourselves from others.

Ian Waddell says the following in an article written for the Globe and Mail: “And in a world where democracy itself is being questioned, this kind of statesmanlike behaviour would surely be welcomed by the Canadian people.” (August 28, 2020). I long for ‘statesmanlike’ behaviour. Let’s move beyond the petty partisan concerns. Let’s stop with the name calling and the finger pointing by laying the concerns of our country on a round table, gathering the wisest statesmen and stateswomen and working together for the healthiest Canada for all. This is the kind of leadership we need right now. This is the leadership our children and youth deserve.

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